Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25, 2012


Earlier today, I started to become discouraged with people who are unwilling to help my family with our bathroom situation. If you don't follow me on Facebook, our family is facing what I have been calling "The Bathroom Project from Hell". Our initial plan was to rip down the existing tile around the tub, because there were several tiles that were becoming lose and the grout was beginning to crack. We knew the tiles were cracked for a while, but since my husband had been ill for the past 2 1/2 years, he did not have the energy to fix it, and we did not have the money to take on a project of replacing tiles. However, a few weeks ago, my husband noticed that the floor at the corner of the tub was starting to get a little squishy when he stepped on it, so we discussed the matter, and we decided that we could change the tile with a tub surround in one weekend. However, our little project just couldn't be that simple! What should have been a weekend project has turned into a three week nightmare that is nowhere near being fixed!

What we didn't realize that since the tiles were cracked, water was running down behind the wall and was rotting the wood under the tub! As my husband began to rip and tear, he discovered that we had water damage and completely rotted floors through all three layers of flooring. My husband ripped out two layers of rotted flooring with his bare hands! So now, instead of just replacing tile with a tub surround, we have to replace three layers of flooring and our bathtub (because the only way we could get it out to find out how much damage we had underneath was to take a sledgehammer to it). 

To make matters worse, we had no budget for this magnitude of a project. My husband had a little bit of credit left on his hardware store credit card in order to buy the tub surround, but we had no extra money to do all these other projects that CANNOT be ignored. What were we going to do?!?!

The solution I came up with was I was going to sell some personal items that I have had sitting around the house collecting dust for the last two years. These items are mostly all brand new items still in their boxes. I had gone out a few years ago, and I bought gifts for people, such as family members and friends, and I boxed them up to have them handy in time for Christmas, birthdays, and other holidays. However, when a lot of our family members and friends stopped associating with us, I stopped giving them gifts. So, I decided that I could sell these gifts in order to raise money for our bathroom situation. 

At first, I started off really well. People were contacting me asking me for shipping costs, and I sold a few items. However, as the week passed, no one is contacting me about the merchandise. Today I was a little discouraged, but then I thought to myself, "Would you help to fund someone's bathroom renovation?" 

And the thought came to my mind, "No," 

Then the voice in my head said, "Then why should you expect someone else to fund yours?" 

"Well," I said, "My situation is different. My family is dead broke, and every penny I earn from selling my belongings will be used toward the expense of fixing my bathroom." 

That voice inside my head said, "How do you expect other people to believe you?" 

Well, I said, "I'm honest." 

My inner voice said, "But these people you are asking to buy your things do not know you. They are probably thinking the same thing you would be thinking, 'Yeah, right, I'm not funding your bathroom renovation!' This is exactly what you would think, and this is what they are probably thinking. It's not their responsibility to help you with your issues. It's your responsibility." 

However, I had to argue with that inner voice, "But I'm not begging people for money! I'm providing a product for money. I'm not giving them nothing for their money! Plus, our bathroom situation is a dire situation that cannot be ignored! Someone could have gotten severely hurt by falling through the floor." 

That inner voice said one last time, "But it's not anyone else's problem. It's yours."

I suddenly realized that inner voice was right. It is my problem, and I should not get discouraged if people do not want to help out my family by buying our things. If I were them, I probably wouldn't believe me either. I probably wouldn't be willing to spend money on helping anyone renovate their bathroom. I just have to deal with our massive amounts of debt which include medical bills, student loans, and other debts that have accumulated since my husband was ill. I'm not the only one facing these types of issues. If we have to, we can learn to live without a bathroom. Lots of other people do it every day. I am extremely grateful for the people who have helped my family, and I hope they do realize that every penny I earn will be used toward either a new bathtub or new flooring. Their money was not spent in vain. 

If you are going through a trying time right now, maybe you are facing some of the same financial issues my family is facing, don't get discouraged if people are not willing to help you. Just try to figure out more ways of helping yourself. Like the old saying goes, "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!" Keep strong, and keep taking one day at a time, but don't be discouraged if the help is lacking. God Bless! 

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