So the kitchen renovation is now basically complete. The planned replacements are installed – new cabinet veneer hiding the scars of old wood, the new counter tops and back splash taking the place of outdated pink tile and a fresh coat of paint now ties it all together.
According to our plan, all that is now needed is the replacement of the removed crown molding to match the molding throughout the rest of the first floor (Where somebody once decided it made sense to install three different sizes of crown. Why? For the love of all things mitered, who would ever think that made sense???).
But that’s just the plan. My suddenly domesticated and I-guess-this-is-what-they-call-nesting brain has other ideas. Because now that the kitchen is done, the Kroger-brand bottle of hand soap looks shabby on the counter. And speaking of counters, they needed a little color splash that didn’t fade as we eat the real fruit throughout the week.
And I even went way outside my usual path of maximum efficiency to fill and label pretty spice jars to put on my new spice shelves.
And this domino effect isn’t just limited to the kitchen. The dining room finally had its horrific chandelier replaced (I think the old one was selected by the same owners that settled on the papa bear, mama bear and baby bear crown molding). And I just bought new end tables and art work for the family room with more extensive painting and decor work to take place over Christmas.
None of these details bothered me for the previous 2+ years we’ve been in the house. In fact, since one major area – the kitchen – was in pretty poor shape, we didn’t demand much from the rest of the space either.
But the kitchen project started a domino effect. By making improvements in one area, we’ve been inspired to continue those improvements to other spots.
And that’s often how life works, isn’t it? We acclimate and adjust to what is around us. Even if it doesn’t really make us happy.
And then a change is made. Maybe it’s something small, the life equivalent of repainting a wall. Or maybe it’s major, tearing down an entire edifice in order to make room for something new.
The contrast between the old and new is startling at first, perhaps highlighting the comfortable familiarity of the old while also pointing out where it has grown shabby (or even where it has always been lacking).
Unchecked, this domino of desire can wreak havoc on bank accounts and happiness, an endless tail-chase where each new element demands it be surrounded by comparable companions.
But when approached with a balanced mind and an understanding of the limits of external change, this chain of change can be used as an opportunity to examine where you have settled and where you have intentionally chosen the elements in your life.
Whether those elements be fake fruit on a counter, a career path, a city of residence or even a person.
Sometimes making one change is exactly what we need to prompt us to make more.
As for me and my kitchen-prompted changes, I promise I’m done after tackling the paint and pictures in the family room! I hope:)