I could really use some solitude today!

Camping solitudeI could really use some of that camping solitude today – the kind I wrote about Thanksgiving week where the only sound is the crackle of the campfire.

I could stand to sit still and stare into the fire or watch the last of the Autumn leaves drop silently from the trees.

I yearn for the quiet, peaceful space where I soak up the warmth of the sun as I finish my still-warm coffee.  Sigh.  It’s not happening today.

Guess what I get instead of solitude.

I can hear concrete demolition and vacuuming.

I can smell paint fumes, dust, and sweat.

I see drop cloths, wheel barrows, and strange men.

Yep.  We’re trying to finish the remodel before Christmas.

I must be insane.

Since our Thanksgiving vacation, I’ve been actively seeking solitude each day.  Nothing much, just a few minutes without noise or distraction.

Most days, that’s meant walking outside onto the front porch with my morning coffee right after the family leaves for the day.  No phone, no noise, no list.  Just me and God.

Today when my husband left I started to make my coffee (like usual).  Before I walked outside, I got a text from him.

The concrete guys are sitting outside waiting.


I love that my hubby sends me such sweet messages on my phone.

It started about two weeks ago.

After I had spent several hours decorating our stairs with Christmas garland for the very first time, my husband surprised me with the news that he’d (finally) scheduled someone to stain the stairs and paint the walls.

(great news, but now i have to undo the Christmas decorations BEFORE Christmas.)

While he was at it, he scheduled the concrete crew to patch the giant hole right outside my back door – the one I’ve almost stepped into daily for the past nine months.

(thank you honey, but i had just told the painters they could set up in that same space.)

The painters are now camped out in my laundry room.

(i had finally gotten everything washed, folded, and put away.  now i’m falling behind.)

The poor cat is looking for a shoe.  She’s lost all her favorite hiding spots.

The concrete guys are doing something outside with big huge heavy hammer looking things.  I hear (and feel) a thump about every nine seconds.  It’s mixing nicely with the vacuum and power saw sounds.

I have about thirty minutes until the smell of the paint drifts down the stairs.   Then I get to choose between opening a window and freezing my fingers numb or sniffing paint fumes until I go stupid.  One of the painters is a heavy smoker, so I can add in the intermittent smell of stale nicotine to the mix.

The painters upstairs are listening to the radio – it sounds like eighties hair band music from here.  The concrete guys are listening to Tejano radio (Spanish language radio with an odd fusion of country, zydeco, Latin, and rock music) as they sing along at the top of their lungs.

Today is the antithesis to solitude.

I’m not a happy princess.

As I look at, I have three choices today.

  1. I can focus on how miserable I am.  Sure, I may get a few things crossed off the to-do list, but most of my energy will go into griping and whining.  For maximum effect, I can call my mom to complain and pester my husband via text message.
  2. I can distract myself.  I’m sure there’s a few Angry Pigs somewhere that need bird bombing.  Or perhaps there’s a good marathon of Christmas movies I can watch.  Somehow, I can just fill the hours up with mind-numbing stuff.
  3. I can go with it.  I can choose to focus on the blessing and how exciting it will be to have all this work DONE.  I can think about how thankful I am that we can pay to have this work done and how wonderful it is to write out paychecks so these men can have Christmas for THEIR families.  I can build on all their energy and get a whole bunch of stuff crossed off my to-do list.

Hmmm… not much of a choice to make.

When I look at it clearly, it’s pretty obvious what I need to do.

So what do you think I should do?  What choice would you make?  Be honest. 🙂

ps – Remember how I shared that my husband normally does stuff like change the oil and re-caulk the windows right as I’m trying to get ready for Christmas?   I think this is the biggest offense yet.  Next year, I’m taking a sharpie to HIS list.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination  for eggs, socks, and books.  She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family.  She serves an amazing God.   She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]


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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. Timing is everything and husband’s don’t always have the best timing! They’re hyper-focused on their agenda and don’t always realize how it affects the rest of the family. I do pretty good these days at going with the flow on stuff like that but I didn’t always. It took time and PRACTICE! Yeah – that practice part wasn’t so fun.
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    • The practice part isn’t fun, but I agree it’s worth it! Early in our marriage, this would have been cause for a meltdown. Yesterday, I just asked for the ceremonial sharpie. He looked at me and apologized.

      Most women I know have some weird “thing” that they do when they are getting ready for company. My mom buys extra toilet paper. I organize my sock drawer. My friend straightens her shoes. It’s something guests will never see that just somehow makes us feel ready and organized. I suspect men aren’t that different. Company is coming and they want the house to look it’s best. So they change the oil, re-caulk the windows, or seal the tile grout. It took me forever to see it as the same thing.

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