Two weeks after moving into this house, we had already scraped off the 1980′s floral blue wallpaper in the living room and dining room, replaced the 30 year old carpet in the living room and kids’ bedrooms, and brought the original hardwood floors in the dining room, hallway, and our bedroom back to their glory.
A year after that we hired out some safety work, rewiring and adding outlets, and part of that year’s football team helped us replace the roof. My mom came in and transformed our girls’ room to pink. Lots of pink. Not to be outdone, we then ditched the worn ocean theme in the boys’ room and gave them some red and khaki sports on the walls. What else?!
Two years after that, the week we brought home our much prayed for fourth baby, my mom and dad rescued our bathroom from an unfortunate previous owner decorating mishap.
Our 1916 house is becoming our home. Slowly. The kitchen, though? The heart of my home where I spend many hours every day? Nearly 7 years after signing the contract and 2 years after paying off the house in full, my kitchen is still dysfunctional and ugly.
Truly, it’s one of those “What were they thinking?!” rooms. Refrigerator in a box. Open corner space with no purpose. A cavernous, inaccessible storage area over a stairway. Just bizarre.
We have a plan to fix the kitchen this summer (glory hallelujah!). In the meantime, though, I’m reminded of some lessons on Making Do.
Count your blessings.
Truly the cure to nearly every want, we know we have it good, and we try to focus on that gratitude, even in the midst of an ugly kitchen. We live in a paid for home in a community we love! Our children are many, happy, and healthy. I get lots of exercise running up and down the stairs for things I would normally store at my fingertips in the kitchen.
And… I have just enough counter space to roll out my cinnamon rolls.
Stick with the plan.
In some ways it would have been easy to take out a loan and just fixthedangkitchenalready before we were ready. We’re a stubborn people, though, and saving the money is more our style. (Actually, we’re quite boring and the drama of debt and the fear of not being able to pay it back completely freaks us out.)
For all my talk of gratitude, though, contentment does not equal complacency. It’s important to keep that goal front and center. Stay motivated to keep daily spending at a minimum so that the big picture can soon be drawn. Stick to the plan! Frugal living “just because” isn’t nearly as motivating as frugal living so we can put money aside to fix the kitchen.
For the past six years, I’ve welcomed our high school football team for breakfast every single Saturday morning during football season. We’ve held birthday parties and sleepovers for our children, and I’ve even hosted a holiday open house a couple of different times.
Yes, there are times when I wonder, “What will people think? I have a box around my fridge!” But, waiting until my kitchen is fixed before having company in our home wasn’t the right solution. Waiting on perfection is waiting on forever. It’s not gonna happen. We’ve decided to enjoy today!
Care for what you have.
Good enough is what we have to work with right now, and good enough should still be cared for. This is my biggest struggle. Besides my own tendency toward slob vision, I overlook small things that I could do to make our dysfunctional space more beautiful.
The poor construction of our kitchen has nothing to do with the clutter in our kitchen. Just because I don’t want to change the wallpaper until the wall is fixed doesn’t mean I can’t keep the walls clean. An unclutterd, cleaned up space is a happy space, even with weird storage areas and a fridge in a box in a wall.
My ugly kitchen does not define me. Your making do situation does not define you. Our attitudes about our situation may!