Finding Your Piece


In preparation for Martin’s visit with his girls in 22 days.  Yes I’m counting.  I dragged my kids to the local IKEA store this weekend to see if we could find something for the spare bedroom to help them feel welcomed.  My Mazda turned into a magic clown car in the parking structure as we fit the longest of cardboard boxes into the back-end only to discover we had several inches to spare and could close the trunk.  Yeah for me, Yeah for my car.

I didn’t get much further than that sense of accomplishment when the thought struck me hard.  When I get home, I am the one who will be putting this all together.  I would of course force my son into slave labor to help me.  Martin warned me to stay calm and remarked that he was glad he wouldn’t be there.  I told him, “No you don’t understand.  I’m good at this stuff!”

Confident in my memories as a tomboy who would rather have a hammer in my hand than a vacuum cleaner, I reasoned that whatever the challenge, I could work it out.  I merely needed my son to hold things and be my grunt.

I ripped open the boxes, took inventory of the contents and grabbed hold of my Philips head screwdriver and went to town.

Ok, I need to find this screw, and put it in that hole, and fit it into that other hole, and push while I …oops I need to turn this piece over that way.  There.  That’s right.  No…turn it like this…now its right.  No…darn it.  OH I have to flip it that way.  Now I got it!

5 hours later I had two pieces of furniture standing handsomely in my room and only two washers, three screws, and a white plastic thingy left over.  My son and I wrangled only once and to his credit, he was right.

Putting together IKEA furniture is more of a workout than it looks.  It’s like Yoga.  People say, “How hard can it be? You are just standing there.”  But if you’ve ever tried Yoga you know that staying in one position no matter how peaceful that pose may be is hard work.

I squatted my knees, bent my back to the left and looked under my arm for at least 10 whole minutes while I was installing the runners for the drawers.  I broke out in a sweat for heaven’s sake!  Over and over, page, by page, piece by piece.

But the monotony was great.  I was being productive. I was BUILDING.  And it was for a good cause.  And I was making my house look nice.  Piece by piece by piece by piece, I found that special place you go to when you are “in the mode”.  Time, hunger, and physical pain disappeared.  All that existed in the world was me and those pieces.

I loved it.  It was a pain and I am sore today and I don’t want to do it again tomorrow, but I keep walking into that room and looking at what I did and smiling.

I’m taking each day at a time and trying not to get too nervous about this next visit.  It is a big one.  Huge.  I am trying not to go overboard but my sleepless nights have returned.  I am not sleepy at all.  Despite running, and doing these projects.  I am wide awake at 2, 3 o’clock in the morning.  My brain is definitely on overdrive.

Martin and I are in a good place right now, both anticipating this next trip.  He is still working out the kinks to his divorce but this time I am a part of the discussion and I know what is going on.  He is like a different person.  I’m cautiously optimistic.

4 responses to “Finding Your Piece

  1. I love this! It’s so true…putting those suckers together is a workout!! When M and I put together my desk, it took us about 4 hours and it’s a lot of bending, squatting, up, down, etc. I was definitely hurting after 😉 So glad you and Martin are in a good place right now!

  2. One is 20 heading toward 21 and the other just turned 19. They are sweet girls who love their dad lots. We just don’t know each other yet. We are going to Vegas for a quick jaunt for my nephews grad party and they will meet my flock. But other than that we are going to hang in the OC and Hollywood and give them the Socal experience. Hopefully by the end of the trip we will all feel more comfortable. My kids are very excited. They are 15 1/2 and 17.

  3. Ahhhh…IKEA and I have a love-hate relationship. Whenever I put stuff together from there, I refuse help because “I’m a big girl, and I can do it myself.” Doing it myself usually includes throwing tools at it in frustration.

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