Monday, January 1, 2018

Renovate 2018!

The sun slowly rises.  The last time I saw the sun I was 30,000 + feet above the earth, as the onboard airline map showed me I looked down on the Mississippi River flowing to the Gulf of Mexico; it was a magnificent sunset as the plane flew from San Diego to Miami.  I reflected on the fact that it was the last sunset of 2017, and I was finishing the last book I would read in 2017, Lauren Grodstein's Our Short History.

I felt a bit weepy, both from the content of the book and the fact that the year was ending and the fact that my vacation was ending.  I'll say more about my vacation in the coming days.  Today, let me do my traditional New Year's Day thing and think about my plans and goals for the coming year.

In some ways, my plans and goals are the same as they always are.  More of what I want to invite into my life:  more writing, more intentional time with friends and loved ones, more healthy practices like eating vegetables and getting some exercise each day.  Less of the things which sap my joy in life:  less anger at the national news, less TV, less consuming of food and alcohol which will leave me less healthy as the years go by.

Some years I try to choose a word that will be a motto or mantra for the coming year.  This year's word is either "Remodel" or "Renovation."  Readers may remember that finishing the house renovations was my goal for 2017--and it was, but then, life (a huge accreditation project at work primarily) and Hurricane Irma, intervened.

A year ago, my spouse and I had decided to renovate the house first, and then with any money left over, to renovate the cottage.  But that was before the hurricane damage; now, we need to have a 2 pronged approach.  Right now, the cottage needs a new AC/heat system and flooring, at the minimum.  The big house needs to have all the floors replaced, a new wrinkle to our plans.  We still need to have a remodeled kitchen, and I'm wondering if it would be wise to rip out the walls in the small laundry room that got soaked from hurricane damage aftereffects.  We need a new fence and gates.

Let me remember the small, bright lights of good house news that came out of the hurricane.  Our roof is in good shape, a fact confirmed by several inspectors.  We have good neighbors.  We have insurance policies that will pay us when we have damage.

I like the words renovate and remodel because they suggest that there's no need to abandon our current lives and spaces.  We have a good foundation--let's build on that for 2018!

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