Five Years in 2 Hours

Five years ago Jeff and I bought new furniture for our offices from IKEA. I love IKEA because it’s affordable, convenient, and matched my aesthetic. We picked out what we needed and everything was fine.

After a couple of weeks, Jeff wanted a file cabinet to match his desk. We went back to IKEA and found the Alex. It was perfect. The box was super heavy but we got it home and it sat for a couple days.

I decided that I was going to surprise Jeff by putting it together since he has precious little free time. I dragged the heavy box to the living room and I was excited to get to work. IKEA flat packs all their items so I expected to see a lot of slabs of wood.

Then I saw something else… the bag of screws.

It looked like THOUSANDS of different screws, bolts, plastic pieces, and a bunch of stuff I’d never seen before. I immediately panicked. I wanted to put this together so badly but I couldn’t get past the screws. Before I abandoned all hope, I decided to look at the instructions. I like written instructions and I understand that IKEA ships all over the world so their instructions are all pictures.

I tried to follow the pictures and looking at the bag of a million parts but I just couldn’t do it. I was frustrated and a mess. The box sat for the next 5 years. We moved and took the box with us.

We have a small room as you enter our condo and it has a recliner, electric stove, and our antique rocking chair. Taxi likes to sit in the recliner when we’re not home. We even called it the Dog’s Den. I do a lot of writing and developing here at home and I had a desk in our bedroom but it’s not a working environment. I have a workshop in the garage but it’s not suitable for writing. We decided to shift my office into the Dog’s Den.

We set up the desk and there was space for a small file cabinet. The Alex is still in the garage! I asked Jeff if he’d bring it upstairs. I knew he was concerned since it’s been in the box for literally 5 years.

As soon as I opened the box I saw the enormous bag of screws again and my heart sank. Then I remembered how to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. I went to the cupboard and got some plastic cups. I separated each kind of screw in the cups. Then I counted to make sure I had everything that I needed. Next, I separated all the wood pieces into like groups and laid it all out. Finally, I took out the instructions and just did everything step by step.

If it’s one thing I’ve learned in karate is that you will not be good right away. It takes time, practice, patience, and relaxation. Also a healthy dose of forgiving yourself. You’ll make a mistake and shake it off and move on. Frustration will not be your friend in karate. Or IKEA furniture.

As I completed the steps and something wasn’t clear I’d go back and start again. Look at it differently, see what I may have missed.

Please note that box sat untouched for 5 years and with a little organization, patience, and taking it “one bite at a time” it was done!

Author: Regina Bartlett

Regina Bartlett is a blogger and speaker from the gorgeous Rhode Island coastline where she spends her days with her amazing husband Jeff and their combined family of six adult children and two very tiny adorable chihuahuas. She’s active in her church, sings on the praise team, and is amazed every single day at how God has totally changed her life. Formerly 425 lbs she’s battled her weight for 30 years until RNY Gastric Bypass surgery in December 2014 where she lost 250 lbs and gained a new lease on life. She wants to share with anyone who thinks that they MIGHT be interested in surgery and knowing the real truth behind the surgery since there are a lot of misconceptions and fears. Deciding that she needed a challenge to continue with her weight maintenance she decided to embark on running the NYC Marathon in 2016 on Fred’s Team for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Like so many people, her life has been touched by people affected by cancer. Discovering that her friend of over 25 years was diagnosed with breast cancer she had even more inspiration to run. On November 6, 2016, she completed the grueling 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of New York City and realized her 20 year dream of completing the largest marathon in the world. This blog will travel with Regina as she laces up her shoes and continues to challenge herself while sharing stories of her life and the people who have been an influence on her over the years. You’ll find stories, recipes, crafts, photographs of the wonder that is Little Rhody and countless photos of her tiny pups Sid Vicious and Taxi Fitzgerald. TL;DR: Wife, mother, writer, avid crafter, lover of Jesus and tiny dogs everywhere with a story to tell. FOR BOOKING INFORMATION please use the contact form below or email Thank you!

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