Bob the builder

My family and I have been renovating our lovely little 1920s New England style house.

Now...when I say renovate...I really mean...GUT!


To. Its. Bones.

Our initial plan was simply to update the 70s style kitchen since our inspector had assured us that everything else in the house was up to snuff. 

Silly silly inspector.

You see...

as we were taking out the old kitchen, a few other issues cropped up...including your basic electrical, plumbing and heating concerns...not to mention the structural damage caused by a FIRE, some sort of flood, and an incompetent renovation completed in the 70s.

Each new discovery led to another which led to another...and soon our kitchen reno had morphed into an overhaul of the entire house.

In the blink of an eye, our lives had turned into a combination of the Tom Hanks movie, The Money Pit and the children's TV show, Bob the Builder.

In an effort to minimize the money pit effect, my husband, who fancies himself a builder in his spare time, readily adopted the role of in Bob the Builder.

By default, my kids and I became Bob's crew.

I think you may know where this is going...

While my husband naturally personified the 'YES WE CAN' Bob the Builder attitude and slogan, I unknowingly personified the 'NO we CAN'T'...or perhaps more accurately...

'NO, I DON'T WANT TO' attitude!!!

Outwardly, I attempted to 'come off' as a cooperative Can-Do-Crewmember, internally I acted the saboteur.

My ever-astute husband wasn't buying my little "act" of compliance and enthusiastic support. In fact, the only one who seemed to'buy it' was me.

So...when my husband presented me with this observation, I became both indignant and defensive!!

For heaven's sake, I was dressed in work hair was up...snacks and drinks were packed...I was raring to go!!

With a pitched voice I stammered, 

"What do you mean this is not my "real" smile...

and that I have a tone...

and seem on edge???"


Darn it. 

I could suddenly see it and hear it myself.

Consciously, I had used all of the RIGHT words of support and forced enthusiasm. Unconsciously, my true feelings were unleashing a tornado of suppressed and denied frustration and resentment in the form of body language, tone and energy.

This is where I had to get really real with myself.

I wasupset and angry andfrustrated...

at the house...

at the inspector...

at myself...

at my husband...

at our circumstances.

And, knowing this, I knew I had to get clean and straight about one thing: reality.

I had been so busy fighting and denying reality on so many fronts that I had inadvertently created additional and unnecessary complications for Bob the Builder and myself

Sir Walter Scott's words rang true in this moment of realization,

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

Time to clean things up both internally and externally.

I first got real with how I felt and what I was thinking. I let it go through me...wave after wave.

Then I got real with what had to be done at the house and what I could do.

Was I a full-fledged card carrying Bob the Builder crew member from that point on?


most days.

Some days, however, I chose to go on strike.

Fortunately, for me, Bob the Builder understood only too well as he had taken a few such days of his own.


Sign up with your email address to receive my weekly blog.

Email Address

Sign Up

We respect your privacy.

Thank you!

Lana Bastianutti