Do you ever notice how things just build up in your life and start to make you cranky or just uncomfortable? It’s those little, yet persistent, distractions we try to ignore around the house, office or cars.
Sometimes we don’t notice these distractions until they are removed, and then breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why we didn’t deal with it sooner.
That’s what is happening in our life. Marlene and I like where we live, but there were just so many little and big tolerations that just bugged us. So we decided to work at removing them one at a time. I chose a couple of things that bugged me, and Marlene chose a few things she felt needed help.
It started with the outside of our home. The landscaping eye sores. So out came the chain saw, and I cut down 38 old cedar hedges (and had lots of fun with the stumps that were left). It was a bit of work, but we both said we should have done that years earlier.
Then it was Marlene’s turn. She felt that our 35 year old drafty aluminum windows needed help, as well as the exterior of our home. So while preparing for new windows, I removed all the old vinyl siding and sledge hammered off over 1,000 bricks for an exterior face life.
My turn—the drywall in the garage being 25 years old, had so many dings and issues (the stipple on the ceiling was falling off and was so nasty I didn’t want to park my truck in the garage anymore). So new drywall and insulation was installed. Marlene and I then painted it. Wow! We should have done that years ago!
Marlene’s turn—our original 35 year old heating system needed help, so it was upgraded with a high energy efficient furnace, heat pump and a new gas fireplace. We thought wow...we should have done that years ago!
My turn—we took out a wall between the family room and dining room to give our home a more open feelings, and while we were at it, I removed all the old doors, moldings, baseboards and window trim. Time for a new look. Wow...we should have done that years ago!
For a final touch, I sanded all the beams down to a natural wood so we could stain them, and as we speak, Marlene and I have just finished painting the first coat of paint in the entire inside of the house (ceilings, walls and trim), and you know what...we should have done that years ago!
I actually feel a bit tired just describing all the work we did, yet it was well worth it. So what are the tolerations in our life? Try this exercise. Sit in one room of your house, look around, and make a list of everything you see that is out of place, torn, cluttered, ugly etc., then eliminate one distraction at a time with no time pressure to stress you out. Take a week or take a month, (or like Marlene and I did, take a year).
Then notice how you feel each time you correct whatever is bugging you. A few cans of paint can go a long way!
Your friends in the business,
Larry & Marlene