Labor of Love
I updated the upstairs bathroom in my parents’ home this weekend. That tiny bathroom somehow helped raise 5 kids–2 girls and 3 boys. It is where the day began every day and ended every night. Always clean out the tub for the next person. Someone before me always left the toilet tissue roll empty. And I never knew that the toilet seat was ever supposed to be down until I grew up. This little bathroom was crafted before dual sinks, and the concept of counter space. This is where the girls did girl things as they became women, and I don’t even want to think about the boy things that the boys did as they became men. Yuck.
Now that I visit home more often, this is the bathroom that always takes me back to my childhood. Quite literally, I’ve been using this bathroom for over 40 years. It’s one of my longest lasting relationships. And unfortunately, like so many long-lived relationships, it’s been neglected. So out of love, nostalgia and quite honestly my own comfort, I wanted to restore it back to its old glory.
There were a few constraints which I turned into a game to win, and an amazing voyage through time. First, my parents gave me a small budget which they couldn’t seem to recall once I started spending money. And my mom, bless her heart, kept reducing the budget and subtracting upgrades as the hours passed. I had to hurry or this project was going to be limited to a coat of paint. Second, Did I mention this space is tiny? It’s very small, so that translates to European i.e. stylish. And finally, the old blue and black bathroom wall tiles en vogue in bathroom architecture in the 60s and 70s were staying. No budget to change that, so we adopt the Vintage-Chic motif. See what just happened there? Work with what you’ve got.
All set, I got my nephew Kin to help me, and we go at this project for 3 solid days. We painted, put up new blinds, removed the toilet, retiled the floor, put the toilet back, changed the light fixture (my brother did that), removed the old and installed a new faucet, sink and cabinet. I still can’t believe I did the plumbing. I hooked up the faucets, bought the pipes, asked questions at Home Depot, and watched some YouTube videos. I was so proud that I quite literally reverted to my 12-year-old self and had to run downstairs to tell my dad when I finished what I had done. Kin put up a beautiful big old mirror vanity which instantly added some square footage. We worked sun up to sun-down. I topped it off with a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond for some beautiful accents, and just like that, its updated! And so worth it…
We bonded, listened to podcasts, worked out measurements, solved problems and beautified my parents’ home. What a sense of accomplishment. And because the universe is kind, when I returned home, I looked at my calendar and didn’t have any meetings. Totally amazing! This Wednesday fell into my lap like a gift. I was exhausted. So I chilled. I couldn’t even wait for the weekend. I listened to my body and I rested.
The bathroom won, and so did I. Do something for the love of it. It feels good.
Now today, I’m ready to work because clearly, I can do anything. :)
UGottaEat…so eat mindfully.