I have spent 3 days in Penelope Hell.
My husband is gone A LOT for his job. He’s gone right now, so naturally a pipe must burst underneath my kitchen sink. Because, you know, the universe loves to test me.
This past Sunday I awoke bright and early and made my way down to the kitchen. I hear a strange hissing noise from below the sink, open the cabinets, and am greeted by soaked cleaning supplies and a good 2-inch deep puddle of water on the cabinet floor.
Any seasoned “single mama” knows to turn off the main water valve in the event of a plumbing emergency. So I head down to the lower level of my house to do just that.
As I step off the hardwood kitchen floor onto the carpet, my bare feet are greeted by yet another huge puddle of water. Under the carpet. Not good.
Downstairs I shut off the water, then go to the laundry room (that’s directly below my kitchen) to get towels to dry everything off. Again, ankle deep in another puddle.
Is this real life?
A plumber came out that day to fix the leaky pipe, but thereafter is where the real fun starts. I had to have a water mitigation company come out to extract the water from below the kitchen floor, underneath the carpet, and out of the laundry room ceiling.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever dealt with a water mitigation company, but it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
They came to my house and set up probably 8 industrial strength dehumidifiers, air movers and floor mat systems on the lower two levels of my house.
The noise coming out of these suckers was LOUD. And I have really good hearing, so it was pretty unbearable.
And here’s the best part — the machines had to run for 3 DAYS to get all the water out.
3 DAYS. Of loud, obstructive machines in my kitchen, living room and laundry room. That meant no peace and quiet, no cooking, no dishwasher, no laundry. Plus I had to keep a curious 2-year-old and 140lb Bullmastiff away from the multiple devices, hoses, plugs and pipes.
Did I mention I work from home?
This morning the technician came and removed all the machines from my house. I am sitting here in glorious silence, feeling my blood pressure and sanity return to their baseline levels.
I am thankful for this return to normalcy.
I’m sure you can imagine the toll it takes on a Penelope to not have control over his or her environment. I found myself incredibly stressed and on edge. My routine was completely thrown off, my house was a mess, my mind was scattered and my anxiety was through the roof.
But you know what? This kind of thing happens. And when the going gets tough, we get tougher.
Meredith gave me an especially helpful way of looking at this situation. She said:
Man, the Universe must be wanting great things from you. It sure is getting you ready for big things! YOU WILL PREVAIL!
How’s that for a mantra?
After she said this, I was flipping through one of my favorite fitness magazines and serendipitously came across this quote:
“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
In the grand scheme of things, a flooded house isn’t all that tragic (the machines were able to dry everything out and nothing needs to be replaced). But I think it’s a good reminder in difficult situations to know that whatever it is, it WILL pass, you’ll get through it—and you’ll be stronger because of it.
Now that I’ve made a lemon drop out of lemons, excuse me while I chug it down.