Zen and The Art of Home Improvement

This weekend, I resumed working on a home improvement project I had started at the end of October.  It had been put on hold following my foot surgery in November and now was the time to pick up the paint roller and brushes again.

In my previous life as a career woman, we would hire people to complete our projects.  I was the idea person who decided that a change was needed, worked out the budget (which we never seemed to adhere to), and did the selling job to Husband who was never enthusiastic in the beginning.   Once Husband was sold on the project however, he took over.  It worked perfectly for me – I wasn’t the detail person.  He managed all the pieces to completion.

home improvement

Fast forward now to retired life, I have no budget for hiring people to complete my home improvement projects.  Nor will I have any luck in convincing Husband to fill the void.  The only alternative available to me is to do the work myself.

Over the past 18 months, I’ve completed 3 projects of increasing difficulty and this one is certainly the most challenging one to date.  I am in the process of transforming our dark & dingy basement into a bright and comfortable living space.  The single finished room in our basement had become a dumping ground for The Miscellaneous that we would deal with someday.  I had decided that someday had finally arrived and after a major purge,  I started the transformation.

This former desk jockey has had to learn the dos and don’ts of repairing holes in the wall and painting ceilings and trim.  I’ve become a regular at Home Depot, bought a sturdy ladder I felt comfortable climbing up and down (repeatedly) and developed favourite brush sizes.  In other words, I’ve become a reluctant do-it-yourself-er.

home improvement2

To my surprise, I’ve become enthralled with the magic that occurs as a coat of paint starts to transform a space and discovered the zen feeling of patiently edging the baseboards around the room.  I’m not artistic in any conventional way, but with a paint brush or roller in my hand, I think of it as my Picasso-time.

Painting is the easy part of this project.  The really tough stuff is still ahead as I will have to negotiate some ‘enhancements’ to the space which I have planned.

It might still be too early to discuss upgrading my skills to the power tools.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
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15 Responses to Zen and The Art of Home Improvement

  1. Pingback: Zen and The Art of Home Improvement – Part 2 | My Life Lived Full

  2. Andre T says:

    wow thats colorfull paint haha 😀


  3. Today is here! Good for you. I guess you are completely healed if you are up and down a ladder. Good luck and be careful! Some before and after pictures?


  4. Nothing like a good project to sink your teeth into. One thing I discovered with my recent painting jobs was that I could bring along my laptop and listen to podcasts of favourite CBC shows, or of interviews on This American Life. I don’t get that much of that listening time anymore now that I spend less time in my car. It [almost] made me sad when the job was finished.


  5. davecenker says:

    I have always been amazed how the right color paint on the wall can literally transform a room. Before you get too far along, you should take a before picture to compare with the after picture when it is finished. You know we will all be interested in seeing your new creation 😉


    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Dave – this time I was actually smart enough to take a before picture – in all its scary glory. I’ve also learned that there is a stage in an improvement project where things actually get worse before they start get better. Thankfully, I think I’ve now crossed that line back to the improvement stage 🙂


  6. Good on you! Be careful up that ladder… I’m going to be painting soon, once PF has finished the priming work. We bought an old house and odn’t have the cash to get someone else to do the work, so we’ve rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in… The girl at the local bakery measures our progress through the house according to the colour of the paint I have stuck in my hair…


    • joannesisco says:

      I know what you mean about the paint spatters … after a few hours I tend to look a bit like a Rorschach test, except for my hands. I have an aversion to dirty hands so I wear surgical type gloves. The rest of me however is a disaster.


  7. I’m impressed…do seem to set challenges for yourself and follow through! I’m enjoying your blog and look forward to a future blog on your mastery of power tools.


    • joannesisco says:

      Don’t be too impressed yet 🙂 No one has ever suggested I was the handiest person around and I have a healthy respect for anything that can result in losing appendages. Husband still remembers the incident that ended in the emergency room after I sliced the end of my finger with a mandolin slicer. Seven stitches later my mandolin privileges were permanently revoked.


  8. sueslaght says:

    Good for you to take on the renos! Seeing the transformation created by one’ sown hard work, not to mention some trial and error, can be so satisfying.


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