I’ve tackled many DIY projects throughout my 1980s colonial style house. You’ve experienced my “joys” as I’ve described my budget powder room makeover and my trash to treasure patio re-do. Hubs and I have painted almost every room, pulled up nasty green shag carpet, replaced cabinet handles and hinges, reupholstered chairs and benches, and completed a honey-do list that is varied and extensive. However, for the past 13 years we’ve chosen to ignore one particular room: the spare bathroom upstairs. Why? Because it possessed a hideous case of 1980s floral wallpaper.
It’s never a good idea for this Virgo gal to have down time. Two weeks ago as I faced the perfect storm of delays between contracts, coupled with being caught up on writing assignments and/or in editing lockdown, I pondered how to fill my time. I ambled into the guest bath and, seized by what must have been the demented ghost of bathrooms past, reached over and tore at a strip of peeling paper. At that moment of impulsive stupidity, I had committed to taking on this long avoided project.
These weeks of scraping, tearing, swearing, peeling, rubbing, scrubbing sanding, and stripping have, surprisingly, brought some unique insights. OK, it hasn’t been akin to reaching inner peace or connecting with my chakra. However, I discovered that there is a kind of introspection to the wallpaper removal process that offers some life lessons, stripping lessons if you will. These include:
- Nothing is ever as easy as you think it will be.
- It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
- Patience is a virtue.
4. When you scratch the surface, you might be surprised by what lies beneath.
5. Sometimes you’ll need to tear down to build up.
6. Everyone has an opinion of how something should be done.
7. There are few moments in this life as fulfilling as when you manage to remove all the wallpaper from behind a toilet.
8. Small steps lead to big reveals.
9. A little wine always makes any task more fun.
10. Ya gotta commit to putting in some hard work, no matter how boring.
I’m happy to conclude that after patiently waiting for 13 years, the spare bathroom has now been given the updating it so desperately needed and deserved. I’d love to say I’m officially done, but there’s always the garage, and both offices, and the basement, and the laundry room … oh please let that new contract start soon!
How about you: have you ever received divine inspiration in some unique way?
PS: oh, and here’ a glimpse of the new and improved bathroom. I think she’s mighty purtee…
PPS: And in the interest of full disclosure, I discovered, this morning, this hiding under the sink…