40 for 40 #3: Beautiful Bathroom
When I first moved into my 150 year old house almost eight years ago, I immediately began the process of cleaning up and updating the house. The initial cosmetic work to be done was endless, from painting the walls to ripping out carpet and urine soaked floorboards to removing asbestos tiles in the hallway. I did not anticipate the amount of work and money getting my house in order would require, particularly because I did not anticipate my kitchen ceiling falling in three times due to plumbing problems, a furnace that completely stopped working because it had a hole in it which the pre-purchase home inspector failed to find, and all of the other little bits and pieces that add up over time. I also did not anticipate that when I removed the ugly, peach-colored, seashell-themed wallpaper in my upstairs bathroom that the disintegrating plaster walls behind would come along with the wallpaper as I peeled it away. In addition, the tub accumulated mold due to a poor caulking job (that of the prior owner followed by my own) and the tile floor became more and more cracked as time passed. Not to mention the ugliest medicine cabinet ever, its look finished off by an unhealthy dose of rust. Finishing the bathroom was cast aside as I dealt with the more immediate needs in my home. But this year, despite earning much less than I have in all the years I have lived in this house, I decided that enough was enough. I could no longer live with a half torn apart, uglier than ever, possibly unhealthy breeding ground of a bathroom. And so, with some of my own work and the help of a contractor, I have transformed that bathroom into the loveliest room in my house. Everything has been redone — the floor, bathtub, lighting, and, of course, the medicine cabinet. It makes such a difference in my everyday life to wake up in the morning and take a shower in a beautiful space that has a bright and natural, rather than a depressing and decaying, feel.
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Last year, I made a pact with a fellow friend, who shared with me the momentous occasion of turning 40, to do 40 things to celebrate this life event. I further pledged to do one more thing every year,