*Lyrics from Pretty Boy Swag as sampled in the Girl Talk All Day album. I finally saw Girl Walk All Day, which if you haven’t seen it you must (it’s streaming online, in 12 chapters, and it’s amazing), and have been obsessed with the soundtrack ever since. It even inspired me to get back outside for my first real exercise in so many moons I daren’t count. And, ok, I might have danced a little while walk/running.
It’s hard to believe that two years ago in April we were signing the contract for our kitchen remodel, and were already in the midst of planning, shopping and preparing for an experience that would quite literally change our life. In the past two years babies have been born, conceived and born, and some are about to be born – of course that’s always true of any two years, but we actually know some of those babies this time. Our life has transformed since that fateful meeting (perhaps not as significantly as those new parents’ world), transformed most definitely for the better.
When I started the renovation process I was lighter, both in physical weight and in mental responsibility. The renovation shifted my focus, mostly for the better (though I wouldn’t mind losing the pounds I’ve gained since we started), and made me more aware of my stewardship role in being a homeowner. I think more about how my choices affect the life of the home, no matter who lives here, and I think more about how I can leave behind a legacy that matches the legacy that the house already has. A legacy that includes being home to generations of the Heidners for almost 50 years, and where my family spent many a holiday, birthday, regular day, laughing, crying, cooking, relaxing, fighting, snuggling, connecting and saying good-bye. From choosing to use (mostly) low VOC paints, to refurbishing the long lost kitchen floor, to donating our old cabinetry and reusing our old countertops, we’ve tried to honor our responsibility to the home. And all the while, during every step of the renovation where I had a hand in helping, I’ve worn the same old, tattered, ill-fitting pair of jeans.
I bought them when I was at my heavier plateau (as I am again, unfortunately), so when the guys first came bursting into the house, their hammers and nail guns blazing, they fit me awkwardly, and a bit loosely. As time went on, they tightened (I blame much of it on the 4 months of take-out and subsequent year (plus) of stress that having your house in a state of constant renovation created), but they still fit. I’m now at the beginning of the downward slope (let’s hope) of my weight roller coaster, and the jeans were beginning to loosen up again. Until one day a few weeks ago when they split, right in the inner thigh (hooray, it happened while the guys were here doing more work – note, I am not smiling right now). Of course, ever the optimist, and perhaps just a bit too frugal about certain things, I washed them, hoping that I’d salvage them for the last push of the touch-ups and renovations.
After they came out of the wash I took a hard look at them.
Were they worth saving? No. Would I ever wear them again? No. Was I embarrassed to have my underwear showing through the tears in the pockets? Yes. Was I even more embarrassed at the thought of showing my pale, untoned flesh to more strangers than I realized? Yes. Did I have a strange, nostalgic connection to a stupid, cheap pair of jeans that had been with me as my work gear for the better part of two vastly impacting years? Yes, sadly, yes. I took one look at them, and remembered every bit of paint, stain, caulking, mentoring, friendship, pride, satisfaction, and hardship that the past two years have layered on me. Did I cry? Do I really need to answer that? (Those of you who don’t know, the answer is, of course, yes.)
But, I did realize that I had to let them go. I had to let the past go, and retain only the bits that will carry on into the future. Losing the pants doesn’t make me less capable at DIY, less able to contribute to projects around the house. Losing the pants doesn’t make me lose the friendships I’ve developed with Dave and Jonas, doesn’t make Pappy think less of my sandwiches, doesn’t make me not part of the collective Team that’s helped to make this house a home. Losing the pants doesn’t make me love the house less, nor make me forget that my beloved baby dog rests here in the yard, her favorite spot on earth.
They’re just pants, right? Except, maybe they’re not only pants. To me. xoxo