I noticed my dog sniffing a spot by the wall. When I investigated what she had found, I realized there was a wet spot on my brand-new carpet. It was odd, as there had never been water in our home before. We wondered if it was a frozen pipe outside or a water pipe in the wall.
As projects like this often do, one thing led to another. After a visit from a plumber and cutting a hole in the wall to remove the sheetrock, it was narrowed down to a drainpipe. A simple fix, right? Well, it turned out to be a bit longer process than simple. The leak was under the concrete floor of our lower-level family room.
In case you are wondering, a jackhammer is noisy when it is in your home and concrete dust does go everywhere. After a bigger hole was cut in the wall and a hole was cut out of the floor, the plumber replaced the pipe. The sheetrock was replaced on the wall. New concrete was poured to cover the hole in the floor. And it was my turn to paint the area so that it matched the rest of the room that we had painted only a month earlier.
It wasn’t a big area, and the new carpet was still pulled safely back, so I put on my trusty oversized denim paint shirt, plastic gloves, and on my hands and knees began rolling paint. I looked across my large family room. The tv area, the exercise area, the pool table area circled me, but from my vantage point I felt very small in my little space. Compared to enjoying my entire room, it suddenly felt like I had been backed into a tiny corner.
I began thinking about all that has happened in the past year.
For months I never left the house. My weekly curbside pickup of groceries became my big outing. Conferences and events where I would speak and meet new people were all canceled. Lunches and coffee with friends didn’t happen. Going to movies, eating out, family gatherings, shopping, travel, … All. Came. To. A. STOP.
Event by event, person by person, my life circle became smaller. I stopped painting and looked around my big room as if I were looking at my life. It is out there, my big, busy live with family, friends, work, and fun. But little by little I have slowly been backed into a corner. The corner was safe. The corner was the right thing to do. The corner was necessary. The corner has also been lonely, sad, and uncomfortable.
I reached out of my corner at times to enjoy phone calls with friends, spoke via webinars and virtual meetings, Zoomed with my family for holidays, and even joined a group for virtual game nights. These helped me feel connected, but once they were over it was back to my corner.
I rolled the paint.
I applied the second coat blending it into the rest of the wall. I could see the weeks of repairs disappearing. I kicked the carpet back into place. Soon it will be stretched back into the corner and all signs of concrete dust and broken pipes will be gone.
I stepped out of my corner and walked through my family room. I looked back at my painted masterpiece. I couldn’t tell there had ever been a hole cut in my wall. It felt good.
I look forward to the day I walk back into my life. I look forward to travel, family gatherings, shopping, speaking, movies, eating out… all without fear. The day is coming and when it does, I will look back at the little corner I have been backed into for so long. I don’t know if my life will look the same. There may be new people. Different places. New experiences. I feel like we have all changed through this. We have been broken open and felt new feelings. My hope is when the dust settles, and the wounds are healed we will feel good again.
Pennie’s Life Lesson: “At times we are backed into a corner so that we can view and appreciate the big world surrounding us.”
Pennie Heart to Heart
BACKED INTO A CORNER
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There is a certain magic about where I live both physically and spiritually – on the crossroads of Spirit and Brave.
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