Renovations: A Love-Hate Relationship

Renovations. I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love the transformation that comes with them, but the demolition and the mess before the rebuild is not my favourite. Jason loves that part. He’s like Chip Gaines on Fixer Upper, yelling “DEMO DAY” and I am Joanna, quietly in the background wanting him to hurry up so we can get to the design and decorating part. The renovation we are living in right now is FAR from the design and decorating part. We will be in the painful demo and reconstruction phase for a while, but it will be worth it.

Today our front yard is being dug up:

The original, 1946 sewer line to the road is not in the best shape, so it needs to be replaced and as they are digging it up, my heart rate is rather elevated. What if they hit the waterline? What if I forget I can’t use the toilet, sink, dishwasher, washing machine etc. and sewer backs up? What if they compromise the foundation of the house? What if…What if… So silly, really. So what, IF!! We deal with it should it arise, not in what ifs. No need to go all crazy heart rate over something that I have no control over. Right now we have to do the digging and the fixing of the brokenness underneath the surface before we can deal with the beautification of the stuff above the surface so that we don’t have sewer backing up into our house one day.

As I was sitting here feeling the house vibrate with the work being done by the big machinery outside the window, I realized this is not so different from the healing that goes on in our own lives both on the physical level and the soul level.

For the past number of weeks I’ve been working on healing my physical body from the inside out. The stress of the last number of years have done a number on my body leading to adrenal fatigue, debilitating anxiety and chronic pain. After my medical doctor was of little help and my naturopath was only able to help to some degree, I think I had just accepted that this is what life is going to be like, but now I am starting to see that healing is a huge possibility, but first I have to  get to the root of the problem that is deep within me. This is the unseen ‘Demo Day’ part of the renovation and it ain’t always pretty, but boy is it going to be worth it in the end. Just like renovations on our house have that season of ‘demo and rebuilding’, the same is true for striving to heal our bodies from the inside out.

As for the soul level, I think we often find it easier to bury the issues we should be dealing with. At least I do. Inevitably, over time, the garbage starts backing up and stinking up various aspects of our lives, stealing our hope and robbing us of joy, being replaced with bitterness and anger. Similar to a sewer backup. If we dig deep and do the hard work of unearthing the issues, rather than ignoring them, or burying them even deeper, there is so much more freedom and beauty to be experienced in life.

So, as the heavy machinery is digging a 6 foot deep hole in our front yard, and removing the huge lilac bushes that were most likely growing into the cracked sewer pipes, I am starting to dream of the beautification of our front yard this coming spring. Until then, we will live with the mess that was necessary in order to fix the issues beneath the surface.

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