Originally published on MomsGetReal April 2013
I’m destroying a kitchen floor right now.
Well, not RIGHT now, but as I write this, my sister and I, with pry bars, hammers and brute force have removed about 80% of the kitchen floor in the house that will soon be my home again. It all started when I decided that moving from Fort Worth back to Boise left me with a prime opportunity to make changes before the movers put all of my stuff in. The plan was simple enough: new paint everywhere and new floors in the living area of the house.
And then the subject of the kitchen floor came up.
Ever since I bought the house, the kitchen floor has always been higher than the rest of the floor, and while there were clues as to that reason, I didn’t want to dig or know why. I was fine with it. It’s a floor. Who cares if there’s an inch or so difference between that floor and the rest of the house. The higher the floor, the closer to God, right? Not to mention the fact that I’ve dealt with the variance for several years and just accepted it. It had ugly vinyl tile on it that my mom and sister peeled up in a few hours the first day we went in to start tearing things apart. Perfectly good particle board rested below it’s surface. And then there was a one inch lip between the kitchen and the living room. Who cared? Not me! I’m inventive. I’ll just figure out a way to put enough of something under that one inch to make it a nice, graceful slope and we’ll stay on schedule.
And then two and a half weeks ago, my dad said, “You know, you could take a look at that floor and see if you can get someone to tear it out.” At the time, I replied, “Dad, I don’t care if there’s a dead body under there. I do not have the patience or inclination – or the cash – to find out what’s under that particle board.”
Then three days after that, my sister said, “You know, we could just tear up one sheet of particle board. What could it hurt?”
The previous owner of the house had always used it as a rental, so I’d assumed that the “Fastest Way Possible” method of home repair became the norm at my little house when I bought it. It didn’t bother me then. Now, it bothers the crap outta me.
My floor contained the original vinyl from 1978, particle board, ANOTHER layer of vinyl, ANOTHER layer of particle board, and then the ugly vinyl tile that my mom and sister tore out. The bottom layer of particle board was glued and nailed to the 1978 vinyl, and the second layer of particle board was glued and stapled to the first. What makes it even more precious is the 4×8′ sheets aren’t laid the same directions – they’re crossed, which leads to a seam of some sort with nails, staples and glue every 4 feet, no matter what you do.
The floor, through no fault of its own, is hanging on when I want it to let go. I’m irritated that someone would take such a stupid shortcut that was more expensive in the long run to “fix” a floor. And now it’s taking pry bars and hammers and sore shoulders and brute force to get it to let go. And this experience is exactly what I needed right now.
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I PACKED DOWN AND COVERED UP SOMETHING THAT I SHOULD LET GO OF?
A floor or a bruised nail under nail polish, or old resentments, fears and other things that are no longer serving me under a wash of things we call Life: jobs, tasks, grocery shopping, Facebook. Busy things that keep me distracted from doing the work to let go.
I don’t want to hang onto fear, resentment or any negative feeling in place of doing the work now. I want to always take those feelings and give them their due time in my psyche – and then let them go before they get glued down.
Here’s to tearing up your floors.