Last fall, I purchased a fixer-upper that looked and smelled like 1962. It’s a quaint little four-split with angled wood beams in the great room. I saw so much potential I hit the ground running with a sledgehammer in one hand and a cat’s paw in the other. A cat’s paw, if you’re wondering, is a fantastic little tool that easily removes the one million staples left in your beautiful hardwood floors after carpet is removed.
Fast forward to this fall. On a lazy Saturday afternoon, I decided that having completed all of our home improvement in the rest of the house, we were ready to demolish the kitchen, right down to the studs. The easiest part of home improvement, and admittedly the most fun, is the destruction. I have mad skills in that department; however, my aptitude and attitude for reconstruction is paltry at best. Feeling overjoyed at the blank slate I created that afternoon in the kitchen, I laid down to take a nap. Moments later, I was awakened by my husband screaming, “Tash! Get down here!” As I turned to look down the stairs, I saw water flowing in our living room like a river had just been rerouted to our address. Water was everywhere and getting deep. It filled the garage, my car, the entire tool bench, the living room, the basement, and all the areas we had just refinished. All our hard work was immediately washed away and replaced with stink and sludge. Now we were back at square one, and we didn’t have a working kitchen, not even a sink.
Standing knee deep in water, I thought about this issue’s article on mindfulness by Melissa Eisler. In it, she says “[a] deep breath, a pause, or a brief moment of mindful presence is all it takes to remain cool in stressful situations. That pause can mean the difference between sending the entire situation or relationship soaring to greater heights, or falling down a slippery slope.” Looking at my soggy vintage 1981 Trivial Pursuit game, I drew in a deep breath and then began to laugh. I wasn’t sure what message the universe was trying to send me with the delivery of a colossal flood, but I was mindful that this too shall pass. I wonder how many times court managers face a tidal wave of bad news, destroyed plans, or a mess to clean up. Remembering simple tips like those found in Melissa’s article are great tools to have in our back pocket and help us to stay grounded.
So now that you know I’m a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, you won’t be surprised to find that I found John Muffler’s article on courthouse security a great read. In it he states, “The ‘do it yourself’ approach to hearing room security is tactically and strategically brilliant. Particularly where no security exists in a building, the arrangement of the hearing room can be strategically important.” John provides some great ideas for courts that have little resources to direct toward security. Now, I’d like to think that many folks consider my DIY skills “tactically and strategically brilliant,” but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one.
I had hoped to provide you with a photograph of my newly remodeled kitchen, but regrettably, I must report yet another setback in the endeavor. We ordered our cabinets from a little shop you might know that allows you to assemble them all by yourself and then stuff your face with Swedish meatballs when you’re done. Let’s just say I was wearing some “bad idea jeans” the day I came up with this doozy of a plan, and we’re still waiting on those cabinets. Below is a picture of the delivery, most of which went crashing onto the street. Stay tuned for more updates. Until then, keep calm because this too shall pass.