Over the weekend, I got the hankering to wash the front of my house.
The house was a mess. I let it go all year which I don’t normally do. The algae could be seen from the road of all things!
However I also knew the effort it entailed. I’d have to climb a ladder to a roof overhang, and stand on slippery metal in order to do the task. Not my comfort zone at all.
But my thoughts on the front of the house became like so many other musings… I was overthinking it to the point of exhaustion.
Half the time, I talk myself OUT of something, when I full-out know if I just put my mind to it and did it myself, I could stop thinking about it and just move on!
So I grit my teeth, and deemed that Saturday would be a house washing day. No matter what.
Hesitation did mount. I don’t like climbing up tall ladders that have potential to slide. Step ladders that open up and are stable all on their own? Not an issue! Extension ladders though? Just NO.
Why aren’t extension ladders equipped with something on their sides so you can attach them to your surface?! If some are, please offer up that url because as far as I know, it hasn’t been invented yet. Dear ladder people…
Anyway, it was a beautiful January sunny day. After I made my way up there (by getting neighbour Jake to hold the ladder) I didn’t feel the cold at all while working thank goodness. With a bucket of a little bleach and Basic H2, a long handled scrub brush and a small hand held scrub brush, I set to work.
I also discovered a slip resistant way to work… kneeling on a square sponge about the size of a seat cushion, I didn’t slip! Kneeling felt much safer than standing anyway. Lookit me go!
As the hours passed, I knew I was overdoing it. However I wasn’t anxious to get up on that roof for another year, so I slowed down and started to just take my time.
When I finally approached the end of the job, I felt SO much gratification, I can’t even explain it! I felt like this big proud home owner taking care of biz.
I accomplished something difficult and figured out a better way to do it. And learned yet again that I’m already in over-my-head.
I had my cell phone by my hip the whole time, so once the job was complete, I messaged my friend and neighbour Janette so she could hold the ladder on the way down.
But that didn’t go so smoothly. I couldn’t reach the rung from the roof with my foot while standing. Feet don’t have eyes as far as I’m aware…
Then we tried the window. Janette ran into the house, opened one up but at nearly chin level, that was not gonna happen either! Being no cirque du soleil graduate here, back to the ladder of death I went.
I finally figured out (after 20 million hours) that if I sat on the roof first, then wedged my foot in place first, then lifted myself off the roof, all was well! Well I’ll be… I’m just glad Janette was there.
As you can imagine, all day on a roof in January pretty much soaking wet the whole time caught up with me. I was freezing in 30 seconds. So as my frozen self edged my way to the front door…
… when Janette returned with 2 fresh-out-of-the-oven warm cinnamon buns!
A million dollars would have not done the same thing. That was SO NICE, especially right at that moment!
Jake and Janette were nearby to help support my difficulty. AND I got treated afterwards!
Once I got in the house, I pretty much seized up. All I could manage to do was crawl into bed with extra blankets and enjoy a little TV so I didn’t have to move a muscle more. I was officially DONE.
The next day brought on the need for full throttle self care. It was a gorgeous sunny day that would normally have been filled with an exhilarating bike ride, however all I could manage was to hobble over to the garage to haul out a lawn chair and blanket and enjoy that sunshine.
And honestly… it was lovely. Despite how I felt. I don’t remember being that sore in my entire life.
At one point during the day, I spotted friend / neighbour Corinne across the road sitting on a bench in the sunshine. So I hobbled over to say hello. She got wind pretty fast of my ‘current health status’ but it was something easily laughed off.
As the day turned into night, I was really kind to myself. I made an easy dinner then continued to lay in bed watching a movie. It actually felt like a little mini vacation!
(would you like this recipe?)
And that’s when my phone pinged with a message… Corinne apparently dropped off some homemade peppermint essential oil infused bath salt waiting for me by my front porch.
Seriously… no words could describe the feeling. Just warmth and gratitude all over again.
Corinne oversaw my needs and gifted me with the perfect solution.
Not only did I feel better that evening thanks to the hot soak, boy did my home smell amazing.
As I laid that night in bed, I ultimately knew my aches would move on. However a few thoughts came up… all I did was wash the front of my house and it nearly did me in.
How could I manage more? Wasn’t I looking to move?
How would I even manage packing if I can’t wash a house?
Why haven’t I been able to find anything as good as what I already have, community, location AND home-wise?
Gratitude of my current home once again washed over me… which had me feeling I may already be home. It would just be so NICE to finally feel that and move forward with big plans!
So why was I searching again?
Why wasn’t I busy improving instead?
You already know as a regular reader that last year has been a year of growth for me. I’ve been dealing with working through chaos, empty nest challenges, finding my own new way, and ever wondering if I should move or not.
While I do not have all those answers yet, I’m slowly finding it isn’t the end result of ANYTHING that gives me the most joy anyway.
It’s the steps towards an end result that are doing it. The steps are living. The village that supports you does it. The end result is quite possibly just the end of a story in which you’ll have to write a Chapter 2 anyway.
I resonate this to walking Pipiwai trail in Hawaii. I knew there’d be a beautiful waterfall at the end of the 1.5 hour long hike. But the walk there and back through the bamboo forest and my fav jungle section was the magical part. Without it, it would just have been yet another waterfall.
Some wise words…
My brother Les… “Don’t be afraid to work on your house if you want to. But don’t do it for moving purposes. Do it for you.”
My friend Dan… “If you move, you’re going to run into finishing your home as well. This will always follow you. Maybe you should start working on behalf of others instead…”
So, what’s truly next?
I hadn’t realized how long I’ve wanted my now current living room. It’s made such an impact with the way I feel about my entire upstairs, that it’s hugely encouraging me to do bigger, bolder things that I have been putting off for 10 years!
What will happen after I complete those steps? How will I feel then?
I think I’ve been a little afraid to find out, telling myself I’ll have lost a bigger dream if I stay put.
However, as far as I’m aware, I don’t have any set-in-stone 10 Commandments of my own life. Life has a way of dictating what’s next that isn’t even a part of my original plans most of the time anyway!
This all tells me I actually know absolutely nothing about the future like I thought I did.
But I think the biggest life rewards are coming from overcoming obstacles and learning new things. It’s in the million little things that come into play while making the climb.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “It’s the not the destination, It’s the journey.”
You may not think you’re living your best life. But wouldn’t it be something if the very thing we seem to be either running away from or working towards was already sitting in our laps the entire time, just not yet fully baked?
Time to start challenging myself more and find out…
Can you relate? What have you been fighting?
Read more Wordy Inspiration ramblings HERE