I was trying to figure out how to break the almost-3-month hiatus (what??) I’ve had on this blog, and wasn’t sure how best to do that. There are obviously LOADS of stories I need to tell about what has happened since February when I was last here (and by the way, I had to go back and look at when I wrote my last post–whoa!! It was way longer ago than I had remembered!). But…I figure the best way to come back from a long absence is to explain what I’ve been doing, right? Hence the title. Can you figure out what it is?? Let me start with a picture. 🙂
It has really been unbelievable to me how much time and energy it takes to get your house ready to go on the market and then to actually work to sell it! I have figured out in the weeks since February 16 (when I last posted here) that I must only have “free” time to accomplish one thing at a time. So that thing became house projects, and not running or blogging or reading, or really anything else!! Man. But, even though we’re not officially across the finish line yet (don’t close for another 6 weeks or so), we’ve crossed some hurdles and are hopeful it will all work out. 🙂
As I come back and hopefully settle back into a regular routine (which is funny considering that there are also only 18 days of school left!), I will start with some stories about things I’ve learned through this getting-your-house-ready-to-sell process. It was a lot like what happens in formal learning at school–some ups, lots of downs, hard work and many lessons learned along the way. And even though I have had many frustrating moments, I’ve come out on the other side in one piece, relatively unscathed. And with more appreciation for the process and new knowledge about lots of different things.
The biggest project I’d say I undertook was tiling my bathrooms. Right now we live in a 25 or so year-old ranch house, with builder-grade bathrooms (something we just had never gotten around to updating the 6 1/2 years we’ve been here). Well, buyers these days don’t really love those, so we had to do something about it. That required a new floor, new vanity, new mirror and paint touch ups. As I do with most things, I was determined to figure out how to do-it-myself (rather than pay someone to do it), and began the necessary research.
While I know that there are people who do masterful things with tile in bathrooms, my job was just 12 X 12 squares in a 6 X 6 room, which was relatively (at least in my mind!) easy. In my reading, I found out all about the cement board base (and how to cut and attach it), as well as the do’s and don’ts of how to lay out the tile, attach it, grout it, etc., and so I gathered my materials and got to work. Ok, not really. I probably took about 10 trips to Home Depot as I realized something I didn’t have or didn’t have enough of to finish a particular part. Pretty sure my new friend’s name is Robert. He waited on me at least 3 or 4 of those times. 🙂
For those of you who know about tiling, this next part will be really boring, so feel free to skim. For those of you who don’t feel free to keep reading (and learn how!) and see what my process looked like.
The size and shape of that bathroom should have been an easy job. And if you know what you’re doing I guess it is. Instead, it took me 5 times longer. Mainly I’d saw I learned how important having the right tools for the job are; if I’d only driven to get the wet tile saw in the first place, and not tried to use the cheap tile-splitter thing (that didn’t work!), I would have been done at least 1 day and a half sooner!
When we were putting the bathroom back together, there was some toilet drama (did you know that’s a thing?) because the height of the floor had changed, I found some hidden wallpaper that I had to remove (add another day), and the vanity was a little trickier to level than we’d thought it would be. But goodness, can I tell you how grateful we both are for YouTube? I mean there really is a video out there to teach you how to do ANYTHING!!
I finally finished and was so proud of the work I had done. There were many times I had to dig deep and push myself to figure out a problem or redo a part that didn’t work out teh way I first wanted it to. I had to be really gritty (and not just because of the tile grout LOL) and have a growth mindset. I’d say that in addition to having a great bathroom at the end of the process, it was also really rewarding just the next weekend when I had ANOTHER bathroom to do and it was SO MUCH EASIER than the first. The second one was probably 2/3 bigger but took much much less time because of the mistakes I’d made and things I’d learned from the other one. What a great example of how to take struggles and hardships and use them for good! And after I had TWO tile floors to tiptoe around on, I felt twice as proud!
I think the best part of this whole house process has been how it reminds me of what it’s like to be a student. There were times when I didn’t know what to do, and I had some choices: I could quit, I could cry, I could ask someone for help, or I could try to find out the information for myself and try to solve the problem. I love those times that help me remember that being gritty and being a problem solver is sometimes really hard. But being able to do that, use my positive self-talk and come out with a “win” in the end makes it all worth it! And what a great story to share with my students!
So anyhow, I figured I should explain where I’ve been and say thanks for being here for my return!! Can’t wait to tell you more stories about what’s been happening lately in the world of Rm. 202! Please stay tuned! Talk to you again soon!