When Life Throws Up A Sh*t Storm, How ACE Are You?

When Life Throws Up A Sh*t Storm, How ACE Are You?
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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.

Nasty Neighbour

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 when life throws up a sh*t storm, how ace are you?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 ofΒ CompromiseΒ 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!

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87 thoughts on “When Life Throws Up A Sh*t Storm, How ACE Are You?

  1. Thanks so much my lovely, it all feels like so long ago already even though it was less than two weeks. Funny how getting caught up in day to day life can make situations like this disappear… apart from the neighbour of course, she’s still living there unfortunately πŸ˜‰ xx

  2. That’s awful, sorry to hear that. I have to say it was one of the worst things that I’ve had happen to me, and am still a little shocked that she did it. My eldest said to me the other day “I do not like that woman mummy, she shouted at you”. Gotta love looking at it from the point of view of a 6yo x

  3. It wasn’t pleasant at the time, but thankfully almost two weeks later it already feels like a distant memory πŸ™‚ We had such a good clearout, it made all the difference to our frame of mind xx

  4. Really pleased you found the post useful lovely, and I hope it helps… although I’m also hoping this doesn’t happy to you… you know what I mean πŸ˜‰

  5. Your neighbour is a complete muppet! What were they thinking. I really hope this is all getting sorted now. Thanks for linking up with #MyFavouritePost lovely x

  6. OH yes life really likes to challenge us at the tough times doesn’t it. I am fearing this as we are having work done on the bathroom, laundry and kitchen while I am away in the states and nervous that I won’t come home to an amazing finished clean house. Good for you for sleeping on it. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  7. Thankfully we have so much going on that it already feels like a distant memory
    Crete was fab, really magical place and we’ll definitely be going back. I can see why you’re a fan πŸ™‚

  8. Well done for ACEing it, especially on the back of your run in with the rude neighbour. I would have cried coming home to that. You don’t need it when your tired and your kids are on their last legs. I’m so glad it didn’t spoil your holiday. you might even laugh about it one day (or not!).

  9. So true, it makes much more sense to deal with it like this , you are right getting stressed just doesn’t help, so glad something positive has come out of it and hope you get it sorted soon x

  10. I would probably have a meltdown if I go home to this! We used to have a neighbor who called the police when my son arrived in my husband’s house. Apparently my baby is crying too much and tyhe neighbors are worried about him being hurt by us. So social services where called as well. He is 4 months old then. New to this country so of course he will cry a lot! But they have a dog that barks too much and we try to understand that dogs bark. Why cant they do the same? Needless to say we dont talk to them. So not worth it. #wotw

  11. Oh my goodness gracious Renee. There are really no words, are there? πŸ™ BUT but BUT!!! It sounds like you and hubby have ACEd it in a big way. Well done πŸ˜‰ x

  12. Your mother is too kind to me! Thank you. We have come to the conclusion that the neighbour is a deeply unhappy person… we feel sad for her xx

  13. I cannot imagine coming home to such a nightmare, then having a rather incredibly insensitive neighbor add to your misery. It takes a lot of will to set aside the need to vent your feelings and take care of everything that needed doing, then to refuse to make angry decisions and sleep on your struggles. I’m glad you came up with such a catchy acronym for how you pulled through your situation. Having that to fall back on will definitely be a huge boon in future situations you come across. I’m also glad that you and your family were able to use this experience to make such positive changes! I can only hope that as life throws all the lemons it can at me, I have the wherewithal to make lemonade.

  14. Oh no hon that sounds like an absolute nightmare! You poor things πŸ™ A friend of mine had a very similar situation happen over in Oz, but they are now in possession of the most beautiful house so keep the end goal in sight. hope you ACE it xx

  15. You’re so right about that Louisa, and unfortunately she’s one of those people. Fortunately she isn’t having all night parties or anything hideous like that, so we can just politely ignore each other and it’s absolutely fine xx

  16. I love how you dealt with this situation so positively and turned it to your advantage. As fr the neighbour, some people are just best left to their own devices because nothing will ever please them x

  17. Good for you! Horrible thing to walk back into. We went away a few years ago so that we could have a new kitchen fitted while there, but we returned to an empty shell, as they ripped the old one out and hadn’t started on the new one. It took them another month! Good times! Glad you managed to embrace it. Thanks for sharing with #WotW (would you mind adding my badge, please :-)) x

  18. I know, she really is a nasty piece of work and very unlike most of my other lovely neighbours. In fact after some of them have read this post, a few other choice stories have come out of the woodwork. Nice to know that it’s most definitely her and not us if that makes sense xxx

  19. Bloody hell Renee, this makes me want to come and give your neighbour a piece of my mind. What an absolute arse she is! So sorry you had that to come home with but you dealt with it like the beautiful person you are. Well done lovely on turning it around. I should take a leaf out of your book when the sh*t hits the fan xxx

  20. Oh wow, what a thing to come back to! Your neighbour sounds like a real piece of work – I will never understand how some people think they can be so horrible!! As for builders… We totally gutted & redid our house when we moved in four years ago. It all took way longer and was way more expensive than we thought, and over the last few months loads of things have started to go wrong! In the meantime our original project manager/plumber has had a total breakdown & is basically bankrupt, so we’re having to start from scratch to get it fixed. Ah the joys… Loving your ACE acronym though – a very positive and healthy way to approach things. Hope you get your kitchen sorted soon! Xx

  21. The Mother said – I cannot believe how brilliant you are at turning a totally horrible situation into something positive. You truly are inspiring. As for your neighbour………….. hmmmmm she’s an absolute delight, isn’t she? I assume that she has a ‘perfect’life where whatever she does doesn’t have any impact on anybody else. Whilst I love your outlook, I am fuming about your neighbour’s treatment of you xx #sharewithme

  22. Great that you turned a negative into a positive and glad to hear things worked out in the end. Hope the floor job gets finished how you want it to. I definitely need to remember to ACE it. We’re having a bit of a dodgy week with a miserable baby with hand, foot and mouth virus and big deadlines looming at work so time to put ACE into action I think. Oh, and nasty neighbours are the pits – there’s one of those round our way too. I think they are often unhappy people who like to take out their own unhappiness on others. I try and feel sorry for them now but know how upsetting they can be. #ShareWithMe

  23. How crap for you to come back of holiday to all that! I think it’s amazing how you dealt with it all once you had time to think about it and calm down. It’s nice to have a clear out isn’t it – I always feel better after a big clean up/clear out

  24. What a great way to look at situations, I wish I was more like that. I’m one to wallow in the downer a bit longer than i should which then makes me feel worse. I’m trying to be more positive about things and each day is getting better. I’m going to try and use this approach more, thanks for sharing yours tory and I am so glad there was a happy ending πŸ™‚ #sharewithme

  25. How awful for you πŸ™ but, being the amazing lady you are, you’ve managed to address all this head on. You are an inspiration! Kaz x x

  26. Great post. It must’ve been so hard to come home to all that. I had someone shout at me in front of our children before Christmas, I was gobsmacked at their audacity. I restrained myself from retaliating or cutting her down to size as the children were watching, but I was shaking with frustration and cried as soon as we were in the car. What an awful lady. You certainly ACE’d this drama and I’m glad it worked out in the end but gosh, it could’ve all gone horribly wrong. xxx well done to you and your husband

  27. I so feel for you coming home to such carnage! What an end to what must have been a lovely holiday. Once again I’m in awe of your (joint) ability to let go of the negativity and turn things around into a positive. It’s always fabulous to have a good clearout and de-clutter – that was definitely an upside! Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout hon Xx

  28. Wow what a thing to come back to! I love your ACE technique. My fella would have had a complete melt down. This is such a good thing to try and use…my emotions often get the better of me though. I’d love to be able to stay calmer and think rationally. Glad you’ve turned it all around. xx

  29. What an incredibly mature response Renee, I’m no sure that I would have been so level-headed! Sounds like a complete nightmare. And as for the neighbour? We have one of those and there really is no pleasing some people. She can do one! x

  30. Wow, what a nightmare – and Wiw! amazing your response. I would have had a total meltdown. very inspiring way to view things, and no wonder I didn’t hear from you. Lunch next Friday in the diary. Vital ingredient looks great!

  31. I think the neighbour wopuld have been the most difficult tjhing to deal with! I like your approach. Would I be correct in assuming this is based on some kind of counselling theory? #AllAboutYou

  32. This is an excellent post, lovely, and good on you for turning what sounds like a right mare into something positive. We should all aim to ACE more….it will definitely benefit our health in the long term. X

  33. You are a constant inspiration to me Renee – how you managed to keep calm in the face of that welcome home I don’t know! But good for you and what a fantastic outcome. Thank you so much for linking up this positive post at #sharethejoy this week – am pinning!

  34. A perfect remedy to your rather trying welcome home surprise. I’m so sorry about your mishaps (especially that neighbor, sheesh!), but I’m glad you were able to ACE it and move on with such grace and poise. This is a rather helpful suggestion for anyone who’s dealing with difficult high-stress situation. I know I’ll keep it in mind for the future. Thanks for sharing, Renee! Hope all is well

  35. I’m so impressed you turned a negative into such a positive I think I’d have struggled not to stick the house on the market & run! GoodLuck getting your kitchen fixed. I got so stressed living though building work last time. #sharethejoy

  36. Thanks hon, I didn’t feel very ace stepping through the front door first of all, but fortunately it already seems like a very long time ago!

  37. Oh you my lovely, are always so kind to me in your comments. It was a rollercoaster of emotions that day tbh, all that travelling then coming home was a proper crash bang landing! It was a lovely holiday though, and we now get to look at a fab new floor… As for the neighbour, I think it’s best to just write her off. Thanks for the welcome back hon xx

  38. Thanks so much Sara, I try as much as I can not to dwell and turn negatives into positives… Not always easy but it’s worth it πŸ™‚

  39. Blimey well done you for being so positive about a crappy situation, what a horrible homecoming! I’m glad you can see the positives about the floor and I hope it doesn’t take too long for it to be fixed. Your neighbour sounds like a horrible person though what a nasty tirade, especially in front of your kids! Just horrible! Glad you had a lovely holiday too hon πŸ™‚ xx

  40. Oh hon that’s still not a very pleasant home coming for you πŸ™ really hope your MIL is ok, and hopefully there aren’t any other dead rodent surprises lurking xx

  41. I am, as always, in awe of your ability to turn a “s&@t storm” into something positive. You are a real inspiration ReneΓ© and your posts always remind me that no matter how bad something looks, some positive can always be drawn from it. Xx

  42. Oh, how awful to return to all that, but I am in awe of your pragmatic approach to it all, well done you! Hope all the repairs are done swiftly and you have no more run ins with your horrible neighbour xx

  43. Good for you! That’s the way to do it. I’m not sure I would have been as strong as you when the neighbour went mental at you. It’s so easy to judge people from your own perspective and own world without stepping in to their shoes. She must have had a hard time of it, but couldn’t see the other side. She’d do well to have a little think about how hard it might be for you coping with all that ‘noise’ in your own house!

  44. Wow, I am in awe of how well you have handled all this.
    After going through two house renovations some of my darkest domestic times have involved things not being finished, builders that disappear and living with chaos. It sounds like you handled it all with far more grace than I ever mustered.
    As for your neighbour, what a total bi@*h!! I would suggest building a very tall fence (more building work, just what you need!).
    I applaud you for finding the positive in all this – a good clear out is so cathartic isn’t it, probably just what you needed!

  45. Fantastic ending … amazing what adversity can do for us. We can’t always choose what life brings us but we can choose how we react to it. Glad you ACEd it; hope your neighbour finds a way to do the same πŸ™‚ #aNoviceMumTwitterFeed

  46. I’m so angry at the neighbour on your behalf! How awful. However, I agree that whatever happens it is about how you handle things that matters. Good luck with the clear up x #MagicMoments

  47. I felt anger for you reading that but so glad you were able to turn a negative into a positive. It’s not always easy, especially when you have children who’s needs come before yours. Shame on your neighbour, she sounds awful! I’m going to try practicing your ACE philosophy though xx #sharethejoy

  48. I’m glad you managed to sort it all out and rise above it. Your neighbour sounds like an idiot and I don’t know you but from reading your blog you don’t sound selfish at all! x #sharethejoy

  49. A horrid way to end your holiday and I’d have a few choice words for your neighbour however well done for staying calm, rising above it and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, not the easy way to approach a situation like the but most constructive way if you can do it.

  50. Oh ReneΓ©, I just wanted to give you a big hug reading this – what a horrible thing to come back to and so sorry that your neighbour was so horrible on top of it all. I am always in awe of your ability to turn a negative situation around and move forward from it – I will remember ACE next time I find myself getting stressed out about something too! Well done for having a big clear out and hope your floor gets sorted too and the damage to the kitchen is fixed quickly x

  51. So glad you enjoyed your holiday but not so good to return home to that. People told me to go on holiday when we had major building work done-but I’m so glad we didn’t because I’d have missed lots of things that really needed my attention. Oh, and my neighbour totally fell out with me too, still no idea of exactly why to this day! Good to turn it into a positive-soemtimes I think it’s the only way to manage it-moving forward and all that xx

  52. Oh no I’m so glad you managed to get it all fixed in the end although I’m guessing there’s not much you can fix about that horrid neighbour πŸ™

  53. You are very very ace. I’m sorry you came back from holiday to this but you have taught us all how to deal with this kind if nonsense that life throws. You really are fab!

  54. Wow – I went through a lot of emotions reading this – a little bit of envy at your lovely holiday (am currently desperate for a bit of sunshine), gutted for you at what you returned to, fury at that horrible neighbour and then feeling impressed and uplifted by the way you found the positive in all of it! Well done! I’m glad you had such a good time away and sorry about the neighbour being so mean – she’s shown herself up not you though by her total lack of empathy and for berating you in front of you kids. Knowing you, you’ll find a way to make something positive from that too though. Welcome home, we missed you! xx

  55. How some people behave never ceases to amaze me. Your neighbour needs some lessons in tolerance and understanding. I am loving your ACE it philosophy! I think it is admirable that you turned something potentially so negative into something positive. Such a healthy thing to do! I am going to try and follow your example !! #ShareTheJoy

  56. Brilliant hon – I love that – ‘ACE-ing’ it. A total sh*t storm to come home to. Although I’m not a fan of violence, in the words of our (my friends and my) teenage selves, ‘she needs a slap’.

    Glad to hear that you’re not letting all of this nonsense put a dampener on your half-term hols. We’ve been away this week also, and although not quite a sh*t-storm, we did return to a disabled (previously un-disabled) and elderly mother-in-law and a dead mouse concealed in our bedroom, only given away by its horrendous stench.

    All. Good. Stuff.

    Welcome home! xxx

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