Saturday, July 18, 2009

You Just Haven't Done It Yet...

Anything's possible. That's what good parents tell their children. Our mother -an excellent mother- had her own spin on this maxim. When we would sputter and fret about doing the next frightening thing.... dancing very close to the words "I can't", she would just respond in her no-tolerance-for-nonsense voice, "You just haven't done it yet.

I can not even tell you how very much that sentence annoyed me as a teenager. And yet, I remind myself of its truth at least once a day.

Lately, the task escaping me is home renovation. I've discovered that I find the idea of being a person who renovates her own home more appealing than the actuality of it. I want to have a lovely, cheerful, organized office/studio, for example. I imagine myself working there, struggling sometimes certainly - but with words and concepts and issues, not... THIS. I want to bathe in bubbles in a lovely candlelit bathroom. The reality is considerably less romantic. My kitchen ceiling still looks like it's going to fall on my head.

And yesterday, on a lark, I took a day off from the tasks that loom literally over my head. I went to see an outdoor production of Madama Butterfly and drove around the countryside. And had the what-for scared out of me. I saw a beautiful old absolutely falling-down house. Gorgeous. And it was having an open house. What is it about old houses that inspires the completely ludicrous "I could fix this" feeling in me? And if my house exceeds my abilities, this one would have exceeded my abilities, my mental health, and my bank account in short order.

And the house -with gaping person-size holes in the roof, inhabited by more animals than the zoo, and with standing water on the first floor- was still inhabited by a little old lady. What the HECK? Where is this person's family? Where are the social services? What's the story??? My fertile imagination and my social worker training provided a possible story. Through mental illness, dementia, or merely the force of her will, she no longer sees the house as it is. She sees it as it was. This house was built for leisure -or someone else's work, more accurately. There are servants' rooms, back stairs, buttons for summoning the servants.... Alas, they no longer answer and she's living in a world that used to be.

I am officially terrified. True enough, I "can't" fix my kitchen ceiling. But I hear my mother's voice. I just haven't done it yet. I will not become this sad, sad woman (whom I haven't met and whose story I have fabricated). I will get to work. Right after I go rock climbing with the men in my life ;)

1 comment:

breadchick said...

And that is what scares me most at night too.