lessons on plumbing and remembering who the f*ck you are
I got new countertops last week. They are a slate gray quartz that replaces the plywood countertops I have had in my kitchen for the last two years. And to be honest, I love them. It changes the feel of the kitchen...much like the time I replaced the plastic fold-up tables with actual kitchen cabinets. I am a bit scrappy at times, and don't mind living below my means to save up for something that I really want...even if that means years of living without electricity or running water to build my own house (see that story here).
But the countertops. After they were in, it required me to hook up the plumbing to the sink, including the waste drain, water filtration system, and of course, the hot and cold water. I had a friend come over to help problem solve and come up with a plan, and then it was off to our local hardware store to get the necessary parts. I wish this story had a happier journey and some big life lesson attached to it, but after the fourth trip to the store and three days into it, I found myself flat on my back on the kitchen floor, sobbing that I couldn't figure this out on my own. Crying because of the cracked pvc pipes and the endless leaking. Crying over the guy that said he'd show up to help but didn't...the argument I had with my daughter, the van that needs brakes, the firewood that still needs to be ordered. Sobbing because I miss my son, my parents, my grandmother. The left I took when I should have taken a right. That damn fork in the road where I had that opportunity to not make the same relationship mistake...again. That split second thought of how easy it might be to just throw in the towel...
Welcome to my pity party. Don't worry...it was a party for one. No one else was invited.
But those times...those are the times that I forget how much I am carrying on my own. And that sometimes it all just comes out on some random day when you are trying to put your kitchen sink back together. I know you have felt this, too. Little things become big things. Big things become even bigger things..and it is just too hard to separate it all. So you sometimes find yourself ugly crying on your kitchen floor after the kids have gone to sleep.
I'll make some room on my floor and you can join me.
And honestly, it took me another two days and $47 to somewhat finish the plumbing project (sorry kids, the water filtration hook-up is just going to have to wait). But I did it. And then I took the next two days to binge watch Shameless on Netflix to celebrate, cause I can sometimes be ghetto like that.
But one thing I realized through it all...I am no plumber. Not by a long shot. I don't even want to claim that title. But I am a rockstar for sticking with it, even if it wasn't pretty.
And guess what? You are too.
But if you are anything like me, you have to constantly remind yourself of this. Not because we don't believe it, but because...well...life. Life just happens. And we have a tendency to breathe it all in and own it like it's ours. Or push it on other people and pretend it's theirs. And honestly, it's a shit show right now. Everything is being thrown our way these days...money issues, covid crap, family drama, men not stepping up, women stepping out, kids and masks, elections. Rainy days, wrong turns, wrong decisions, too many chances, not enough boundaries, too many walls. Not enough forgiveness, too much forgiveness, continually setting out the doormat to invite people to walk on, or just locking the door and not letting anyone in.
What did I miss?
And I find, the only thing that helps, when I feel like this...is to just get up, brush the dust off, take in a deep breath and remember who I am.
I just need to just remember who the f*ck I am.
Not who you think I am. Not who you think I should be.
But who I am.
And you do too.
This isn't us, ladies. This hasn't been us. We are not the sum of all of our wrong turns we have made in life. We are not the sum of other people's wrong turns that they have made, either. We can't force ourselves on people and we can't twist ourselves to have someone fit in our life just because we want them to. Look all around you. Look at what you have done, who you have raised, what you have accomplished, how hard you have worked, where you have solidly drawn the line to keep you sane or happy. Pat yourself on the back if no one is going to do it for you, and breathe THAT in. Lift your shoulders up, tilt up that chin and watch your thoughts. Change them in regards to how you talk about yourself and then go easy on yourself...we are all just learning how to do this. But remember who you are. And if you don't know, find out.
She's in there. You might be surprised what you find.