After my house burned down, I thought I’m supposed to have a better house. And so the redesign process began. My desire to live without making choices I’d regret, made decision-making painful. Not to mention my training as a lawyer, which severed all connections between my head and heart.

I had to keep reminding myself to pay attention to my gut reaction, which lasted only a second or two, before my analytical skills kicked in. What did I truly like? What did I think I should like? Even if I liked this now, would I like it in 10 years? And what would my mother say?

Wanting to get it right, I hefted a 16-inch-square slab of limestone into the faucet showroom and held it under various fixtures to see how they would look against my future tub surround. In the bathtub showroom, my friends and I lay in empty model tubs, chatting across the room, testing lengths and back inclines. When I chose a bathtub, I stretched out in it, while a friend who was a nurse marked the spots where the Jacuzzi jets should be installed to hit my body for maximum therapeutic relief.

I’d be needing a lot of that. Two years into the project, I was feeling like one of those losers I’d read about—the kind that takes three years to remodel her home.

There were hundreds of decisions. Faucets – stainless, brushed or plain, brass or gold? Cabinets - maple or oak, vertical or flat grain? And what about the roses behind each doorknob? Who knew there was such a thing?

Fortunately, I love my home and the decisions that I made. It is a sanctuary of serenity, a wonderful place to write and have other writers over to write. Yes, I could use more closets, but I have very few regrets.

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