Friday, June 24, 2005

Concrete Restoration

Today I've gotten some quotes on fixing a foundation issue on our house and our sadly crumbling concrete porch. The results were pretty exciting. I found that lots can be done to restore concrete - even when it looks as bad as our front porch and steps. It's cheaper than tearing it out and re building it, that's for sure. The pictures I saw even look a little TOO perfect. I realize a new seal and a complete seal is important or else all the rest of the ancient, crumbly mess will go to pot in no time atall. But I sort of don't want to cover up all the old stuff. I don't want it too look TOO perfect, because that's just not going to fit in with the rest of our house. But there's still more contractors coming to talk to me about this so who knows.

It got me to thinking how bad I think things get. I want to just tear out and re build. But sometimes, some cleaning out, widening of the cracks, filling in with filler, patching, covering, sealing - you'd never know the old mess was there.

This rabbit trail got me thinking also about how I'm not sure I always want my old mess sealed over and hidden completely. Maybe there's safety in that - so the old stuff around all the old obvious damage stays preserved, no one knows how very cracked up I was/am. Everyone gets to see the "fixed up" me - the me that cleans up suprisingly well with a little effort. The me that no one would ever suspect has found herself in the fetal position in the hallway because life was too overwhelming. - Or, sprawled in the hallway after drinking too much. I'd rather rely on my tailored outfit and serene expression to cover up all suspicion of such things ever touching my life. It's much safer that way.

I don't know about you, but I find myself uncomfortable around people who are too polished. I've learned over time that people who present themselves too perfectly often are a touch more neurotic than one might think at first glance. Granted, MOST people are more neurotic once you get to know them. However, based on my experience, some people give off more of that vibe simply by trying too hard NOT to appear a mess.

On the other hand, I'm also uncomfortable around people who don't have the social skills to hide any of their neurosis. Heh. Honestly... It's great to talk about being real and stuff but when some people are REALLY REAL - let's face it - it can be very uncomfortable. I'm uncomfortable but slightly jealous of these folks.

Most of us don't want to let it ALL hang out - that's for sure. Ok, well maybe YOU don't have any thing lurking under your surface that might creep other people out. Bless your pointy little head. But for most people I think there's a fine line between being real and coloring so far outside the lines people don't have any clue how to deal with it.

As for me, I'm still working on finding that balance. My geekiness I'm ok with. My woundedness, my occasional freakishness - I'm not ok with letting that hang out very much. Oh, I'm fine to talk about it once I've got things under control. But to invite anyone into that - right in the middle of the crap storm - I don't EVER feel like that's a good idea when I'm in the midst of it. I think most people I know feel the same way. It's dang hard to show our real selves when we've deemed our inner life unacceptable.

But when we look at it from the other perspective it looks a lot different. How often have you wished someone had called you BEFORE things had gotten so bad they couldn't take it anymore? How often have you wished you could have at least prayed for someone if you'd known they were having a hard time? How often could we ALL have talked about things sooner, asked for help or invited people into our freak show? Perhaps we could find healing a little sooner? And how healing it is when we exchange those gifts with friends or family members. When we are in that place with them - to bear witness to their craziness, sadness, grief, weirdness - no one exits such a place unscathed. I think we know that, and I think it's part of why we protect each other and ourselves so much by not letting each other in very far.

It's not easy to be there for each other, but it sure is worth it, and it's truly a healing type of honor to be in that kind of community.

Some of you reading this are a part of my real life community, and you know exactly what I'm talking about here. We're all trying to figure it out together, and that is a blessing.


  • It's a challenge to stay on the edge of being real without coloring too far outside the lines. My sense is that I'm usually too far in the lines. Coloring outside the lines would be good medicine for me.

    By Blogger Kevmo, at 6/24/2005 12:36 PM  

  • Good post - I really got the imagery of coloring too far outside the lines. I also liked your thoughts about not having your mess too cleaned up. I guess if its too perfect, others would be afraid to approach for fear of messing things up - right?

    By Blogger SpookyRach, at 6/24/2005 1:25 PM  

  • Yes, or if people have the impression you have it all together they don't want you seeing their cracks and crumblies.

    By Blogger Captainwow, at 6/24/2005 2:04 PM  

  • good post Madam, I think we're all held together by duct tape, wire and maybe some baling twine...some people don't want to see the us when we have the "ickies", it's all so wound up around perceptions, theirs and our own. Good post, now I have to go and dewll on what you have said here....:)

    By Blogger Adinah, at 6/24/2005 3:38 PM  

  • Is blowing hair beads out your nostrils considered coloring too far outside the lines? Just checking....

    By Blogger ., at 6/24/2005 4:18 PM  

  • Stinky - not in MY book! In fact, I think that's perfectly normal behavior, don't you?

    By Blogger Captainwow, at 6/24/2005 4:58 PM  

  • this is a abeautiful post

    By Blogger PPB, at 6/25/2005 10:25 AM  

  • To apply makeup, or not to apply...
    Knowing and being known on different levels, different folks...
    Your friendship is a great gift.
    Beautiful post.

    By Blogger Just Pat, at 6/27/2005 6:59 AM  

  • WOW: That, along with see-food are 2 of my most important standards for "normal" behavior. :-)

    By Blogger ., at 6/27/2005 1:04 PM  

  • Oh man, you have held back some of your strangeness? I thought I had seen it all!
    : )

    I for one miss seeing you daily and experiencing your geekiness in real time.

    Thank goodness for the net!

    By Blogger JustMe, at 6/28/2005 3:37 PM  

  • i want to be real without making others sad or feeling sorry for me because of my particular life problems ... so i usually colour it all with humour ... or smiles ... but i do want some cracks to show through ... i need prayer and encouragement with the occasional kick in the butt - so i have to be real to get them!

    hey, maybe that's why i am a very minimal make-up person ... just long hair and a clean face does it ... :)

    really good post ... made me think ... now my head hurts and i must go lie down ...

    By Blogger Saija, at 6/28/2005 10:20 PM  

  • Beautiful post, girl! You are right, finding the right balance is so important. I have finally learned there is nothing great about pretending everything is all right when it is not.

    By Blogger annie, at 7/01/2005 1:31 AM  

  • Yes, but know even if polished regularly, kids will take care of that with some bubble gum and peanut butter. Nothing like smearing peanut butter on stuff to take off the polish....

    By Blogger the reverend mommy, at 7/02/2005 12:09 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger sandeep mall, at 4/07/2014 5:22 AM  

  • Its a really nice blog of ConcreteRestoration.

    By Blogger hume concreting, at 4/16/2014 5:53 AM  

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