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Now or Later?

stop watch Now or later? This question, this deceptively simple question, is popping up a lot lately. But today is Friday and I will focus on the presence of this question vis-a-vis the Happy Headache (a.k.a. the-untimely-given-this-recession-gut-reno of our new place).

First of all, my apologies for being inconsistent with my promised updates. It seems I have a big, bad case of denial. I don't know whether it is the sudden and marvelous mania that is my life (with Preschool and Baby classes and the book and the blog), but I am acting like we are not in fact knee-deep in a major construction project. Each and every day, several emails swarm into my Inbox - emails about faucets and alarm systems and schedules - and what do I do? I ignore them. Actually, that's not right. Usually, I don't even see them. Invariably, at the end of the day, Husband asks what I think about that debate over closet door placement or light switch heights and I do not have to play dumb because I have no idea what he is talking about. Why the sudden and vicious case of denial?

Maybe I am ambivalent about the fact that this is actually happening, that in a matter of months, we are going to move out of the home where Husband proposed and where we brought the girls home after they were born? Maybe I am more emotional about these things than I thought? Or maybe it is far simpler than this and a bit less endearing. Maybe I am not seeing the issues and problems because I think that if I ignore them, or pretend they do not exist, someone else will address them and fashion a solution (hey, Husband, how's your day going?) Any way you slice it, this is not good. I am in a deep thicket of denial, tuning things out, and it's childish and unfair to certain people who shall remain nameless (hey, Husband, Architect, Contractor, Project Manager).

Wait a minute. This post was not meant to be about denial. It was supposed to be about that perennial dilemma: Now or later? So this is where I veer back on track. This question has been cropping up a lot in the context of our renovation. You see, we had this little thing called a budget and we told everyone and ourselves that it was something to be put on a pedestal and revered and respected. And now. Now, a zillion things are coming up - structural issues having to do with the integrity of our place - that (shocker) cost money. And then there are the more cosmetic flourishes (like ubiquitous built-ins and the silver wallpaper that I must have in the dining room) and they add up too. So the result is that our poor budget is dying a fast death and we are totally complicit in its demise.

So. The question becomes: now or later? Do we do the things we need to do and some of the things we want to do now or do we put them off to another time? (Know that we are not being as irresponsible as I might very well be making us sound - none of these decisions will ruin us.) Do we take the plunge and do these things while we have a construction crew mobilized and while our Husband's mind is on these matters? Or do we act like grownups and delay gratification? I worry that things put off won't ever be done, that real life will intervene as it has a habit of doing, and all of these little wishes will fall between the cracks.

Okay, I am officially cutting myself off because I sound terribly spoiled, don't I? Yes, I do. Life without silver tree-grain wallpaper? Tragic. The point here (buried deep in the aforementioned mush) is that I think this question - of now versus later - is a big question in each and every one of our lives. And, yes, it comes up in contexts with a bit more existential weight than designing a home.

Should you leave your current job now or later when you have more financial security and a better sense of what you want to do? Should you go back to work now or when your baby is older? Should you buy or sell your home now or wait until the market grows more robust? Should you break up now with that person who is okay, but not everything you need or wait and see? Should you have that third child now (while you are young! and excited! and eager!) or wait until your older two are a bit more independent? (Hey, Husband. Love you.)

So, the post started as an indulgent (and perhaps alienating) faux sob story about the renovation I am exceedingly fortunate enough to be undergoing. But I end here with a more universal quandary that affects us all - Now or later?

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Now or later? In what contexts of your life does this question arise? Do you usually opt for the former of for the latter? Any insight into why I am suddenly plagued by denial about the evolution of our new place?

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