Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

A couple of really huge good things happened this week:  My steps were installed, and today Vic will complete nearly all of the ipe installation.  I would do well to write those two things on the back of my hand with an ink pen.  I'd been planning them since May 2010, and they are in.  And for the most part, they look positively fantastic.

This week has also been an emotional rollercoaster.  On installation day, the nervousness and anxiety about things coming together and going smoothly combined with the excitement of it actually finally happening had me on the verge of tears all day long.

I was worried about what would be right:


... the forklift fit down my driveway? (yes)
... the footings be correctly placed? (yes, they were)

... the structure fit under my gutters and eaves? (it did not fit, and an inch was cut off the legs)
... the 2 steel pieces fitting together (with some adjustments, they did fit)
... the work be completed without damaging surroundings?  (aside from some slate cracking, yes.)
... I still like the design after all these months? (YES)

I cry easily.  I'll get teary when I am really excited about something, like when I got to swim with dolphins in Mexico.  I fight back tears during every opening and closing argument we do in trial.  Happiness, stress, being overtired, being really angry -- they all make me cry.  I don't necessarily view that as a bad thing --generally I can have good cry for 60 seconds and I feel infinitely better than before.  It's a great release.  But riding the crest of being on the verge of tears for 12 hours?  Hoo-ee, that is exhausting.  When I saw Red that evening I couldn't recall conversations we'd had just an hour prior.  I finally confessed that I was so wrung out that I felt as though I had just gotten out of trial.  That's just weird.  But it's me.

Until mid-way through the installation I had forgotten about the many conversations that had gone on with regard to where the bottom steps would land (no pun intended) with respect to the grade of my yard.  And when they were put in place?  The bottom step and the handrail stringers are two feet below grade.

No it isn't optimal.  Agreed.  Do I wish that hadn't happened?  Of course.  But it did, and so the best thing I can do is focus on how it can be remedied.  But before I can do that, my mind needs to rest, and absorb the huge, wonderful transformation that has happened already.  And in time, I'll work out a solution.

I didn't sleep well the night after installation.  I was positive I would have a great evening with Red and just collapse into a coma.  Great evening?  Check.  Great sleep?  Not so much.  And so on the heels of all of that, Vic arrives Thursday morning.  Although weary, I thought I was in a pretty good mood.  The first thing Vic says to me?  Not hello, but "What happened to your hair?"  Determined not to let that derail my morning I laughed it off and we walked to the backyard.  He laid eyes on the stairs descending into the earth, and I waited -- and he did not disappoint:  "Ahhh!  I TOLD YOU that was going to happen!"  Yes, I know.  I gave him the credit due and told him I would figure something out.  As predicted, he had strong opinions of how it should be remedied.  I listened, thanked him for his opinion, and said I needed to let the scenario gel in my mind for a few days.  I do not have to come to a final solution today.  But he kept on.  And finally I had to just tell him to stop.  Multiple times.  Perhaps I had to raise my voice a bit.  I get it.  I do.  And I will deal with it.  So -- let's focus on this beautiful lumber that is going to go on these beautiful stairs.

I won't torture myself or you with the details of what transpired in the next couple of hours.  I had showered, gotten mostly ready for work.  It was raining.   My yard was very muddy.  And although I was not dressed for it, I was outdoors with Vic.  And next I knew, I was in the aisle of Home Depot surrounded by a vertitable posse of Home Depot employees, mud between my toes, with my back arched, my head thrown back and wailing.  (Inside.  I was wailing inside -- not outloud.)  Would this never be over?  OHMYGOSH.  Seriously, I had no work awaiting me at work, but I could not wait to get there.

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