I’m sorry, dear readers. I didn’t intend to take a blogging hiatus, but I’ve literally been at the bottom of a paint can since Thursday.
I had this great idea for my New Year’s resolution. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have and what’s not working, I’m going to focus on what I do have and taking care of it. I decided to think about the word “abundance” and to try and see all the abundance of my life.
Part of that is taking care of the things I already have. Instead of complaining about my messy, broken down house, for example, I resolved to start fixing things – maybe just little things – one at a time. I started by taking the mantel clock in for repair. I have a lovely mantel clock that used to be my mother’s clock. I love the chimes. It hasn’t been working for, oh, 5 years or so. It has just sat in the center of my mantel in the center of my living room in the center of my house – not telling time, not moving, not chiming.
I looked at it and thought, “How can I expect my life to get unstuck when I literally have a stopped clock as the centerpiece of my house?” I took the clock in for repair.
Then I bought a new futon cover to replace the old, stained one on the basement futon.
Then I looked at the paint in the living room (and hallway and stairwell and upstairs hallway.) It hadn’t been repainted in almost 15 years. The walls were pock marked, scratched, scuffed and dented. The paint was dull and dingy. It was time to do something about it. I was resolved!
I was also clueless. I don’t know if painting a house is like childbirth where you forget how bad it is the second it’s over (because if you didn’t forget, you’d never have another baby or paint your house again.) That must be it. It’s the only explanation.
I mean, I knew I would have a couple days of hard work ahead of me, but, really, I was clueless. I thought we’d be done by Monday – or maybe I’d just have some trim to finish. Nothing major.
First, there was two days of trying to pick just the right paint. I’m so bad at those kinds of decisions. Then it took me 5 hours just to wash the walls because they were so dirty. Then the spackling and the patching and the sanding. The sanding made a god awful mess and I had to wash the walls again.
I really wanted to quit, but I couldn’t because I had done this
to ensure that I wouldn’t quit. (I know myself very well.)
There was nowhere to go but forward, so we forged ahead, IT Guy and I, our paintbrushes and rollers in hand.
Saturday, we painted until well past midnight.
Sunday, my mom and John came to help. My kids wanted to help, too. They all helped prime the walls, but then it became clear that the best way my mom could help would be to take my children away to her house. So she did and IT Guy and I painted well past midnight on Sunday.
The first coat looked streaked and blotchy. “Let it dry,” said IT Guy.
(See the blotchy?)
The walls were still streaked and blotchy on Monday morning to my utter dismay.
IT Guy had to go to work, so I was on my own for the second coat. I admit that I cried at this point, but then I painted. I painted for 8 hours then I had to go teach dance.
My mom and John returned with the kids and with IT Guy’s help, they painted all the door trim and baseboards, but didn’t finish.
Tuesday, I still had to paint. I had to do all the windows and doors. (Note: I have a small house, a house small enough that it has no business having this many doors. 9 doors! My next house will have no doors. None.) It was sometime during this day that I accidentally painted the dog. I’m actually impressed I made it 4 days before I got paint on Penny.
I finally finished at 3pm.
47 hours of painting time in 4 days.
I’m exhausted. My knees, back, neck, right elbow and wrist are aching.
But it looks great.
It really does look so much better. The house feels refreshed and clean. Hopefully, it will last 15 years or so because that’s how long it’s going to take me to recover from this little home improvement project.
On the other hand, my bedroom really needs to be painted and so does the kid’s bathroom. Oh, and the downstairs bathroom really needs a major makeover. . . . .
Why couldn’t I have picked “Wallow in Sloth” as a New Year’s Resolution?