Like many people in the middle of stay at home orders, I started to realize, between clients or when I was sitting quietly waiting for who knows what, that it was time to make some changes in my space. The crack in the wall, created as a result of renovation work on the other side of the wall (old structures have a way of reminding you that nothing is isolated), was a glaring Grand Canyon when the sunlight hit a particular spot. Major changes are not possible right now but painting I could take on.

I ordered pre-painted swatches of color, stuck them on the wall to see what I might want and after nearly 6 months of watching how the color changed with the light, made some decisions and purchased the paint. Not a lot. Nothing grand or overreaching. Just one smallish section, 14’ x 14’, the front door included and a closet door. And then started to dread it. The idea of moving the few pieces of furniture in that area, the pre- and post-job cleaning…nope, my attitude was sinking with the falling light of the season.

But then a friend asked, “what’s going on with that paint job you mentioned?” Followed up by, “I love to paint! I would love to come help you but with my kid is in school that’s not really an option…” Life in COVID realities. And then another friend chimed in, “I find it very meditative. I have a caulk trick for straight lines, wanna hear it?” No, I don’t want to hear about it because I don’t want to paint! And there is no such thing as a straight line when your walls are masonite ~ a combo of concrete and a skim coat of plaster so no corner is 90 degrees! No, I don’t want to hear about the caulk trick or how you love to do it or how you were so excited for me…nope, just don’t want to do it.

But there was the pesky problem of the paint already purchased, inside from the car and just sitting there, waiting to be used. And the crack on the wall. Which wasn’t part of the section but which would be put on notice that its time was coming to an end.

And so I started. A bit impulsively I might add. On a not pretty Sunday when I had vague thoughts that it wouldn’t be so bad. The prep work was fine, nothing major. Well, until I took down a large mirror that took me over an hour to hang in the first place and underneath it was hidden a massive hole I had forgotten about. WTF?! 

Oh yeah, I had removed an old wall phone and well, you get the idea… But now the pesky task of patching the hole and all that entailed. Surprises happen and after some work the hole was patched and progress continued.

“One wall at a time” is the mantra of painters who don’t do it for a living or who don’t have a team of painters to work with (and oddly like another mantra I use…) Prep work done ~ which is, to be fair, the most important part of the job ~ I moved onto priming. Cutting out the edges, such as they are, and then coats of primer, with dry time in between.

The change was almost instant, as I knew it would be, when grey-tinted primer hit Burnt Sienna accent wall. Gone was the light sucking dark area and a bright, welcoming wall was taking shape.

Change can and frequently does happen like that; you think about something, gather info about it and then, with a little this and a little that, you’re off and moving.

I will not lie; I do not enjoy painting. I did not find it to be meditative nor restorative. Well, I did focus a great deal on the ladder ~ focus while on a ladder is the rule! ~ but as for the rest of it, truly not my thing.

My friend, Diane, talks about how she found the magic to be several days later and I get that. Sometimes, when we’re in the middle of the mess it’s hard to see how it will turn out. Often, in my experience, the mess has a great deal to teach us both while we’re in it but also once we have distance.

While I was in it, I recognized that my schedule and priorities are rather full, the tackling of this task perhaps a bit hasty. And I did appreciate the opportunity to get the process of change at least started, if not complete just yet.

Now that the walls are starting to settle in to their new colors and I’m re-thinking the overall vibe of my space, it’s nice to know the reluctance aside, I’m able to tackle projects that don’t speak to me as clearly as baking a loaf of bread does or sharing a fun meal with friends.

We can, and frequently are, spurred on to make changes when we least expect them; this pandemic has given us an up-close view to that reality. It is also a good time to remind yourself of the ever present nature of change, the imperfections it brings us and the gifts of connection that come along with.

My final gifts of this project? A greater bond with a good friend, freshly painted walls and the reminder that Iadders are helpful tools.

Wishing you the best on your change voyage ~


Want to see Diane’s take on painting? Check out her blog post here: