Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away and know when to run.
I know it isn’t exactly as though anyone was marking their calendars in anticipation of my laundry room update but I still felt guilty for doing just that: holding the laundry room update until it felt like life might stop sabotaging it.
It’s not so much I wanted to finish it or even that I’ve done larger projects in less time with half the problems. The real trouble was, everyone else can do this, why can’t I? It was like as soon as this makeover thing, that I’ve been doing for years, became a challenge, I couldn’t handle it.
I started this Bible study on comparison in May because nearly aspect of my life in the last year or so has had me like, why me? Or, more specifically, why not me? And I’m just over here like, why can’t things just work out for me like they do for everybody else! You know what I’m saying?
And while I know another update on an unfinished room makeover isn’t exactly necessary, I decided to share it with you anyway. To be honest, I’m not even sure why. Because I need someone to commiserate with?
So you’ll know I haven’t fallen off the Earth?
Or maybe, because you’ll see a little of yourself in this story and you’ll know that sometimes life is just like that for everybody and all you really need to worry about is running your own race. But more importantly because, in the end, it’s not all that important.
3 weeks ago now I published the above status to my personal Facebook because my friends in real life have been asking me if our laundry room was done. If you’re interested in the whole story you can read it above. Here’s the condensed version: our nearest IKEA is 3 hours each way, in Atlanta. The final weekend prior to the end of this challenge I had taken on the task of grouting the wall, building the sink stand, purchasing and installing the cabinets, putting in quarter round and some baseboard, painting the ironing board cabinet and finishing the top of the folding table. In other words, the impossible.
On Sunday of that weekend, after making the six-hour drive to the IKEA, we returned home only to find that the salesperson had rung up the wrong cabinet doors and we’d driven all the way back home before we realized.
There was nothing to be done but take them back. The next day my husband had to be in South Carolina for a work meeting but, since there isn’t a single IKEA in the whole state, he was going to make his way over to Charlotte on the way back home. Before he left he insisted that he had time to grout the wall. And he did grout it. The problem is, when you grout, you should do it in small sections and wipe away excess as you go. Instead, because he was in a hurry, he grouted the whole wall. Before he had time to wipe it all back off it was time for him to leave and it had already dried.
Long story short, he spent an additional 6 hours on the road and got the replacement cabinet doors and I spent the rest of the week scraping hardened grout off of the wall tiles.
If there was one saving grace in all that mess it was that I finally had my washer and dryer back in their working positions and that never-ending pile of dirty laundry could be tackled. That is until the washer flashed error code 25 and $88, 36 hours and a new drive belt later I was, at least, back in the dirty laundry business, if utterly defeated.
It was in the middle of that week that I took to Facebook to update and (what else) complain about the experience in general.
Listen. For me, going to IKEA is like going to Disney World. And having a bad experience there is like going to Disney and having a cast member yell at you. It just isn’t supposed to happen. But when it does there’s a collective inhale of breath like a group of Kindergarteners hearing a curse word and in some silly sense, it’s kind of world ending. Or, at the very least, concept shattering. And my concept of IKEA was in desperate need of repair.
That’s when IKEA Charlotte responded in a very real way. And not only did they solidify my love for IKEA they reminded me, no matter how wrapped up you get in it, this kind of stuff isn’t really what matters.
That’s when I sat down, right where I was, hands raw from scraping grout, and cried. I cried because I knew I wouldn’t finish (and everyone else would!). I cried because of the number of weekends I had given up with my kids for this laundry room. That is, after all, the point of the challenge. That you finish in a timely manner and don’t spend more time than necessary on it. And I cried because, why me?
At this point, I realized that, for whatever reason, finishing on time was not in the cards for me. And so (and I blame my parents) Kenny Rogers starts playing in my head and I know, I gotta hold this one. At least for now.
School was coming to an end and my oldest was headed out on a trip to NYC with his 8th grade gifted class and I just felt the need to stop and concentrate on getting ready for that, the end of the school year and to just spend time with my babies.
The following week my 13-year-old arrived in NYC for the first time and the next day, just twelve hours after my child had been there, a man slammed into a crowd of people in Time’s Square because, he “wanted to kill them all”, and took the life of someone else’s child.
And just like that, I don’t care about laundry rooms. Or clean clothes. Or even being clean. And just like that, why me, took on an entirely different meaning.
DIY is about making life easier. At least, in a sense. And if not that, then more affordable. If it ever becomes something more than that, something more than you can handle, you have permission to hold ’em. Fold ’em. To walk away or even to run.
I used to think Kenny Rogers was talking about unscrupulous people who, given the chance, would take what belonged to you. But now I think he was really probably saying that things that matter have a way of slipping away if you don’t take good care of them. You never count your money while you’re sitting at the table, there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.
Or at least until a laundry room is just a laundry room and not something with the ability to sabotage dreams.
Laundry room makeover reveal coming soon. In the meantime, find more on the laundry room here:
- Week 1 – The Plan | Laundry Room Makeover
- Week 2 – What Not To Do When Laying Tile | Laundry Room Makeover
- Week 3 & 4 – DIY Barn Door | Laundry Room Makeover
- Week 5 – DIY Laundry Room Built-ins | Laundry Room Makeover