The 52 Lists (for Happiness) Project #28



List the projects you have been meaning to work on and finish:

[One thing this “list project” does is make me aware of the passage of time. List #28 means that we are already more than halfway through this year. That information, combined with this particular list, makes me feel far behind in everything, and more than a little bit discouraged. To spare myself utter despondency, I am going to list only one project. I assure you, I have many more!]

The FLOOR. It is a lifetime project, I guess.

My floor started as a cement slab, that was poured too thin, and developed several large cracks almost immediately. That was my floor, though, for about twelve years. It was just plain cement for a few years, until I got tired of the gray color, and the cement dust that was constant as the Beaver Island sands wore away the surface. Then I painted it.

Painted or not, the cement was always exactly as cold as the ground outside. It held the winter’s cold, and radiated it, no matter how many rugs and carpet scraps were added to ward off the chill. Double layers of socks followed with heavy slippers were mandatory.

Finally, I had the floor covered with foam board insulation followed with sheets of particle board. Though it didn’t lay completely flat because of the uneven cement beneath it, and there were large cracks where the boards didn’t quite meet, it was a huge improvement. That is my floor, to this day.

Over the last twenty years, I have filled the cracks and painted the wood. I’ve watched as, over time, the filler crumbled out and the paint wore off (not evenly, of course). Since 1984, I’ve had a dozen different plans for a finished floor. I have considered everything from hardwood to laminate to sheet vinyl flooring.

I’ve been foiled by technical difficulties. Laminate flooring is too rigid for a floor that curves over its surface. That also eliminates hardwood flooring and any kind of tile.

I’ve been stymied by cost. If it’s not something I can do myself (and my capabilities have diminished over the last thirty years!), installation can more than double the price. Even the cheapest sheet vinyl would require at least two trips from the mainland for installers. I’d have to hire someone else to cover the entire space with luan plywood first. Before that could happen, all my furniture would have to be moved out…it’s daunting.

So, thirty-five years after moving into this little house, I am still waiting for a floor. Last winter, in a fit of optimism, I purchased two gallons of floor paint, from the hardware store where I work. I put “Paint the floor” at the top of my master “to-do” list. And here I am, 28 weeks into this year, and the floor is still waiting.

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

6 responses »

  1. Oh, dear. I’m sorry to hear about this one, Cindy. It’s unfortunate that it’s not a to do that can be hidden away. It’s there right in front of you all day and night, every day and night. I guess what it comes down to is that you haven’t done it because, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not truly that important to you. If it were, you would have done something about it. So maybe it will help to just let go of the expectation once and for all? Or, if you can’t do that, do your fix once and for all. Whichever option you choose is a better option than leaving it sitting on your brain, niggling at the back of your mind all of the time. That, I know, is exhausting!

    • You’re right, Karen, it can be exhausting to have something “niggling at the back” of my mind all the time. However, I am not ready to give up. Not on the floor, the roof, the woodwork or the windows either. If it were just the one thing – the floor – it might be correct to assume that it’s not that important to me, or it would be done. I only wrote about one thing, but I could have, easily, written a five hundred word essay about a dozen more on-going or unfinished projects around here. Time and money are severely limited. I am one person. When I managed to pull this little house out of foreclosure after my divorce 35 years ago, it was just a shell that was intended to be a garage. While raising two daughters on my own and working my way through graduate school, I managed to hold on to it. While supporting myself as a waitress and taking art-teaching jobs when they were available, I managed to get insulation, drywall, kitchen cabinets and siding. I eked out enough money for a new roof when it was needed. Now, twenty years later, the kitchen cabinets (bottom of the line when new) are falling apart, the roof needs to be replaced…and on, and on. Today is my day off. I intend to mow the lawn and put laundry on the line. If there is time, I have fourteen frames to assemble to frame artwork for an upcoming show. If I get all of that accomplished and still have energy, the floor is one of dozens of projects I might choose from. If I sound defensive, Karen, it is because I hear, in your response, the idea – that I get quite often – that if I REALLY cared, it would be done. I beg to differ.

    • And may I say, if I could figure out how to delete my first response, I would have already done it. I have been haunted all day by my snippy and defensive tone in answer to your thoughtful comments. I can only defend myself by saying it was early morning, and I was obviously in a vulnerable state of mind. I’m sorry! Thank you, Karen, as always, for your honest perspective and thoughtful opinion!

      • No worries, my friend. I wasn’t aware of the big picture or I wouldn’t have presumed to give you well-intended but very misguided advice. What I’d really like to be able to do is visit you on Beaver Island and help you paint your floor. Failing that, all I can offer is a virtual hug, a hope that you get a weekend off soon, and a wish that you’re able continue to offer yourself the self-care that you so richly deserve. xx Karen

  2. Once again you’re not alone. Husby and I have lived in our house since 1999 and I’ve yet to redecorate (read: paint) two rooms…the two rooms that have bothered me most since we moved in. Of course I make up all sorts of excuses for not sprucing up these rooms but none are really valid. Perhaps your flooring situation can inspire me, as patching and painting walls certainly isn’t as daunting as putting in a new floor. (Of course we could use some new flooring too, but I don’t like to think about it.)

    A toast to good intentions, and that one day we’ll accomplish what we desire!

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