Today has been huge. It shouldn't have been. For normal people, today's task would literally have been the easiest thing in the world, but for me, for a number of reasons, it has been massive. You see, I made a bed today. A couple of weeks ago some of you may remember, I did the Stratford Half Marathon and, in a moment of madness and exhaustion, I bought myself a bed that afternoon as a congratulations present. I've had my old bed for ages and before that it belonged to my parents, it's ancient and SO uncomfortable and has meant that, every night for the last umpteen months, I have complained to Alex about it. So, after ordering my new one (because Feather & Black had a half price deal and I saw this to be a sure sign) I have been counting down the days (at one point telling Alex that my excitement for this was on par with the excitement I felt about my book coming out).
So when the Feather & Black delivery men called me at 6.30am this morning to tell me that they would be here in half an hour I was not angry at having been woken, as I would have been for any other delivery, but excited. I jumped out of bed, had the quickest shower of my life and got to work taking apart the bed that I had just got up from. (It was literally a wooden box in two parts so took very little work).
Since Alex was at the gym the delivery guys really sweetly helped me carry all the boxes up to my room before wishing me luck (get fucked if you think I'm paying £50 for someone to do something that I am more than capable of doing myself, am I right?!) and leaving me to it.
I started, as I felt that I should, by hoovering the skirting board. If I'm honest, this seemed like a really grown up and boring job, but one that seemed appropriately sensible. When Alex got home from the gym he only had twenty minutes to gobble down some eggs and head off to work so I told him that he mustn't worry, that I literally do stuff like this all the time - (in the four years that we've been together, when exactly?!) and that he should head off to work. Six hours has passed since Alex left, eight since the bed was dropped off. And boy have I learned a lot in that time, some of it, surprisingly deep. Here are just some of the life lessons that making my bed taught me today:
It's OK to ask for advice
This applies to any DIY situation and most times in life wherever it is available. Instructions are there for a reason and advice is accessible by the bucket load these days: UTILISE IT. Without it, I'd have been screwed this morning.
Talking to yourself is legit fine.
I spoke out loud ALL morning, before I even headed over to my Instagram to publicly air my frustrations I laughed and I cried and I chatted everything through with myself a million times and it was so liberating. Chest stuck in the hallway? Talk it through. No one answering? Come up with the solution yourself.
Fucking up is a-OK.
The main reason that today was a total shit show was simply because I fucked up. I put half the pieces in upside down and did not have the foresight to measure the bastard thing before buying it and then building it. There were lots of times today when I fucked up and every time I thought to myself: ah, we can fix this. And fix it we did.
Improvisation is important.
Chest stuck because the knobs/handles (what are they called) are catching on the bannister? Light bulb moment. Take them off. As it transpired that wasn't enough in the end but that little bright spark was great and allowed me to carry on optimistically for at least half an hour.
Whether you go above it or below it, you can get around pretty much anything.
I spent a good 10 minutes physically stuck in my office today after getting the chest jammed in the doorway. After the initial claustrophobia and panic that I would be stuck there until Alex got home subsided I realised that if I took off my socks and scaled the wardrobe like a monkey then I could get out. Similar thing happened during the slat-laying in the bed, I trapped myself in but worked out that if I lay on my stomach and bear-crawled out then I could be free. There's always a way out it often just takes a change of perspective.
Your friends are very important
For two reasons. One, some of them will literally work things out for you using a scrap piece of paper and a pen (as shown above), two, they give you the best reaction ever when deliriousness leads to typos and all you can do is laugh until you can't breathe anymore. (below)
A positive mental attitude is everything
After four hours I had finally rearranged everything in the bedroom, laughed, cried, sweated and swore and I thought that I had made it onto the home straight, only to discover that there was a piece of the bed missing. Thank god I laughed. It was a 50 50 and tears felt imminent but, altering whipping out my PMA I realised that actually, in the grand scheme of life, everything is alright.
You're much more capable than you give yourself credit for
Had Alex been here this morning, today would have been totally different. I'd probably have given up and definitely left more to him than his fair share. Since there was no Alex and I was totally on my own I smashed the damn thing in a much more capable manner than I would have thought possible. Lots and lots of times it would have been VERY useful to have a second pair of hands to help but since they weren't there I had to do it solo and I surprised myself with all that I managed.
Nothing worth fighting for is ever easy
OK am I taking it too far with the exaggeration now???? Maybe. But SERIOUSLY. Today was a bloody struggle and, had it been easy, I would not appreciate quite how wonderful everything now is nearly as much. I will sleep better tonight than I have in ages because I worked really really really hard to ensure that my bed even existed. All worth it in the end eh?
OK. Maybe this is ridiculous. Maybe I'm dehydrated and reading too much into an epic DIY fail. Who knows. I feel like I might have learned something and sort of had to share it.
To see the whole ridiculous debacle, head over to my Pretty Normal Me Instagram story.