My husband doesn’t want me to watch HGTV anymore! For those of you who don’t recognize those initials, I’m referring to the Home and Garden Television Network that features shows about remodeling your home. Personally, I think it’s one of the better channels, however my husband cringes when I turn it on. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the programs featured tend to stir my creative juices toward projects that often involve my husband. Now, I must say, he’s an excellent craftsman and can successfully tackle anything I come up with; however, I wonder if I push that envelope sometimes. We’re in the midst of some remodeling projects right now, pleased with the selections and the work being done, yet currently inundated with dust. The kind of dust that comes when you use jackhammers to break up a tile floor. A soft layer of grey powder covered everything in sight and even traveled to places I never dreamed it would go. I knew there would be some dust to deal with but the contractor exceeded my expectations as his workers took over my house. Now we’re left to clean things up so we can return to some sense of normalcy. My mind bounces back and forth with varied emotions. I’m pleased with the remodeling choices and the work we’ve done, yet overwhelmed with the effort it will take to return everything to its proper place. When I look at all there is to be done, I shake my head in dismay. How are we ever going to tackle all we need to do to finish the renovations and get things back to a place where we can function again? What were we thinking when we decided to go down this path? Are we ever going to see a light at the end of the tunnel? It feels as though we’ve been working so very hard, yet we have far to go before we reach the finish line. And that’s just for the projects we are currently working on, not to mention those things we have still on our wish list. As we reflected on the status of things, my husband and I recalled other times when we’ve been in the midst of challenges that felt overwhelming. Times when we wanted to throw up our hands and walk away. Times when we looked for distractions so we would not have to deal with the issues at hand. Tough times. Yet, we got through them and we know we’ll get through this time as well. A few things seem to help us right now. First, we’re keeping our focus on the finish line and talking about how things will be once we get through the challenging time. We’re supporting each other with encouragement to press on and affirmation for the effort we’re giving to tackle the challenge. We’re each other’s cheerleader as well as accountability partner, fostering a “can do it” spirit that spurs us on. Another thing we do is pace ourselves, working hard but also taking some breaks to renew our energy and recapture our momentum when it fades. Perhaps one of the things that’s most helpful to us is a sense of humor. We laugh at ourselves, at each other and even at the situation in general as things sometimes take interesting and unexpected turns. I suppose the steps we’ve followed to get through this renovation are the same steps we’ve taken to deal with other life challenges. We commit to work together. We keep our eyes on the goal, pressing on and not giving up. We work hard and we give ourselves time to rest and regroup, to renew our energy so we can go the distance. We get help when we need it and find the tools to accomplish our task. We fuel our sense of humor to lighten the heaviness of the challenges we’re working through and we support and encourage each other. Today it’s dust; but whatever tomorrow may bring, with God’s help, we’ll roll up our sleeves and press through whatever challenges may come. I hope you’ll do the same as you face your own ‘gettin’ through’ times. Nancy Williams, M.Ed., LPC is a licensed professional counselor, speaker and writer. Send questions or comments to her at www.nancywilliams.net.

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