Life has a way of wearing down what it considers my rough edges. It never seems to matter that I like me just the way I am (thank you, Mr Rogers), and would prefer to be left alone with all my quirky imperfections, intact. And how does this consistently unwelcome action occur? Easy. The things I dislike and fuss over the most, I regularly get opportunities to repeat until I finally yield, and say, “All right then; enough“. And make no mistake, all the times I do not really mean it do not count; the universe knows when I am sincere, and when I am sort of, and mostly not really on board.
My current experience in the land of “I do not want to do this, and I don’t know why you can’t just leave me be” has been interesting, in that I could not have been a more reluctant participant, and yet the end result is I actually have had an exceedingly wonderful time, and am feeling very grateful for it.
This said experience all came about when the owners of my apartment complex decided a major renovation to each unit was due. It is a large complex, so much planning went into accomplishing the remodel with as little disruption to the residents’ lives as possible. They have over eighty apartments in five buildings, and decided the most efficient way to get the job done was to work on four units at a time.
From the day I first heard of the plans, I kept my head down, and simply pretended it would not affect me for a long time, because I live in Apartment 42. No need to get all worked up when there were forty-one units ahead of me. Right? Silly me. How was I to know my apartment number was irrelevant, because it happens to be located in Building 1, and of course renovation had to begin in Building 1, because it is Building 1. So, my dreams of being left alone until sometime this summer went up in smoke as I found myself in the first wave of residents to be shuffled out of our apartments.
And what were they going to do with us when the builders were tearing down, and then building up? Why, move us to a hotel for a month, of course. We all had been told we would be given thirty days notice before we had to relocate, and we were provided a list of hotels from which to choose for our little vacations. Since I have dietary needs that prevent me from eating in restaurants, or enjoying the convenience of take-out food, I required a room with a kitchenette, so I could do my own cooking. I chose a hotel that provided a kitchen, and was located in the center of my usual shopping, errand-running territory. If I had to do this, it seemed the most convenient for my needs and lifestyle.
Even with the thirty day notice I had been given, when moving day came on February 4th, I was more than a little grumpy. There were no unpleasant words spoken; however, one look at my frowning face, and clenched jaw muscles gave everyone a big clue as to what my mood was. Fortunately, the owners also had made arrangements for movers to come in and pack up what we needed to take to the hotel, and transport it there for us, which lessened my grouchiness, considerably. By 9:00 AM, everything was packed and loaded onto the moving van, and I was on my way to a month’s stay in a hotel.
Feeling put upon, and indulging the extreme dislike I have for suitcases, hotels, and traveling in general, I was ready to sulk the entire month. But, arriving at my new home away from home with such a dismal attitude was so contrary to my normal, cheerful behavior, I began feeling ashamed as soon as I was in the elevator, riding up to my room. It was a no brainer that I needed to accept the month’s relocation, and frankly stop being so crabby about it.
By the time I found my room, and all my things were brought up to me, I began to realize, one more time, what I believed was going to be a huge imposition was really not a bad thing, at all. It turned out they did not just provide me a hotel room with a microwave, which is what I was expecting. Instead, I have a lovely suite with kitchen, living room with fireplace, nice large bathroom, and a bedroom that has a community-sized jacuzzi in it. The staff have been so sweet and kind, I feel as though I should be doing something for them, in some way, just to balance the universe a little. So far I have refrained from hugging the stuffing out of them all; I do not think they would understand. But, the manner in which I have been treated for the last two weeks has been a balm to a very tired soul, and I am grateful beyond words.
Barring any delays in construction, I will return to my apartment in a week and a half. I realize this experience has been a very gentle sanding of one more rough edge; and hopefully, next time I need to do something that does not appeal to me, I will remember this, and not put myself into such a state of anxiety and bad humor. After all, a month’s worth of reading in front of the fireplace, watching as many movies as I like, and having housekeepers come everyday to tidy up my little place is about as close to feeling like a princess as I have come in a very long time. And it is good to be pampered once in a while, especially when the lesson learned was born out of a hardship that never was.