New walls, and the reason for existence
New walls, and the reason for existence

Why do we do it to ourselves?

Life becomes eclipsed by…life. Business. Hurriedness. Work. Oh my god, so so much work to do. Please don’t remind me.

A couple of months ago, rainstorms inundated our area. There were floods, cyclones, and the most torrential rain you have ever known.

During this period, when we opened our front door, we were bombarded with the stench of musty, old, mouldy carpet. Yuk.

This house was built in 1987, and the daggy old beige carpet saw 23 years of dog hair and three years of toddler mess. Not to mention the build up of other unsightlies and insects and dust, and whatever else is shed by the house’s inhabitants.

After the torrential rains of February, we decided we couldn’t do another winter like this.

My husband began to pull up the beige and dusty carpet. Room by room. Hell, while we are at it, we may as well fill and paint the walls. And skirts. And doors. Better tile too. The job became epic.

Furniture was moved from tiny bedroom into tiny living room. The king size bed was propped behind the couch. My clothes hung from the curtain rods in the living room. There was not a spare inch of space for a toddler to mess up.

The advantage was, mess could go unnoticed. The whole place was Mess, so I turned a blind eye to little messes that accumulated around the craft table, or the toy area. A few less things to do in a day. Bonus.

We moved out to my parent’s ‘shed’, while Heart Daddy slaved away each day, and each night, painting and tiling between massages and other work.

I worked too, when I could. Between minding two little girls and husband working. It was madness.

I am not often on my own with the two littlies. When I am, it’s lovely, but after a full day, I am spent. I have done enough giving, and I just want to pass out. Evenings were the hardest, trying to entertain my older daughter while putting baby to sleep. We barely had a night without some form of melt down.

Meanwhile, I got an ear infection. Rarely sick, this completely knocked me behind the knees. I was a basket case.

And because I was cranky von snitchy pants with an earache, and my husband was unavailable for almost three weeks, and we were living in someone else’s house, my older daughter apart. We had so many struggles over the last few weeks.

Repeatedly, though, she kept telling me she wanted to go home. “Has Daddy done the tiling yet?” she kept asking.

We underestimated how much this would affect her. Consequently, she resigned from preschool.

We moved back on Sunday. The charcoal tiles and newly painted white walls look incredible. Our small dingy musty house now feels open, light and fresh. I love it. But our furniture and books are still stacked to the ceiling, as there is more to be done. Clothes are still in piles. The grass has not been mown for weeks; it’s knee-length.

Why do we do it to ourselves? Why so busy? So stretched? When all we want to do is lay on the floor beside children, singing stupid songs?

My aunty told us this is the time to pedal hard, and pedal fast. Maybe she’s right. But maybe we have had enough of peddling hard and peddling fast, and need to turn the dial to slow while we recuperate, and breathe in, in preparation for the next leg.

I can’t ignore my mountain of work. Or the six-foot grass. These things all need attention. But so do my girls. It’s time to slow down.

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Linking with Grace at With Some Grace for Friday.