Depth Year Diary Part 3: A Major Complication


Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

My Depth Year started on such a positive note; I was fueled with inspiration, I made a colour-coded action plan to dig deeper in four big areas in my life:

  1. Developing my writing skills,
  2. Deepening my relationships,
  3. Stewarding my possessions
  4. Going back to basics with my faith.

I was an organisation queen and had January all lined up to be a month of calm methodical check-list ticking. Everything was in order, and then, the house rebelled against me.

My weird and wacky, hundred year old, end-of-terrace house decided that this would be the ideal time to blow the electrics. With a strong smell of burning plastic and smoke drafting up from under the floorboards, all the plug sockets in the house went on strike. The central heating system, which was also on it’s last legs anyway, joined the rebellion, and is no longer functioning either.

The experts arrived and examined the place thoroughly to tell us what we hoped they wouldn’t; the whole place needs re-wiring and the central heating system needs replacing.


Also, until the work is complete, the house isn’t safe for us to live in

Double rats!

We always knew that we were buying a house full of character, but I didn’t quite appreciate that the character would be as willful as this. In a moment of dejection I considered giving up on the house, selling it and finding somewhere less complicated and less expensive to live in. But as I scrolled Rightmove for possibilities I could see nothing as interesting or as appealing as our mad old house. So we packed up our valuables and essentials, hired a work crew and temporarily moved in with my folks (thank the Lord for gracious parents!), whilst the professionals do their thing.

So, what does that mean for my depth year?

On one hand it is a huge disruption. A big part of my plan was about using up things we had around the home, lighting candles, digging deep into cupboards, trying out new recipes from my cookbooks. All of that is not really going to happen whilst we are living at my parent’s place.

However, there is another way of looking at it that could argue that this all fits perfectly with my depth year plans. Firstly, taking care of the home does line up with appreciating and utilizing my possessions. At the end of this project we are going to have efficient, working and safe electrics and heating. Whilst that is not as visibly exciting as giving a room a make-over, these are foundational elements to building a good home. We are going to be literally digging under floorboards and into walls to fix things buried within the house. You can’t get more depth-year than that!

Secondly, there is still opportunity to use up what we have. My mum and I have been pooling our groceries and meal planning together based on what was in our combined cupboards. I have brought with us bath bombs, and bubble bath for us to share and we have dug out some games and DVDs to keep us all entertained. My parents have a fantastic book collection, I have already been delving in to their shelves to find some excellent reading material.

Thirdly, this is a chance to do more socialising. We have built in babysitters for the next few weeks, which means that once our daughter is asleep for the night, Rob and I can go out and see friends more often without inconveniencing anyone (of course, we only do this on evening when my parents wanted to stay in anyway).

And finally, this is an ideal time to declutter, re-organise and rearrange the house. Every room is being disturbed in the re-wire so we might as well review what we own, do a little bit of Marie-Kondoing to make sure that our house is the kind of safe-haven home that we want it to be.

I’m a person who normally takes a lot of comfort to having a plan and sticking with the plan, so these kind of circumstances would usually have me fretting and stressing, but this time I am feeling very calm about the whole thing. Mainly because, thanks to my parents, we have somewhere comfortable to live. But I am also feeling calm because although I have to change some of the practical details of my Depth Year plan, the big goal remains the same, and remains achievable. Even under these circumstances I can work on my skills, take good care of what I have and dig deeper into my relationships.

Despite the disruption, my 2020 Depth Year continues…

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