Meet My Mess Monday — February 9th’

I started a weekly blog post a while ago called Meet My Mess Monday. Unfortunately, it got lost temporarily in some busy times.

The basic idea is simple: we all have messes in our lives. Literal messes and figurative messes. Emotional messes. Whatever. We all have all kinds of messes. And that really is okay. It’s normal. But we have this tendency, especially as women and mothers, to tuck the mess away. To not only not share it and make it normal, but to feel shame around it. In fact, to clean it up before anyone comes near the house and never speak about how often (or rarely) we change our sheets or how high the pile of dishes has reached. Or we hide away our dark and sad stories rather than risk our friends uncomfort, or worse, take the chance that we will make ourselves unlovable. We think that the tidiness of our homes and our headspace equals our actual worth in life. And that isn’t really true. In fact, it’s downright bullshit.

Mostly, it’s about how much time we have, what is going on for us in our lives at the moment. What’s on fire today that needs my attention the most? That’s my qualifier for what I deal with. The rest is going to have to sit until I’m ready. Figurative messes and literal. Both. It all comes down to what’s on fire today.

So my mess for this Monday? It’s self-inflicted. Totally. It’s even an unnecessary mess, meaning that isn’t like laundry and vacuuming, which I have to do. This was a chosen extracurricular project. I know, smart, right?

My husband and I bought a house this fall. A very beautiful, huge and amazing 118-year-old house. It’s in great shape and we don’t really have to do anything. But, you know, it’s ours. And there are things we want to do to make it ours. We have tackled a few things. We took out bushes in the front yard. We planted tulips and hacked down weeds. We’ve done small projects inside.

Then there are projects that we talk about in theory with words like, “someday”. Turning the attic into a master suite. Painting the basement or third floor bedroom. Or ripping out the carpets. We joke all the time about taking the carpet up on a whim. Like, “Hey, the kids are in bed at 8:15 tonight! Let’s rip out carpet!” Of course we don’t. But I suppose it was inevitable since we kept talking like that.

See, the whole house is covered in carpeting, which is covering hardwood floors. The carpet is not in bad condition. It’s fine really. But it’s also in the bathrooms, and that grosses me out. Cause you can’t really get those carpets clean, right?? And since it was icy out yesterday and we didn’t want to risk driving to Madison, we decided to rip up carpet in our bathroom. Just like that.

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We got what we needed from Menards and pulled all of the carpet out of the master bathroom. That way, if it was a huge project with more work than we’d planned on, it would be out of reach of the kids. We have five bathrooms in this house, so the master is strictly for Steve and me. I’m not sharing, so it was the perfect place to start this adventure.

As it turns out, there are not hardwoods under the carpet.  Well, there are, but first, there was linoleum.

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And a bunch of paper that didn’t want to come off the hardwood floors completely. So…

This is what my bathroom looks like now.

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Well, no. Not really. That shit is covered by a tarp right now. I have to be able to move around. I’m not sharing a bathroom! Cause, you know, I’m not crazy.

But someday soon, after the use of a steamer and some more scraping, it’s going to be lovely. And ours.

There. Feel better about your pile of dishes???

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