For those of you who follow along on social media, you know that I just finished a kitchen remodel. From demolition to final was one month, but this project began with water damage in January, so it feels like it’s been going on a very long time.

While the majority of the world would be thrilled to get a new kitchen, this was not on my 2024 plan. One thing I knew for certain (and I was correct) is that one’s kitchen is the heart of the home and a remodel would affect literally every corner of the house (and my brain).

That said, I am thrilled with the results and I learned a LOT about myself.

This particular blog post, while it does include some before and after (because who doesn’t like a good home improvement reveal), is not REALLY about the project itself. ¬†It is about being a 54-year-old stubborn woman with ADHD who had a vision and decided to take it on herself. Did I mention I have almost NO experience with this stuff?

While I didn’t intend to do this room in 2024, I have had it fairly designed in my head for about three years. The idea was to have both boys out of college so we had zero distractions while it happened and affected the fewest people. ¬†Because we had water come through our ceiling in January which meant new lights, a new counter and floor, we went for the full remodel, but even that took me a minute to process. ¬†Fast forward to the actual construction and it was one kid still in college and BOTH at home for the summer with two dogs under foot. ¬†NOT ideal circumstances.

My Enneagram 7 (the Enthusiast) is likely what triggered me to take on the role of designer and general contractor. ¬†I love trying new things and being creative. ¬†And one big key to we 7’s is loving a good dare. ¬†The second someone tells me it will be too hard for me, I can’t (or shouldn’t) do it, my heels are dug in with resolve. I have a fairly long streak of Enneagram 3 (the Achiever) in my as well, so being able to take credit for the finished project was also highly motivating.

This personality cocktail of mine has a lot of superpower to it (the part I prefer to embrace), but an awful lot of potential pitfalls as well. ¬†These are the things I learned…

  • Over plan your calendar. ¬†Put every detail of your construction, your work time, exercise, cooking time, self care…fill your calendar half hour by half hour or you will lose whole days at a time. ¬†I tried to stay flexible and the thing that was sacrificed each time was me. For me, I also need to schedule spontaneity or it is too easy to become distracted by the shiny objects. ¬†When I’m stressed, they ALL become shiny objects.

  • Manage expectations. ¬†I went in mentally expecting a month. ¬†My contractor then said 2.5 weeks and I allowed myself to get excited about that, making the month it actually took seem that much longer. I had to recognize that I am extraordinarily impatient, even though I also procrastinate. ¬†It took me from January until MAY to prepare for this, but then I wanted it done in a DAY. ¬†As I am waiting to get to the good part, I need to work more on empathy for the timelines of others (family included).

    Beyond my TIMELINE expectations, I learned a lot about what I can expect from myself these days. ¬†While I have created a lot of systems and hacks to stay focused and productive, I realized that I, too, am still very much “under construction.” Multi-tasking is something I can do TO A POINT. ¬†Many VERY important things were overlooked and pushed out into July because I simply didn’t have the bandwidth or systems to get all of it down reasonably. ¬†Accepting that helped me to not berate myself for the month of low productivity. ¬†BIG A-HA MOMENT

  • Organizational systems. ¬†I honestly thought I had done this really well, keeping out enough dishes and glassware to function. ¬†I was not even close. After a week, I was raiding the boxes for things we truly needed. ¬†This caused me a lot of frustration because it made the chaos worse. I am rare in the world of ADHD in that I also LOVE to organize things and love pretty and orderly spaces (it’s a form of creative outlet for me). ¬†I needed to spend more time PLANNING the packing, not just the packing. ¬†Re-loading the kitchen is still happening. ¬†As the family decides what makes the most sense where, we will create the best possible system for cooking and storage.

  • Change comes with grief. ¬†This was an unexpected lesson–why would a kitchen remodel cause this? ¬†Well, my late sister-in-law had helped me pick out the theme for the old kitchen. ¬†In fact, our kitchens shared this darling dancing chef motif. ¬†We managed to salvage a full piece of the border (of the chefs) for nostalgia’s sake because we found it all felt a little bittersweet. ¬†NO ONE would have been more excited about this new kitchen than Laura. ¬†It made me miss her.

     

    Additionally, the stress became overwhelming at times.  While not technically grief, I had moments of very high emotion throughout and I had to make space for all of it.  Walking the dogs, hiding in my room with a podcast or Netflix, meditation and yes, a few tears were just a part of what I needed to go through.  Staying IN the emotion (not natural for enneagram 7) was critical and helped it to pass faster.

  • Personal space.¬†This was a big one. ¬†I have worked with my contractor for many projects over the years, but nothing this big or this long. ¬†As the project began, we chatted a fair bit (I do some of the work myself. ¬†I peeled wallpaper, did all the painting, etc) and thought his music preference (classic rock). was a fun digression from my usual 80’s new wave. He also knows what order this SHOULD go and I had other ideas based on the visual progress I wanted (did I mention I’m impatient). By week 2, we were happy for the weekend, by day 30 I wanted to throw his radio through the window and he looked like a prisoner who was just paroled.

    I’ve worked from home since 1997. ¬†I’m VERY used to having the house to myself to manage my time and location as I please. ¬†Remember back in spring 2020 when we ALL worked and schooled from home and had to learn to give each other space? Now add a non-family member to the mix with their own quirks and timelines…

    I realize I will never be able to work in an office EVER.  My Enneagram 7 needs freedom and that includes my schedule, physical space, and creativity.

The single most important lesson I learned, however, was this: if you have confidence in your capabilities, and courage to take on new things, even old dogs (with ADHD) can learn new tricks.  With lots of wins and some definite missteps, I learned a lot of problem solving skills, time management ideas, and what NOT to do in many cases.

Be bold–YOU can achieve transformation too!

Time to LEVEL UP!

What is something you have always wanted to do?

Not everyone has the courage/audacity/inclination to take on massive projects unsupported. ¬†Many of us want to try something or have a dream waiting to be realized and just don’t know where to begin.

Transformation coaching is a wonderful way to explore your full potential and make those desires reality. ¬†Whether you’re just overly cautious, don’t know where to begin, or not feeling confident enough, YOU can be who you were always meant to be.

Book a complimentary exploration call with me (in person or via zoom) to simply find out what massive change could look like. ¬†I’d be honored to be part of your story…