Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

View from the North 40: All this for one little shower stall?


October 4, 2019

Anticipation and Dread are like fraternal twins separated at birth, one raised by well-adjusted and supportive parents to think positively, and the other raised by well-meaning, but vaguely clueless people who mistake stillness and silence for maturity rather than the terror and general malaise it represented.

Anticipation confidently looks forward to things happening, expecting positive outcomes — or at least expecting to be able to formulate and execute solutions that will overcome what would have been an adverse outcome. Anticipation smells like flowers and fireworks.

Dread lives in fear, constantly wracked with worry about possible failure, which is more like likely failure or absolute failure, either through Dread’s own actions or through evil intervention by the Universe.

Anticipation has straight white teeth and the build of an athlete or a model, but humbly turned down offers for professional employment in both fields to make a good, honest, regular living and volunteer 20 hours a week with local charities.

Dread has ragged cuticles, laughs too loudly with a snort at the end, ugly cries, lacks drive to go for a better employment status, and stays home alone to stress eat and avoid awkward social interaction. Dread’s favorite words are No, Can’t and Don’t.

Both Anticipation and Dread get what they think they deserve.

I know Anticipation and Dread so well I could do a TED talk that would go viral and launch a whole new career for me as a motivational speaker — a brilliant and funny motivational speaker — except I dread public speaking, so I guess I’m stuck where I am.

You see the problem, right?

I mention the two terms only because I have been dealing with a bit of dread in the last few weeks.

We’re putting in a shower in our house. But it’s not just, “Hey, let’s go buy this cheap shower insert and plug it into the hole and be done with it.” No. No, it’s not that simple. Nope.

I’m doing tile.

I’ve never installed tile before.

If you haven’t done tile before, let me tell you a few things.

It’s expensive. It’s expensive even if you do it yourself. It’s expensive even if you buy 90 percent of your tiles at a ridiculously low price. If you do it wrong, you are throwing away a lot of money.

Everything is heavy, the tiles, the cement, the grout. Or it’s hard work, the mixing, the troweling, the lugging of my body up and down the ladder. If you mess up, all that work was for nothing, nada, zilch, zero. It’s all garbage after that.

Each step is dire. If you don’t get the base sloped right you have a stinking cesspool of a puddle in your shower. If you don’t get the waterproof membrane sealed right either you get leakage and water damage, or you get the tile walls pulling away from the structural walls and everything crashing in on itself. Or you. If you get some tiles off in one spot, that error radiates throughout the rest of the project. A little “oops” at the bottom multiplies to “You should sue whoever made that ugly mess out of your tiles in there.”

If you get one thing wrong, all is lost. All. Is. Lost.

I just survived installing the waterproof membrane on the walls. We still have building and sealing the base, and putting up the tiles. In other words, we have about 90 percent of the work to do. That’s a lot of dread.

I have come to the conclusion that the most costly, heavy and fearful part of the project is my dread. The abject worry that I will screw it up and cost us lots of money and time and labor and inconvenience.

Here’s the thing about dread. Dread truly is the twin of that innately optimistic Anticipation. It’s just that Dread is a closet optimist. Anticipation has some degree of expectation of a positive outcome. Dread just secretly, really, really, really hopes for it, but the fear is smothering the hope with a pillow. I just have to shove fear aside and give that hope CPR.

I also have to practice laying tiles, so there’s that for me to look forward to.


I think it’s also possible to anticipate dreading things. I’m positive that I can expect a high degree of dread with complete cover in all areas of my brain at http://www.facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40.com .


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