So this past weekend my mom decided that we were going to start a remodeling project on the house. This entailed ripping up the old carpet, stripping the concrete, painting the rooms, and putting in a new wood laminate. Now, I am all for home projects, I love seeing an old space look new and beautiful. What I don’t like is manual labor. When I was a kid, before my parents divorced, I was daddy’s little girl. I never had to do manual labor; my dad would have his brother over and they would work on it, or my dad would hire someone. If I ever helped with painting a room, it was when I was five and thought that painting was a game. So yes, I was very spoiled; painting aside, I didn’t really do much labor around the house except for yard work, which to me was torture.
My mom is a single mother running a household on a single mother budget. Home remodels are expensive for anyone, but they’re especially expensive when done on a small budget. However, our carpets were a wreck, and some rooms in our house didn’t have paint. It was a necessary evil. And I took this past weekend as an amazing learning experience.
I wouldn’t say that I’m super fit, but I’m not out of shape either. I workout, I try to stay in shape and keep my muscles toned; though I learned this past weekend I am so out of shape it isn’t even funny. We started by ripping up the carpet, where I first learned that carpet is ridiculously heavy. I mean, it’s carpet, area rugs don’t weigh that much, who would have thought carpet would. But trust me, it does. Now, that’s actually the easy part of the project. Once the carpet is up, there are nails and wood planks to keep the carpet stuck to the concrete. Those had to be completely removed, as did the padding underneath the carpet. That doesn’t sound too bad except the padding is also glued to the concrete. So you get a good amount going, and then it rips and leaves a huge chunk glued to the floor. In my naivety, I figured this ripping up carpet experiment would take about 2-3 hours. However, since it was our first time, and two really large rooms, it took us about 6 hours to complete everything. My muscles had not felt a soreness like that ever before. Like I said, not fit, but not horribly out of shape either. It’s hard work. I have a whole new appreciation for flooring installers. It truly is back-breaking work. Granted, they know all the tricks to make this project a little easier, but still, it’s a lot of heavy lifting.
I also developed a new appreciation for the strength my mom has. She redid a room with wood laminate once before, with my dad, and so she had one more project’s experience than I did, but I wouldn’t classify her as an expert. She also works full time and gave up the one long weekend she had been looking forward to for months. While all of her friends were laying out by the pool, or going out on the water, or beachin it with their family, we were lugging carpet around, and shopping for laminate. Not exactly the ideal way to spend a long weekend. She took it like a trooper because she always sees the bigger picture. Even if something is unpleasant, and the next day she can barely drag herself out of bed due to sore muscles, she does because she knows it’ll all be worth it in the long run. I can’t tell you what a valuable lesson that is to learn. This lesson, while shown in relation to remodeling our living and dining room, reaches out to many other topics. She’s always had a knack for knowing what will work out better in the long run, even if it is very difficult to begin with. She’s taught me a very valuable lesson in never giving up on anything that life throws at you. She hasn’t had an easy life, and while mine may not have been as easy as she wanted it to be, I can say that I have become a much stronger, independent person thanks to all the trials that life has thrown at me. That includes stupid carpet that weighs more than I do.
Moral of the story, do I ever want to rip up carpet again? No! However, I know that it is something I am very capable of, and that while it completely sucks to have to do something like that, then paint all weekend, and work all weekend, it is most definitely worth it. I will be able to spend time in this room and know that I am looking at the fruits of my labor. I also know that no matter what struggle life throws my way, I have my mother’s fighting spirit in me, and I will come out on top. So it’s a bit late for a mother’s day tribute, but this one definitely goes out to my mom. Thanks for making me a stronger person, both physically and spiritually.