Are you ACE in the midst of a sh*t storm?
We had a gorgeous week away in stunning Crete for half term, and were sad to say goodbye. After spending nine wary hours travelling back with three tired, grumpy children in tow all we wanted to do was walk into our house and be greeted with the warm hug it usually provides. It wasn’t to be though, and instead we were in for a very rude shock to the system.
We had a flood at the end of last year, and had agreed to have the downstairs floor replaced while we were on holiday. They were supposed to start the two day job the day after we left, and be finished well in time for our return. I’m sure you’ve already guessed what’s coming next: we walked into what can only be described as a sh*t storm! The job wasn’t finished, the house was filthy, and it looked like the kitchen had been badly damaged along the way.
I surveyed our downstairs living space and wanted to cry, but there was no time to feel sorry for myself, because at that very moment our next door neighbour decided it would be the perfect time to read me the riot act. Apparently I am really selfish for swanning off (her exact words) and not telling her in advance that we had the builders coming in. Also, we are too noisy, which again is all down to my selfishness. Absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I have three kids, one of whom is a baby who cries as babies do, and another who is more than likely on the autistic spectrum and has meltdowns that put most toddlers to shame.
No no no, it’s all my fault because I’m so selfish. If the character assassination wasn’t bad enough, she did it in front of my girls. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I walked through the front door shaking with rage – both due to the mess inside our house, as well as the nerve of this woman.
By this stage the kids were going loopy with hunger and tiredness, so Hubby and I put our own emotional meltdowns to one side and cracked on with a delightful witching hour. Afterwards we collapsed on the sofa and spoke about many things, including moving as far away from here as possible.
It’s never a good idea to make huge life decisions on the back of anger though, and as it happens sleeping on our dilemma provided me with a little epiphany.
We had two choices: we could let it get us down, or ACE it
First of all we Accepted the situation, and took some of the responsibility for not understanding how big a job replacing the floor was going to be. We should have asked more questions and made sure we were as well informed about the job as possible.
In honesty had we known in advance it would be such a huge undertaking, we wouldn’t have agreed to have it done with everything else we have going on in life right now.
Once we’d accepted it, we realised there would be a level of Compromise necessary to move forward. This came in the form of organising to get them back in to finish the job, and fix the things they had broken. It also meant completely letting go of the anger and frustration we felt at coming home to what we did.
After all this had taken place, we were able to Embrace our situation and turn the negative into a positive. We spent the entire day having a well overdue spring clean and ruthless clear out. Tons of stuff has been binned and free cycled already, and there’s a big pile waiting for the charity shop tomorrow. We’ve rearranged furniture; boxed up CD’s that don’t get listened to and have ordered new sofas for delivery later this week. It felt so cathartic, and so good.
It’s ended up being a good thing
Although the kitchen looks quite damaged fortunately it’s only cosmetic, and shouldn’t take too much effort for them to fix up. All in all this has been really good for our family. Bad timing yes, but great things have happened as a result. Apart from falling out with the neighbour of course, but I never liked her very much anyway!