I haven’t written about my kitchen renovation progress even though the counters were installed a week ago.
The counter is beautiful. And the cabinets are beautiful.
But the shade of the countertops isn’t a perfect match for the cabinets. The cabinets are a pinkish beige and the countertop is a yellowish beige and while that doesn’t sound like a big deal, it’s off. It’s not what I was envisioning.
The loss of a dream can be a very painful thing.
When Yirmiyahu was born and I found out he had Trisomy 21, I accepted it very quickly – in less than a minute. No regrets, no what if, no wishing it would be different.
But most parents go through a mourning period after learning of the diagnosis, because it’s hard to let go of your dream of who your child will be.
Why was it so easy for me to accept my newborn son had Down syndrome and after a week I’m still struggling to accept my countertops being a different shade than I anticipated?
When I got the news about the T21, it was clear that was the reality and there was nothing that was going to change that. The only option was to look forward and do the best I could to nurture the child I had.
I also have a very strong belief that everything in this world happens as it’s meant to happen, when it’s meant to happen, to whom it’s meant to happen. G-d doesn’t make mistakes and nothing about Yirmiyahu or him being part of our family was a mistake.
But this countertop…it felt like a mistake. My mistake. I have a good sense of what looks right together. This isn’t the kind of mistake that I should have made. Except that I did and how it happened doesn’t really matter.
And – I don’t want to call it grieving because that should be saved for really serious situations – I’m feeling a sense of loss and sadness. I invested a lot into this project because the final vision of what it would look like motivated me. After the countertops arrived, I lost all interest in finishing the kitchen. I wished I hadn’t started it. Better to have kept the old tiny yucky kitchen than to invest myself in a project that didn’t turn out the way I wanted, my mind said.
While I can accept what G-d sends, it’s harder for me to accept a mistake that I made and realize, this is also the way that G-d wanted it.
As long as I’m wishing I could change the countertops, tell myself that I can’t bear looking at it every day, think how it’s a reminder of my failure – I’m not going to find acceptance. And without acceptance there’s no emotional peace and definitely no happiness.
Acceptance truly is the answer. Acceptance will only come when I can internalize that this is how it is, this is how it’s meant to be and this is G-d’s will just as much as something that doesn’t have any element of human involvement attached to it. It means focusing on what I have, not on what doesn’t fit my image of how it should be.
When I begin to let go of my insistence that something is wrong and realign my vision with the reality that’s now in front of me, it’s freeing. I can focus on what’s right. I have a well-designed kitchen that uses the space well, that’s easy to organize. I have all the features in my kitchen that I wanted. All while staying within my budget.
Since what I want is emotional health, serenity and peace, this is what I’m choosing. To accept that I don’t always get what I want, to enjoy what I have, and to notice what a beautiful countertop I have – even if it’s not the right shade.