Losing something you worked hard on {sh*t happens}

posted in: musings | 0

Who wants to hear about something incredibly stupid I did? (It was about a year ago.)

You do? Oh, good.

I’d been working on a series of little drawings for a few moths. They were all 9″x9″ or so, marker drawings of geometric shapes. I’d posted a bunch of them on here, and I’d talked about my plans for eventually hanging them in a cool way. They represented at least 30 hours of drawing time, and I was quite pleased with the collection.

Anyway, I have a habit of leaving whatever project I’m currently working on all over the house. Usually on the dining room table. I like things to be accessible. As per usual, I had a whole mess of sketchbook pads, marker caddys, protractors, micron pens, etc strewn all over the place. Originally the idea when we moved into the house was to set up a little studio in the garage but….we live in the Chicago suburbs. It gets COLD. Which means the garage also gets cold, and I hate putting on shoes just to go into the garage and retrieve art supplies. I know, I know….lazy. Well, my BF got sick of my mess on the table, and relocated everything to our bedroom. Somehow it all ended up in an empty laundry basket, where it stayed for several weeks.

Well, that basket ended up on the floor one day, and my daughter (aka Little Miss Grabby Hands Wants to Touch Everything She’s Not Supposed to Have) dove for it. Sticky little hands going for hours worth of work!!! Noooooo! I lunged for my drawings, grabbed them, and dropped them the first place I saw out of her reach – the bathroom counter, two steps away.

Somehow, as I tried to prop the stack of drawings against the wall, they slipped, and everything dropped into this miniscule gap between the bathroom counter and the wall. And by miniscule, I mean that if it was ANY bigger those things wouldn’t have even fit. This gap was literally no wider than a few pieces of paper. It starts off widest at the top, then narrows down at the bottom.

I was so dumbfounded/angry/annoyed/horrified that I was speechless. Have you ever had that feeling? It’s like the urge to cry and the urge to scream are in such conflict that no sound can escape.

I tried everything I could think of to get them out. I tried unbending a coat hanger. I tried cutting a very long piece of cardboard and placing a piece of double stick tape on the end. Nothing worked. The problem is, the front of the cabinet has this little overhang on the wood, and even though I could sort of shove the papers toward the front, I could never get them around that lip. I could not retrieve them without removing the entire sink. We rent. That was not an option I could pursue.

I admit it. I pouted and sulked for a good two or three hours. I wanted to be furious with my daughter, but I couldn’t because she was small enough to truly not know any better. ALL THAT WORK. GONE. And the worst part was, it was such pure dumb bad luck that it even happened.

The whole incident got me thinking though…it really is just like life. Stupid crap happens. Stupid, unfair, frustrating things. All the time. You can pout, you can cry, you can feel sorry for yourself. You can spend hours trying to undo the damage. You can fashion elaborate contraptions to try and fish things out of a gap between the wall and sink. But sometimes, it’s just easier to forget about it and move on. Just let go. All but one of the drawings had already been photographed, so at least I had digital copies. Instead of freaking out and trying to move Heaven and Earth to get them back, I just had to move forward and get started creating new ones.  Use what I learned the first time around to make the new ones even better. And learn from my mistakes. (i.e not leaning a stack of drawings against the bathroom wall, because they WILL fall down the crack). Then, a year later, you happen to think about it, and realize that it wasn’t nearly as big of a catastrophe as it felt like at the time.

At least someday when somebody is remodeling the bathroom they’ll get a kind of cool surprise. Maybe I’ll be famous by then and they’ll be worth some money.  😉