- Wake up at 3 a.m. in a blind panic.
- Lay in bed and worry about everything. The money, the contractor, the insurance, the kids.
- Get up at 5 a.m. while the children and husband are sleeping and work out at the gym.
- Feel better for five minutes.
- Rush around the apartment in a mad dash, making lunches, feed kids breakfast, shower, get ready for work, dress the kids, and drive them to school
- Call contractor on way to work, get update, make lists of outstanding projects
- Call insurance, ask about supplement and when checks will be sent
- Call the bank, ask when $$ is coming
- Do paperwork related to house. Endless paperwork: insurance forms, bank forms, mortgage forms, inspector forms, forms, forms, forms, forms. And I’m guaranteed to fill out something incorrectly because my brain just shuts down somewhere on the third field.
- Get to my desk at the newspaper, work like a demon, take no breaks, no stopping. Interview people, write stories, go places, don’t stop. If I stop, I’ll worry. Time flies.
- Field phone calls from the trifecta: contractor, bank, insurance.
- Run by the house on the way home. Check that the doors are locked, windows closed, make sure everything looks lived in so we don’t have another break-in, set alarm.
- Rush to apartment, eat dinner alone that husband prepared two hours ago, play with children, bathe them, go to bed.
The weekends are worse. Usually, I spend a good amount of time setting up outings for me and the kids: securing dinner invitations, play dates, etc. It’s better if we’re out of the apartment because then we don’t want to kill each other. But sometimes we’re stuck and the kids literally run around the apartment, bouncing into the walls, they’re so bored.
We walk to the mall across the street. I’ve found a nature path behind the apartment that winds up and over the hill to Larus Park. We swing by the house every weekend to check on it and my heart breaks, I miss it so much. There is a new white heron in the water. The turtles all jump off their log.
We pick up sticks, grab a few toys, straighten up what we can. But the kids always meltdown, my husband and I meltdown. The house is such a disaster and fixing it is beyond our control. I can’t help but look at it and wonder, Will it ever get fixed? Will it ever go back to the way it was? Or will it look broken forever?
We return to the dark apartment, deflated and exhausted. I go straight to bed while the kids play video games for hours. My husbands texts his friends from out of state, drinks beer and watches zombie shows. We deal with it in our own ways.
This has been our routine for the past four months. It should change soon, although I find it hard to believe.
If everything goes according to plan, we’ll be back in the house in just one more weekend. One more weekend. I tell myself, You can do this! Which is what the ladies at Weight Watchers say.
I lost the weight, which was my big goal at the beginning of this process. I thought, if I can’t control my house and so many other things in my life, at least I can control my weight. And I’ll be honest, the diet really helped me get through this. It was something to focus on that was positive and not house-related.
And now, I can fit back into all my skinny jeans. Bonus! If only they hadn’t been packed up and put in storage.