Be prepared for a rollercoaster ride.
If you’ve been living in your home for over 20 years, it’s inevitable that it will start showing signs of wear and tear. Since you spend a majority of your time in the kitchen, it’s definitely the room that deserves the most attention. You’ve probably already renovated every room in the house numerous times and have left the kitchen for last. Why ? Well, not because it couldn’t be done, but probably because a new kitchen involves a lot of planning, time, money and energy.
Part 1 –
The Planning and design
Planning a new fitted kitchen can actually be lots of fun, especially if you’re the kind of person that is creative and generally enjoys designing and remodeling. But make sure you have lots of time and patience. There are hundreds of custom kitchen sales galleries and stores in your immediate area, however, finding the right one won’t be easy. Make sure you ask friends, family and acquaintances for recommendations based on their personal experiences with kitchen designers, their in-house installation specialists, professional craftsmen and customer service. Know what you must have and what you don’t need! Take inventory of your kitchen ware and supplies so that you know how much storage space you’ll require. Research color schemes and suitable materials for the kitchen cabinets and counters. Go online and look at different kitchen wall colors and designs too. When viewing actual models of kitchens on site, make sure you open all the drawers and cabinets and take a closer look at how well the kitchens are assembled. Assess the quality of the product and material. If you can’t afford a custom crafted kitchen made of pure hardwood, be very critical of the quality of pressed wood countertops and cupboard materials. Inspect everything! Take your kitchen measurements or blue-prints and go to at least 3 to 5 kitchen studios for extensive planning and estimates. You’ll be surprised at how different their ideas and prices can be. Where one kitchen designer might spend hours with you planning something great, another may not invest as much time or effort into the process. I had one kitchen planner ask me for pictures of my old kitchen and without much effort on his part, he told me that was the best option – he then drew up (literally, by hand) a plan for a new kitchen that looked just like my old one! Another fitted kitchen designer worked with me for over a week creating numerous kitchen designs suitable for our home using modern technology! And yes, for no extra charge.
To be continued…..
After contemplating which of my experiences to write about first, I had an eye-opening experience today that I just had to share. I have always had a few extra pounds on me ever since I was a child. When I became a teenager I started running and doing aerobic exercise and was a great athlete in high school and beyond. I made fitness part of my career, got myself certified and successfully instructed aerobics and fitness classes for more than 27 years. This additional part-time job not only kept me fit and the pounds off, but it also put extra money into my bank account. This was something I really loved doing and knew I could never live without. But the many years of running and fitness caught up with me, and forced me to stop instructing about 5 years ago. From then on I spent my spare time jogging and enjoying the outdoors and my own personal fitness routines.
Then the menopause symptoms began followed by a hysterectomy. I had to take a 6 month break from fitness classes and running altogether. When I finally did begin again I ended up with one injury after another. It was a never-ending battle and extremely frustrating. As a result, I gained weight. Then one day I bent over to pick up a bucket and that’s when it happened. I pinched a nerve in my lower back. The pain became so extreme at times just while sitting that it was unbearable. I’ve spent the last 3 years going from one doctor to the next explaining all my symptoms. The pain in my neck, shoulders, lower back and spreading down the outside of my right leg. Needless to say, that due to all this pain and discomfort my fitness routines and running came to a halt! No more jogging etc. It just wasn’t possible anymore. I practically stopped sleeping because of the pain I felt at night. Lying in bed was even painful. Every doctor told me to go walking, do fitness – but honestly, when you’re really in pain, that’s the last thing you want to do. It just made mine worse.
In addition to my prescribed physical therapy, my doctor recommended I sign up for some injury rehabilitation fitness classes. I go twice a week, hoping that I’m doing something that will help the pain eventually go away, even if it means I won’t be able to move the following day. The problem is, it isn’t very motivating when 95% of the participants are over 65 and the instructor is a teenage bikini model. This doesn’t help build self confidence and I’m not so sure whether this really helps my back problem.-But I do come out of that class feeling as though I’ve gained 25 pounds and aged 25 years.
Here it comes. My 50th birthday is just around the corner. I never thought it would be such a big deal, but I keep asking myself, “What comes next?” I’m guessing there are many women experiencing the same thing – going through the usual age related changes, soul-searching and also wondering about the “Then what?” question.
I’ve created this blog for all of us.