Enlisting help makes all the difference
Over the past four months, my home has been in turmoil – and as a result it feels like our lives have been too. What we thought was a relatively small damp problem in a couple of our rooms, which we finally decided to get sorted, turned into a major building project with quite significant implications.
My husband and I moved into rented accommodation when we got married five and a half years ago, thinking we’d look around to buy our own place. Well, we’ve discovered we love where we are so much, and would be unlikely to find anything in our price range to match it, so we’re staying put. Having eventually made this decision it was time to get some of the problems in the house sorted – primarily the damp. But, as any of you will know who’ve ever done any decoration or house improvements, once you start on one bit, the rest calls out for attention. We had wood chip on every wall and once the damp people started pulling it off some walls we quickly realised it had to go from them all. But then we discovered the walls weren’t in great condition and couldn’t be plastered as they were – but would have to be taken back to the brick and replastered from there. This meant effectively moving out of most of the rooms in our house, putting all our stuff into a container and living in what amounted to one room and the kitchen. As the work started we found dust went everywhere, into and over everything. Home was not a nice place to be!
Finally the building and plastering work were completed – and then it was time to start decorating. Now I am certainly no expert in colours – in fact quite the reverse – and my husband isn’t much better. So we enlisted some help! We have a friend who has an amazing eye for colours. She kindly agreed to help us and under strict instructions not to take any notice of our thoughts (which were always going to be conservative – and veering towards white or magnolia everywhere) she set out to recolour our house. It had been a light cream colour throughout. Despite some misgivings about her advice on our parts (did we really want bright red walls and a bright red carpet – would really dark green work in a room that didn’t get much natural light?) we bravely put our trust in her and followed her advice. After all she was the expert – we’d seen and loved the results of her work before – and if we were knowingly hopeless at it ourselves: why wouldn’t we trust her?
Well, I won’t say it was all plain sailing. Even the guys at the paint shop were dubious at our colour scheme at one point…but as the paint went on, and the carpets went down, we were thrilled to discover the colour scheme is a fabulous success, and we have a house that is a marvel – quite beyond our expectations – and beautifully transformed.
Now, there are some parallels here for other areas of our lives. Sometimes it’s easy to let a situation that we’re not entirely happy with, drag on for far too long. For five years we’ve lived with damp and grotty coloured wood chip on our walls. We could have got this sorted a long time ago.
How long have you been single for – putting up with the status quo and not taking radical action to change this situation? It does take some effort to get going, and it’s a journey where one can’t foresee exactly how it will pan out – including the ups and downs, but the destination (for us a lovely house or for you a special companion) is truly worth it in the end.
Secondly it was only as we got going that we discovered some underlying problems which we couldn’t paper over – literally. These problems were more hassle to rectify than we’d bargained for – for example we didn’t realise we’d be living in a house so full of dust, as all the walls were stripped back to the bare brick. But if we hadn’t done this work, the chances were that in a few years’ time our walls would be back to the poor state that we’d inherited them in. You can’t build on shaky foundations.
Our relationship history can be like this. I’ve recently got to know a super young girl who is struggling to find a boyfriend. I couldn’t really understand it as she’s lively and attractive and has a lot going for her. And then last month she told me she was totally not over ex-boyfriend and was going to have some counselling to help her over the grief of it – and by her own admission she wasn’t really in the right place to find someone. A perfect example of how if she’d found a relationship prior to doing this work on herself, it probably wouldn’t have lasted very long due to her unresolved feelings about her ex. The foundation work may be hard to do – but, like our brand new walls, it’s well worth the time and effort – and the results will be long lasting and effective.
Lastly we couldn’t have done what we have done in our house on our own. We needed expert help! Now we could have thought – well we’ll save the money by doing it all ourselves and not getting any advice or help – but we definitely would have ended up with something far inferior than we have now. Yes it’s cost us to do up the house – but the results are truly marvellous and we definitely would not have these results had it not been for the help we enlisted.
Thankfully we realised this and recognised our own limitations.
Getting help for those areas of our lives from someone else who has more experience, a good track record and good skills is a wise thing to do. Don’t skimp because of the time or cost involved – it’s your long term future you are investing in and that is terribly important and precious.
As I write this article, we’re in the process of putting the finishing touches to our house and moving our furniture back in. The months of dust and disruption will soon be a distant past memory – but the joy of our ‘new’ house will be a daily pleasure. Your personal journey to finding a new companion could be just the same.
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