I thought I had it all together.
This major remodeling project, this project I have waited 13 years to do. How can anything I have waited so long for be anything but wonderful I had thought.
That was, until I discovered the mistake.
That unexpected mistake.
And although I called the contractor, and he came to the house, and he admitted the error and he said he would come on Monday to fix it, this was, for me, like an error too far.
I felt vulnerable and I don’t like feeling vulnerable. I was also let down and who likes being let down. I felt I depended on, and paid someone to do a job and it wasn’t done right. And now, despite my confidence in him being shaken, I was still depending on him. He had to come back and do the job for a third time and I had to believe this time it would be done right.
And I also felt this sense of despair. Does anybody care about what they do?
Oh how I dislike thinking people don’t care.
If we have anything, we should have pride in what we do.
As I was having these thoughts I became very aware of my body and how it felt like all the air was being let out of me.
And that’s when I noticed again the ringing in my ears. I thought back on my day. This ringing had been there for hours. First I thought I was hearing feedback from the washing machine, but I recalled hearing the same sound in my bedroom too. Constantly. Everywhere I went this far off whistle sound was with me, quietly filling my head.
So I googled “ringing in the ears” and read it can be associated with high blood pressure.
“I wonder,” I thought.
So I got out the blood pressure cuff…
50% higher than a normal reading. Although unusual, it was not unexpected.
Instead, it made sense.
Suddenly I saw how all the decisions, all the design ideas, all the drawings, the labor, the contractor, all the thises and thats were occupying my time and taking over my mind. If I am not at work, I am at home working and if I am not working I am thinking about working. I didn’t even exercise this week. Like this new sound, the project was always there.
I realized I was consumed.
“I gotta chill out,” I told myself aloud.
This project will work out but not at the expense of my health.
So I walked away from it and walked on my treadmill instead. And when I finished walking I sat down again and this time I breathed. Maybe for the first time in several weeks. For the remainder of the day I chilled and later that night I retook my blood pressure.
It’s been four days since this happened and the contractor did come back and he did fix the problem but I didn’t immediately jump back into working. Rather than hang insulation last night I watched an episode of Orange is the New Black with my husband, and this morning I resumed my normal workout schedule. Today as I walked on the treadmill I looked at the blank wall in front of me and got an idea for two pieces of typography art I should make. The first one would read, ”Worry less. Exercise more.” And the second, well it will be a bold 149/98 in a red circle with a line through it.
There are lessons that can be learned through the Unexpected.
For more Unexpected check out Weekly Photo Challenge here.