Early Monday morning, before the birds had their coffee and began to chirp with their feathered friends, and before the sun started to smile brightly and peek through the blinds in my bedroom window, excited about the day ahead I relaxed the grip my arms had around my pillow, sat up in bed, whipped my legs from under the covers, placed my feet in to my worn, comfy slippers and headed for the bathroom. I turned on the light, rubbed my eyes, peered into the mirror and nearly passed out from what I beheld. It was…It was…a pimple, a huge bump on my face. No big deal you say? You would only say that if you are a guy, not a girly-girl reading this column. I had a very important meeting in just a few hours; I had diligently prepared the presentation, my clothes were meticulously ironed and I was ready to conquer the world…But I was forced to contend with an uninvited friend. I was confronted by this defiant blemish that seemed to be standing boldly on my face with its little hands on its hips, tapping its tiny foot. My bump had a personality of its own. No matter which direction I turned in the mirror my new appendage was staring back at me. I was horrified, yet in that split second, I thought of YOU and how this related to my At Home improvement project just months before…
For a few months, I had been toying with the idea of making some simple improvements to my home. I had been in the house four years and had done absolutely nothing except keep it clean, and some days because of a busy schedule just trying to keep it clean was a dare-devil feat. The dramatic decline in the economy made home improvement during my four years in the house seem senseless. Like many of you, my home is worth less now than the mortgage I am currently paying and I knew that it would not be wise to make major dollar investments that I would never recoup if I decided to sell. After much pondering, I was determined to make at least some minor cosmetic improvements and get re-energized about my dwelling. Optimistic and excited about my plan I engaged the services of a handy-man contracting company. A handy-man? Yes, even in my secret life of “At Home Girl” there are projects that I can’t do, but I hovered around them and gleaned everything I could for my next repair project to share with you.
I prepared my list of to do’s with my handy-men and they promptly went to work. As they began to tear things down their diligence uncovered items that had been hidden for years. The more they stripped, sanded and pulled down, the more things I was not prepared to address were exposed. The loud voice of my few years of neglect was unbearable, but I was forced to listen. I could not escape what was being uncovered. There were many unaddressed repairs that I had allowed to build up because of ignorance, lack of motivation and time; probably disinterest, fear and lack of funds. I couldn’t tell my handy-man team to stop the work and leave it unfinished. I dare not ask them to cover all that had been revealed. Consequently, my simple “cosmetic” (remember that word for later) project got bigger and the cost became greater.
The secrets were out! The blemishes were revealed. The At Home hidden repair issues were exposed. It would have been less painful and less expensive to have them slap some Kiltz on those areas that seemed to only need cosmetic or surface work; a cover-up, a concealer, but the shoddy workmanship would quickly bleed through. I had to confront the issues in order to correct them.
And now ladies you wonder how does this relates to you and life? I’d like to say my story parallels are deep and intellectual, but in truth, they are very simple. The work in my house resembled life and divulged some uncanny parallels to my bathroom mirror horror “A Bump in the Night”. Corny, but it works for our story. To be completely transparent, what I did not share at the beginning of my story was that there are a few foods that I absolutely love, but with age and change, I can no longer eat. They cause a negative reaction in my skin. Days prior to my bathroom nightmare I indulged myself in these fun, yummy treats and you guessed it, the results manifested on the worst day possible. In my handy-man saga, for four years I allowed projects and repairs in my house to go unaddressed. Simple fixes turned in to major repairs and instead of confronting the problems, my solution was to cover them up; to conceal or gloss over issues and poor choices that should have been addressed days, months or years before. I bet you have some of those issues too.
For those of us who wear makeup, there are many brands of cosmetic concealers. A concealer uniquely and quietly covers scars and blemishes. They can cover and make skin appear to be healthy and healed, but those products just make us look better on the outside and fail to address the source of the irritation which usually emanates from a deeper issue. In the tool or repair world (where “At Home Girl” hangs out) there are many effective concealing products that cover spots, stains, surface blemishes, water stains and almost any paint mistake or discoloration. My home improvement situation ended up to be more costly than expected, but in the end, confronting the damage and repairing it made a great improvement to the overall look and feel of my home. After the initial shock and dismantling stage, the process became easier. I watched with eager excitement and anticipation as old deteriorated wood and paint were transformed into new, smooth, freshly treated wood and bright, clean, vibrant colored paint. Those areas that had been dark and dank were now brilliant, dazzling, open and purged.
In my unexpected bathroom dilemma, my skin blemish sneered and laughed at me that morning tempting me to reschedule the meeting and wait for it to disappear. But, I pressed forward to a successful presentation and knowing the consequences, from that point on I stayed clear of the yummy but forbidden treats I so adored.
6 Quick Life and Tool Tips for the Uncovering Process At Home:
(Don’t Be a Cover Girl!)
Be willing to confront those hidden things: Home improvement projects and relationship issues before they become costly - money, time and emotions.
Make a to-do list and follow it – don’t reschedule and don’t quit!
Count the cost emotionally and financially – expose, don’t try to cover up.
Call on the expertise of the One who can handle the project.
Establish a timeline for completion, but be flexible – It may take more time and energy.
Celebrate the work, the improvements, and the added value.
Whether it is an At-Home or life improvement, be willing to uncover and expose those things that hold the newness and healing from shining through. Make difficult choices, confront and repair. This can be a costly process, but the value of the end result will be more than you could ever expect.