I had a successful experience setting some tiles and grouting in the new downstairs bathroom. Jim, my contractor-turned-instructor gave me the low-down on how to set, grout and sponge the tiles and the result looks great! I am as proud of the skills I have gained as I am of the finished work.
As well as working on the new bathroom, I was also using the basement to do some computer work. As I sat downstairs, I couldn't help but admire the basement in it's 95% complete stage. It's not fully furnished yet, but the family drum set, the guitars and a new-to-us soundboard are all in place and working now. The X-Box and TV have also been set up, leaving me to wonder how I thought a sofa and several bookshelves would all fit. Speaker wires hang from the ceiling, waiting for me to be able to afford a theatre-style sound system. The walls are a comfortable, warm green and the pine flooring completes the cozy and enveloping feel.
After an enthusiastic start to the basement, I hit a major speedbump with my relationship turmoil. It knocked the wind out of my sails with regards to finishing the space and making it habitable. My thoughts were, "Why finish building it if it is only going to be me in the house?" Also there were a lot of emotional ties to the old girlfriend down there. I started working on it while she was a big part of my life. I had intentions of sharing the finished product with her and her kids, and now she was gone. After lots of grieving about lots of other things, I remembered that although I asked her input on the design, she wasn't involved at all in the creation of the space. I was the one who had done the framing (with Jim's help), wiring, drywalling and painting. All that I saw around me when I was down there is my effort, my decisions, my attention to detail.
My basement is a nice place to be. My house is a nice place to be.
When I moved in here, I nicknamed my place The Haven. The work on The Haven is allegorical to the work on my life. In the work that I am doing, I am gaining skill and learning lessons. I realize that I still have much work to do on both, but both are both livable and I am in no hurry for either if them to be finished. I am taking a few days off this week to do some work on my house. As my life moves on, I look forward to creating many great memories of being here.