Friday, April 6, 2007

Life, The Universe ... and Painting the Kitchen

by Heather Horrocks

What an interesting week this has been. We’ve been preparing our kitchen to paint and I am, once again, amazed at how long the preparation portion of a project can take. We haven’t even picked up a paintbrush and I’m already sore and tired. (So I am definitely thankful for the break to write this blog today!)

I must have gone to Home Depot five times. Here’s how it went: Choose yet another five cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, take them home, put them in place, take them down again, go back to the store, chose more knobs and pulls. The guy at the return desk knows me by name now. Our family finally narrowed the field to two winners--and then we realized we really need to paint the walls and cabinets first, because our current choices might not look as nice with the new paint.

Yesterday we spent most of the day trying to find molding to add to our cabinet doors to spruce them up. The entire day, including two more trips to the store. Luckily my son and daughter-in-law (who dropped the word "outdated" in referring to our kitchen--and she’s absolutely right, which is why we asked for help) met us there the second time and helped us make a choice, also pointing us to a molding store that charges much less.

Today’s tasks are to go actually buy the molding, cut it and nail and glue it in place, and, while the glue dries, we’ll (finally) start painting. And I’m sure the painting will continue into tomorrow and Monday.

This is one of those projects that are large enough to set aside normal life as we know it--but it’s not one nearly as fun as, say, going on a cruise (which we’ll be doing soon, probably still needing recuperation after this kitchen debacle). But it’s also a project that will make a tremendous difference in how we view our home when we’re done. The room that is the ‘heart of our home’ will be much more enjoyable to be in (especially after the next project, after the cruise, which is to replace the flooring).

I hope today that your day is life as usual--and I hope your life as usual is a satisfying one. I hope you enjoy your home and that you’re in a job you love. Hmm . . . jobs seem to be on my mind today. I read an article (yesterday? A few days ago? Time has lost meaning this week) about a guy who loved playing in the sandbox as a kid--and now has a business creating elaborate, Guinness award-winning sand sculptures! Bet he loves his job. A friend of mine just got her dream job, complete with car, gas card, travel, and good pay, after several years of putting in many, many hours working toward it. I spent a lot of years in jobs I didn’t like and one in particular that stretched out over two decades--that one I grew to despise even as it robbed me of my health and peace of mind. I was blessed last year to finally leave that job behind and begin one I do love (writing full-time, of course).

And so this commentary that began with my current life in its not-so-usual state seems to have morphed into a comment on our normal lives and how we spend our hours. If your life as usual isn’t one you want, perhaps ponder over the next week what your dream job would look like, schedule like, feel like. As a (wo)man thinketh, so is (s)he. So put on your thinking caps and rustle up your dream job. Then type it up.

What’s really interesting to me is that, in searching for something else on my computer, I came across a file dated a year before and titled ‘My Dream Writing Life.’ I realized that (other than the part about spending lots of money that is continuously coming in from my writing : ) I am now living that dream life. I have the schedule I want. I don’t have some of the other ‘perks’ such as being a household name (yet : ) or being on the bestseller list (yet : ), but I am living the schedule I thought would be my dream writing life. It was almost a year after creating the thought and list of my dream writing life that it can into being.
So think about your dream life, type up what you want, and then forget about it. Maybe next year, you’ll find the note or file and realize you have it.

And maybe next year, I’ll be a household name. (Okay, okay. So maybe that will take two years : ).

4 comments:

  1. As you can tell from my last post, that I am in the throws of thinking about what I really want to be doing with my life. But putting that dream down in writing is a perfect why-didn't-I-think-of-that idea! Thanks!

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  2. When I taught Study Skills at Sylvan Learning Center, one of the tasks we had the students do was to write their goals--usually intermediate goals--down and post them somewhere where they would see them every day. On the bedpost, on the bathroom mirror, on the closet door. Somewhere where their eyes would fall on it every day. It was interesting to read about one of our students a year later as she was interviewed after receiving a full ride scholarship. She attributed her success to the fact that she had her goals on her headboard.

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  3. How does that saying go..."An unwritten goal is merely a wish."?? Something I have discovere dover the past couple of years is that whatever you focus on...that is what you get...even if it is the thing you don't want. Focus on the things you do want...be positive...etc.
    Thanks Heather, for the great reminder...It was fun to read.

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  4. Yep, yep, yep. I came across something I had written in Japan, somewhere between 1960 and '63, listing goals. I had not remembered writing them, nor ever choosing a completion date. Though I do not remember all those goals, I was surprised to read:

    Educational: Earn a Bachelor's degree by 1969, a Master's by 1972, and a PhD by (whatever date I chose, maybe 1975. I finished the first two right on schedule, but decided to get a doctorate from BYU and it has never worked out to go there. But two out of three is quite amazing.

    To quote my mother again, "Aim for the stars, and you might at least hit the telephone pole."

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