losing my shit as the shit hits the fan

[AKA: Please let this be menopause]

Home renovations are stressful at the best of times. Add in the fact that I know I’m making these ones to sell a home I love and you’ve got a whole whack of emotions simmering just barely below the surface. One false move and the dam bursts open.

On Mondays I normally post a weekly workout recap. Today will not be one of those Mondays.

Last week’s activity amounted to:

  • Boxing up books, mementos, photo albums and other sentimental things in order to clear all walls for painting
  • Packing up my son’s bedroom, essentially stripping it of all his personality, in order to stage it in more neutral and soothing tones and furnishings
  • Taping every baseboard, window and door frame in preparation for painting (ongoing we are now on the basement level)
  • Painting every baseboard, window and door frame (ongoing, we are now on the upstairs floor)
  • Cleaning windows (ongoing; main floor done)
  • Scrubbing floors
  • Umpteen trips up and down 2 flights of stairs

I have a looming deadline of Friday morning. The aerial photographer is coming in at 11:00 am to shoot stills and videos. Between now and Thursday night, there is still a massive amount of work to be done. To say that I’m on edge about it… well, it would be like saying Mt. Everest is a pretty big mountain.


My temper is running short. My emotions are running high.

I’ve been trying to mask it.

I hate losing my cool.

But my eyes betray me, welling up with tears at the slightest offense.

This morning they were triggered by an emotionally charged run-in with my first-born. Her birthday happens to be today. It’s a milestone. 25.

Perfect timing.

Instead of celebrating , we were at each other’s throats. And now I can’t stop crying.

I’m either heading into menopause or having a nervous breakdown. Or both.

Good times.

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

77 thoughts on “losing my shit as the shit hits the fan

  1. eeek! I can completely empathise!!

    “they” say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do…along with changing jobs so I can completely understand why you are feeling like this!

    I hope you feel better soon, I fully believe you are coping with everything better than you feel like you are!

  2. It’s probably a break down. 🙂
    Poor Nancy, I hate that your are struggling so and I’m going to send you some good, cleansing energy to help you get through the next hour. And then the hour after that, and then the rest of the day! You do have a lot going on – and it’s probably good to just cry and get it all out, and seriously, give yourself a break!

  3. Sorry to hear it, Nancy. I clicked the ‘like’ button to share my commiseration with you, not because I like your pain. Sometimes life deals us too much at once. Our emotions runneth over, and that’s okay. It’s probably a defense mechanism. You and your son will patch things up. Family is family, and we all have our moments. Then we hug and move on.

    Hope life gets less stressful for you soon.

  4. Hang in there, NT. You’ve got a lot on your plate right now. Hope you and your first born find time to celebrate today.

    We’re painting just two rooms in the villa and we don’t have a photographer coming and we aren’t trying to sell the place and we don’t have birthdays to celebrate and . . . painting is still a pain.

  5. Ditto Carrie’s comment. Like click for solidarity, not for your situation.

    You have a freaking ton of stuff to do. Don’t be hard on yourself for cracking, because most people would. Whether you realize it or not, going through your son’s bedroom and the rest of your accumulated life is an emotional process. It dredges up memories, both happy and sad. Take him out for a beverage and give yourself a little break from memory lane. It will be there when you get back, and you’ll be in a better place to tackle it.


    • It’s actually Amanda, not Nick. And I haven’t even STARTED her room yet. Things will get uglier before they get prettier, I’m afraid. Timing couldn’t be worse. She turns 25 today. 😦

  6. You have a lot of things going on that are stressful, so it’s understandable. We’re doing floors over and my house is upside down and we’re sniping at each other. Good times. At the end of the day, things will be fine.

    • Apparently aerial photography is the new ‘thing’ in real estate marketing. I have no idea what it means. I guess I’ll find out Friday morning.

      It’s actually my daughter who is eldest. I wish I had a tiff with my son. He’s so easy.

  7. Look on the bright side Nancy, all those trips up and down the stairs count as part of your work out! 🙂 I know, I’m not helping. Sounds like too much all happening at once. This too shall pass. Patrick

  8. Aw. Life can really suck sometimes. But it will get better. You will get done what needs to get done. The whole moving/house selling is so much work, but it’s temporary. You can do it. HUGS

    • Thanks Cynthia. I’m really hoping all this emotion is due to premenopausal symptoms. It would be nice to have something to blame the crazy on. That said, my period arrived Saturday, on Day 25 of my cycle. Like clockwork. GAH!

  9. Ah yes, son’s are so much easier than daughter’s. I remember our move last summer…. migraines and tears and I wasn’t even attached to that house. So I can only imagine how you’re feeling. Hang in there. This too shall pass 🙂

  10. Menopause: Kathy and I call it “mental pause,” and she seems to be entering it. I’m 52 and think I’m having a nervous breakdown . . . or male mental pause. Same thing. Seriously, Nancy, sending peace your way–because you are a good person, no doubt. John

    • And there go the waterworks again. Thank you for your well wishes and kind words. I’ve been feeling like a troll all day for reacting the way I did last night and this morning.

      She was being inconsiderate and disrespectful, but I absolutely overreacted. I’m hoping all these tears and snot will be out of my system before I see her next so I can have the conversation I wish I’d had in the first place.

  11. Aw, another solidarity click here Nancy, not a like but an “I’m with you”. Home renovations are always stressful, selling a house is my least favorite thing in the world and yeah mom/daughter relationships are never easy. I know I’ve reached my limit when the tears won’t stop and support from friends and family is the only thing that finally dries them up. My challenge is letting people close to me know just how bad it is instead of the fake “it’s ok” followed by running out of the room to cry in private. It sounds like you’ve reached that point, now I hope you feel our support holding you through the painting, boxing, photographing and family mending. You’ll make it!

    • You nailed it, Lisa. Letting people in and using their shoulders to cry on has always been my biggest challenge. I shocked myself today by actually writing about this. When I couldn’t hide the tears from a house full of helpers (mother-in-law, father-in-law), I threw my running shoes on and hit the waterfront trail. I made it about 2.5 kms before collapsing on the breakwall for a good sob. Thought I got it out, only to find more tears rolling down my face as I walked back home. So I decided to write about it, hoping that would help me work through it. It didn’t. But these amazingly supportive comments definitely are. Thank you so much. xoxo

  12. I’m so there with you Nancy. It’s really hard emotionally (mental pause or not) to prepare to leave a home you love and where you’ve made so many memories. And doing all that with a tight deadline. It’s okay to let it all out. I did cry a lot and scream a lot when I was in that spot almost 4 years ago… That too shall pass…and peace will return. Hugs

  13. Oh Nancy, what a horrible week. And the stress of getting all that stuff finished… gawd, no wonder you’re feeling emotional. This is your home, now being treated like an object that’s got to be perfect in order to sell, when you already know it’s perfect just as it is.
    It’s going to break your heart but you have to just know that it will be a break that heals perfectly. Leaving our homes behind – especially long-lived-in and cherished homes – is like ripping roots from the soil.
    These will be a horrible few days, but you will emerge out the other side and find your smile again. You will!!! *hugs*

    • I knew it would be hard to leave this house, but I underestimated just how hard. Add to that a pretty nasty exchange with my daughter on her birthday, and it was just a horrible day. It’s Tuesday; I’m not crying (yet). Things are looking up (maybe). xoxo

  14. I hear you Nancy…and I am sorry. This is hard! Sure it could be hormones and who knows whatever else but it is probably more the whole process of letting go of your home. And your run-in with your daughter is probably both of you dealing with that. It is hard when you’re renovating for someone else too. Sounds like you have A LOT going on. It’s ok to feel this way! (Am I talking to myself right now? haha!) Much much love!!

    • You’re right, Kerry. It’s the sum of a lot of things going on, including the very emotionally charged one (working on this house so that I can sell it). The thing with my daughter hit me hard because of the timing. I didn’t even manage to get a happy birthday in before she was slamming doors and leaving for work. And that breaks my heart.

  15. Hang in there, Nancy. Sounds like you are just a bit stressed. Have a drink, calm down, and then resume kicking life in the nuts again.

    • Stress is something I’m very familiar with. Working in the pressure cooker that was my former employer for 10 years, stress was my normal modus operendi. This is beyond stress.

      I’m more settled today. At least the tears are no longer dropping incessantly. My heart is still heavy though.

      • Feel free to message me on FB if you need to vent or talk…

        I’m glad you’re feeling better today, though. I think we all have one of those days every once in a while.

      • It is nothing short of a miracle that I even shared this much on the blog. I am VERY private when it comes to personal matters – especially those involving people close to me. As a FB friend you may have noticed that I share NOTHING about my home renos or house sale there; nor do I ever share anything about any drama in my life. I really don’t need real-life friends and family seeing all that.

        So, long winded way to say that I’m struggling – but that I don’t ever really know how to not struggle alone. I did finally FULLY open the flood gates late last night when it was just hubby and I at home, sharing how I felt about what had gone down Sun night/Mon morning. I think it really helped stem the tears by finally just talking out loud about my feelings.

        When I can finally come up for air, I may consider seeing a therapist. I’m thinking it will be easier to open up to a stranger and at least that stranger would (theoretically) be qualified to guide me a bit.

        Anyway – long, long winded response to your kind offer. And hopefully this very verbose reply explains why I probably wouldn’t/couldn’t take you up on it. I’m working on letting more people in, but no ETA on when that’ll happen.

  16. Sigh. I am sending you mega virtual hugs at this very moment. And a case of vodka. So sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed and emotional (who can blame you with all the things you are trying to get done!). Try to breathe deeply every half hour or so and do not beat yourself up. This too shall pass and you will survive. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  17. Oh Nancy, reading this just breaks my heart. I have been there, and am still there, on many occasions. You have so many stressful and upsetting things going on, please go easy on yourself. I hope that sharing the experience helped, and I know that the response of your tribe will help! It is so hard to let people in, especially IRL.

    I, for one, can only sing the praises of getting professional help. I am going through a discovery period right now, and uncovering things that needed to be let out in order to let my heart have some peace. You are not alone and I am sending love and positive thoughts your way.

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