I’ve spent the summer renovating my life.
It needed it. After two long years of being suffocated by the dreary grey limbo of grief and depression, I found myself unexpectedly coming up for air one Friday afternoon in June.
With my boys now graduated and off to seek their fortunes, I came face to face with the grim situation that lay before me.
During those two years of darkness, I successfully ran my business of twelve years straight into the ground. I watched as if I were a helpless onlooker as my business crashed and both my income and my self-esteem went up in flames. And then, with unexplainable apathy, I turned on the next season of Downtown Abbey.
I sat out on the patio one afternoon early in the summer looking at the grass that needed to be mowed and the weeds that needed to be pulled.
In that moment, everything looked…
Blah. Dreary. Grey.
Everything looked old and tired. The worn out remains of better years. Years with parties and gatherings. Years filled with people and laughter and potluck dinners.
My house looked exactly how I felt. The residue of a has been. The one whose best years had already passed.
And in that moment, I got up. I put my bag over my shoulder. I got in my car. And I drove to Home Depot.
I found myself in the paint section. I needed to see color. I needed to see bright, vibrant color. Color that was full of life and brimming with energy.
I needed to add some color to my blah house and my blah patio and my blah world.
My current bank account didn’t allow for painting my house just to give myself some color, but there in the clearance bin I found 3 gallons of cheery blue exterior paint…all of them mistints. All of them different. And all of them for $8.
I bought them.
I drove home and threw myself into a project. I cleaned up the cobwebs, sprayed down the patio, and I went to work painting my house three similar shades of bright blue.
Twelve hours later, I had a blue house, well, at least the back half. And I loved it. I went into the garage and dug out the various cans of leftover paint from projects throughout the years. Out came the orange for a planter. Grape bubblegum for the garden bed. The black tomato easels got a makeover.
I mowed my grass, trimmed my trees and rearranged my furniture. With $8 and two days of work, I successfully breathed life into my backyard.
And that’s how the summer of renovating my life began. Unexpectedly. With a little elbow grease and a fresh coat of vibrant color, the pilot light within was rekindled. I felt for the first time in a long time that maybe, just maybe, I still had a few good years ahead of me.