My garbage disposal started leaking last week. And considering how old it is, I needed to replace it. Badly.
So I went to the store to pick up a new garbage disposal... and decided that if I was going to take out the disposal, now would be a perfect time to replace a leaky faucet, too. And while I was at it, maybe I should replace the kitchen sink. All of these things needed doing and if I was going to do one of them, it made sense to tackle them all. (Keeping in mind, of course, that I've never replaced a faucet or a sink before...)
After many hours and several trips to the store, the kitchen is back together and everything works.
The process was challenging. I wanted to quit repeatedly. More than a few choice words were spoken. My hands are torn up. My shoulder hurts.
But now it's done. I'm proud of the work. I'm glad I did it. It looks much better than the old sink. The disposal and faucet don't leak. Even though it took longer than I expected, it was worth the investment of time and energy.
I chose a harder, but more ambitious path. And as I struggled, I questioned my decision. I was frustrated and bruised. My confidence wavered. I wondered if I could turn back the clock and undo the initial decision to tackle a massively challenging project.* And it was only in the end that you see if the effort was truly worth it.
This is true in home improvement. But it's also completely true with relationships, design, parenting and just about everything. We take on big responsibilities. We struggle. We lose confidence. We want to quit. We question our decisions and assumptions. We lose sight of the big goal. And unlike my kitchen sink, sometimes these big picture challenges take more than just a Sunday afternoon. They require investments of months and years.
I'm often guilty of losing sight of the big goal. It's easy to get caught up with the challenges and frustrations. To convince myself that I'll never overcome the barriers in front of me. I personally need to be better about keeping the battle in perspective. And most of all, I need to stay focused on why I started the journey in the first place.
* Seriously, at that point, time travel seemed a more rational path forward. It wasn't going well.