On Feeling Alive Again

On Monday I told Yonese that I wanted to work through going over every wall in the house before the end of the month, washing, scrubbing and then touching up paint where needed. Yesterday she spent most of the day starting the scrubbing and washing. While she got started on that I tackled the remaining cupboards in the kitchen that needed cleaning out and reorganizing, cleaned the top of our fridge (wow, two months and LOTS of dust!) and then sort of kept moving over the counter, attacking hard water build up around our dish draining rack, the sink, etc. Once Yonese got big sections of the walls done I started following behind with paint. It’s water based so it’s easy to clean up and all I needed was a little brush so it was easy to open the bucket, do what I needed to do, then put it away when done. None of yesterday’s work was planned, and that got me thinking about some things.

First, as Yonese started scrubbing, it was amazing to see the marks come off the walls. Four and a half years of living being scrubbed off. I thought I was going to have a lot more painting to do, but Yonese is amazing and got so much off. We both kept standing back and looking at the difference and wondering why we hadn’t done this sooner. I did go through and try to scrub stuff up when we were getting ready for the house appraisal, but my skills can’t hold a candle to what Yonese has been doing.

Honestly, I actually find it therapeutic to tackle something that has been grating on me for a while. I also love “before” and “after” situations where you can see a noticeable difference in something. It’s just satisfying to know that work can lead to something better, I think.

As I followed along with paint, getting rid of the marks that wouldn’t come off, I was reminded of when we moved into the house and how exciting it was. I thought about the amount of living we’ve done since then. The stress. Welcoming another kid into our lives. Watching our family grown and change. And yes, the grime has built up over time, but it’s because we’ve been doing other things, like having a life.

The biggest thing that struck me last night though, as Chris and I looked around at the parts that had been done and commented on how fresh things look with a little work, was that I feel like I’m waking up.

For the last couple of years I’ve been in a fog. Yes, part of that is due to having another child, not getting a lot of sleep etc, but a bigger part has been related to my health and weight. I haven’t been sick, but I sure haven’t had energy either.

In the past few weeks I’ve gone from wanting to sit around and do nothing, to thinking about how I can best use my time to get things accomplished. I’ve gone from putting off certain jobs around the house and work because of the work and physical out put, to knocking things off my to-do list in record time. I used to think about ONE task and contemplate how I could put it off or make it easier, then finally do it and feel exhausted. In the past week I’ve lost track of how many times Chris has said, “Wow, you’re really going for it!” And it’s true, I am.

The best part though, is that after a day of work, whether it’s mission stuff, or whether it’s stuff around the house, I’m not exhausted. We used to go to bed regularly around 9 pm, and I would wake up feeling tired. Lately it’s been about an hour later, and Chris will be soundly sleeping while I’m still reading. My alarm goes off at 5 and after I get under the shower, I’m awake and ready to go and go all day long. I haven’t been a huge coffee drinker and typically only drink a cup or so a day, so it’s not the caffeine – I’m just feeling better.

For me this is a really big thing, and was one of the biggest motivations for wanting to lose weight. I was tired all the time. Cranky all the time. And didn’t really want to do much. It feels so good to want to be active, to not be exhausted afterwards, and to be thinking about all the other things I want to get done. I really do feel like I’ve woken up from a fog or sleep state that I’ve been in for the last couple of years.

After all the work yesterday I decided to do another “make this feel more like home” thing. I did a lot of cleaning and touching up around the kitchen sink yesterday. We use our window sill to hold dish soap, bleach, scrubbies, and some other things. It gets washed more than any other wall type surface, and had stuff stuck in the rough texture of the walls because of it. Yonese scrubs it regularly with Ajax, but that wasn’t working any more, so it got a good coat of paint and looks great! The fun part was putting up some of the hand carved wood plates and trays that I had stashed away. They were from the previous owners of the house and have that farmhouse type look to them. They were all used, so they look like they have a history. I had forgotten where I stashed them when I put the shelf up, but pulled them out yesterday in my cleaning journey. To top it all off I put up a strand of LED fairy lights.

I know it’s not Christmas yet, but these aren’t really for that. The only lighting that we have in the kitchen is overhead, and sometimes in the evening we just don’t want those on, so it can be kind of dark in our house. The fairy lights can be plugged in and give us a nice glow without too much light.

Both of our kids are expressive in their own ways, but with Alex, it’s in his words. He’s Mr. Enthusiasm, as we like to call him. Yesterday as we were cleaning and painting and moving things around he was so into it, and several times looked at something and said, “Mom, iss buful!” Which of course just cracked me up. He doesn’t really remember Christmas from the last two years or any of the decorations, so when he walked into the kitchen after I had put the lights up he stopped, pointed and very excitedly said, “Mom, yites!! Iss so buful!!” Olivia, she was all over them too, but her comment was, “Oooohhh! It’s like Christmas!!” :)

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Okay, time to go get something done!

~Leslie

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

One thought on “On Feeling Alive Again

  1. Margaret ***(this is a change from john3_3@telus.net which I hope will be picked up for all your updates) on said:

    Sounds amazing Leslie.

    And, oh, those wonderful little people. Seeing life all over through their eyes is one of God’s most special blessings!

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