This week I’ve been working with my grandparents, gutting and remodeling their new lake house. Every day, working to some background music with just me and my thoughts I’ve been able to clear some mental space. But just like remodeling a house there are so many steps. This is a collection of my lake loft life lessons.
Nothing is ever beyond repair. Through years of use, houses have endured beatings and bruises. Storms threatening the walls to collapse and trials from within. Much like a heart endures. Chips in the paint, dust in the corners, even signatures behind a cabinet, these things all make the house what it is. Now sometimes there is a lot of dust and dirt and grime in our hearts or in our homes. It can be overwhelming. But it’s essential to remember that these areas can always be visited, cleaned, and restored. But never forgotten, for they make the house what it is. The scars and chips in the walls give the house its character.
Secondly, when gutting a home, you have to decide what to keep and what to let go. Just like my mind, over the years this house collected its memories. The owners had drawers upon drawers, from floor to ceiling full of what I’m sure to them were memories. But any outsider could see it was past time to let go of these objects and create some breathing room. The truth is we don’t need to hold onto these things, they don’t make us who we are. The memories will always remain, but sometimes the objects that trigger these memories need to be let go. We will always remember the past, it made us who we are. But we don’t need dragged back by our collar by something we should have given up. Sometimes, we need to make space in our lives for change, for new things. And sometimes we just need to empty ourselves. Carefully leave all the extra baggage on the curb. Sit down in a quiet room, and decide how we’d like to decorate our own walls.
“Gutting- definition n. – to extract major or essential parts of…”
Think about that. Gutting a house. What about gutting your heart and your mind? Not the gory ripping veins from body fiber, but taking out the main subject matter of your heart and mind. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had to try and forget what used to be an “essential part” of us. We all know how intense, how agonizing a process it is. It takes forever to reorganize the material in your brain. Taking what used to be top priority, at the front of your mind, and forcing it to the far edges until you feel it’s gone completely. Continually moving stockpiles until they are situated just where you wanted. A grueling process for the heart and the home.
Remember, gutting is the hard part, but redecorating can be invigorating.