I bought a house. A 3 story building in fact. A 3 story building that requires a lot of love. A lot of time. A lot of money. But I bought a house.
Its one thing to say you want something so badly, but it’s quite another to want something that requires so much investment.
If you read one of the seemingly endless home-improvement/renovation blogs, everything looks so easy. The changes are dramatic – from old, rundown, drab and dreary to sunny, brightened spaces with colorful punches and stylish decorating. There is never any real sense of cost – in sweat equity, in financial, in physical labor. It’s simply ugly one day and gorgeous the next.
I bought a 3 flat (as we call them in Chicago – they are called other things elsewhere apparently) that has rickety old stairs, cobwebs (spiders – I’m about to faint), years of grime over levels of paint that was used to cover even older grime (and lead paint probably). There is faded peel-n-stick floor tile on the wall in one kitchen used as a backsplash – yeah…And a tenant that refuses to leave, citing the city’s reluctance to generally evict anyone, even though they haven’t paid rent in over a year…let that soak in.
Add to it all, there is a water bug infestation with insects that are so large, they look like crickets. So big, my brother-in-law and husband squeal every time they see them. (Did I mention that both guys are 6’3’’ and over 250 lbs.?).
So, this is my focus right now. Spending hours on Pinterest gathering ideas for paint colors and DIY Network for instructions on how to install crown molding. It’s a somewhat welcome distraction from the disastrous rest of my life – actually, it’s more of a distraction that is being used to get me back on track. Focused on the positive and not on the drama.
I’ll take it. At least for now.