Friday, June 12, 2009

Lessons from the Basement

Bob the Builder Jr. is officially here.

My son went to town as the demolition crew struck ground in the basement yesterday. He put on his rain boots, gloves, grabbed his hammer and shovel and dug his heels in as he helped, after school, to scoop up the remains of the tile floor.

He was in all his glory, and I was consumed with emotion I didn't expect.

As much as I was not wedded to our basement, along with the rubble and remains arose feelings that caught me off guard.

I was chatting with my wise friend, Michele Laub, this morning. She is leading the Conscious Parenting Teleclass Series is sponsoring starting June 18th (details are posted on our home page.) And, she got me better understanding my thoughts.

It's amazing how you can want to hold on to the familiar, even when it needs an overhaul. Whether a relationship, job, home...or whatever it is. You hear stories all the time of people, for example, staying in abusive relationships, and I've often wondered why? Now I feel like I get it. Because you're used to it...for better or worse.

My basement is teaching me this.

I took pictures before the demolition started, but it frankly, blew my mind to see pieces tumbling down and for the entire basement remains to be loaded on a truck destined for the dump.

We are gutting our basement by choice. Even though it was finished, there wasn't much good about it except for the potential it held. The lighting was poor. Wires were coming out of the ceiling. Doors were falling off. Closet space was sparse. It was in some ways an actual hazard.

Once this project is done, I have no doubt it will look amazing. Our contractor is fastidious, as are the specialists he's called in. Today I met the electrician who seems really on the ball. We'll be "living" with these guys for at least six weeks, so it's good to have confidence.

I'm just a bit stunned re: my reaction. It took some strength for me last night to venture down to the basement to see the bare beams, vacant floor, stripped walls, etc. Everything I knew was gone.

It's letting go of the old and making way for the new. It's trusting that complete strangers will deliver what we hope for and more. It's relinquishing control, knowing that there will be unforeseen challenges along the way. (We lost cable and phone service part of today and yesterday.) It's having the faith that we'll willingly trust our guts and make the right decisions when there are choices.

It's seeing the excitement in my son's eyes as he rushes to exit the school bus and runs to the top of the stairs to check on the status of the project. It's knowing that we'll once again have our living room back as we move Seth's toys downstairs in what will be a terrific play space, not to mention the ample storage closets we anticipate. It's knowing I'll have a place for my books that I treasure that now occupy part of Seth's bookcase in his room because I have no other place to put them.

It's knowing that we've embarked on a major home renovation that will change our lives as a family for the better for years to come. I'm immensely grateful that we're in a position to do this, despite the economy, and I have every confidence it's an investment that is worth its weight in gold on many levels and will ultimately enhance the value of the house.

For now, I'm going to sit with the feelings the demolition has arisen in me, knowing as my beloved mom used to say, "this too shall pass."

Who knew that a basement would unearth so much and lead to a growth experience in more ways than one?!

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