When we got our floors redone a few weeks ago, R-girl asked if I was going to write a blog post about it and turn it into some sort of metaphor.

What? When have I ever done that kind of thing?

red-birch-floor-before-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk-441Anyway, why would I do that when there are so many other relevant things to say about the topic?

Like what a pain in the actual neck it is to move all your furniture – and yourself – out of the house for a week.

Also how hellishly-crazy-horrific that varnish smells. “Smells” isn’t even the correct word. It’s so much more than a smell. It’s an all-pervasive, lung-and-skin-invading state of being that seeps into every piece of fabric in the house like some industrial-strength, essence-of-toxic-chemical laundry detergent.

For a girl who’s too sensitive to even use floral-scented laundry detergent, this was a full-on sensory assault.


But there are other things to say too…

Like how fun it was to have slumber parties with some of my favorite people around town all week.

Or what a blast it was to stay up late watching the Cubs win the World Series!!!!!!! With friends who cared as much as I did!

Or what good practice it was to ask for help. And receive it.

Not to mention just how beyond-badly the floors needed to be done.
I know, right?

Then there are the vulnerable things. (As if that floor wasn’t vulnerable enough.)

I mean, is it just me, or does a project that turns your life upside-down stir unexpected emotion for anyone else?

It might be just me. After all, I’m an INFJ, recovering codependent, borderline HSP, sometimes-hormonal human, which means, basically: I feel stuff. And I felt some stuff throughout this process.

red-birch-floor-before-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk-445For one, I felt the familiar aloneness of making all the decisions by myself.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not always a bad thing. I can make decisions. I do it all day long as a business owner and single mom. And there are perks to being the only decision maker (e.g., pink couch, pink stove, pink chairs, pink portrait of a random guy in the living room, etc.).

But I’d be willing to compromise on the pink once in a while for the fun of making decisions together with someone else about floors and countertops and what to do next weekend. I’m just saying.

On top of that, the last guy I seriously dated owned a hardwood flooring business. Let’s let the irony sink in for a minute…

red-birch-floor-before-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk-442We’ve been broken up for months but, yeah, there were feelings. Obviously.


Mixed in with all those feels were the “I got this” and “You go, girl” feels. Because, you guys! I finally overcame the hypnotizingly comfortable status-quo and mustered the energy to make this life-invasive project happen – instead of just talking about needing it for another 10 years. I made all the necessary decisions. I noticed the difficult feelings and I said to them, “Yep, you matter and you’re allowed. But you’re not in charge.”

Maybe this post is starting to sound a little too deep for a floor refinishing project.

I know some of you whip out remodeling masterpieces like batches of brownies (which I also don’t do). But, for whatever reason, things like this usually require a little more of me than I think they will.

On the flip side, they give me back more than I expect too.

These days, when I walk in my front door and see a beautifully restored floor spreading out in front of me – instead of its battered-beyond-recognition predecessor – it satisfies a lot more than my desire for visual beauty.

It feels kind of like… a new foundation.

Something solid and fresh to build on for this next season at R-house.

And I’m kinda blown away by how much a beautifully restored foundation can make everything around me look a little newer, brighter, and better.


I guess R-girl called it, didn’t she?


Here’s to clearing things out, stripping things down, and bringing back some beauty, friends—even when it’s hard.

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