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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Overcoming Fear

I was sitting out on my deck last night, well really it was early evening, you know the time when the sun is settling in for its evening rest  and the winds of the day are calm like an invisible blanket. I  barely heard a sound other than the occasional car that was passing by or a bird singing in the background.   All week long I had been running and running and chasing my tail it seemed, this was the first time I really had to sit and just breathe.   To be honest, between work and home I could stay busy for 10 years and still not get it all done. Really, who couldn't?  Right? Don't you all have jam packed days and nights, too?     At some point though, we need to draw a line in the sand and refuel.  Whether its by taking a nap during mid day (gasp...i haven't done that in a million years),  reading a book (I pretty much only read magazines any more because I 'm a afraid of getting absorbed by the book & then neglecting everything I should be doing...I know, that's pure T shameful!), or perhaps you exercise or create to refuel...whatever it is, it's important that you do it.  Whatever it is that you HAVE to do, will still be waiting for you an hour later.  Take that time to relax and just enjoy your moment you are taking to refuel. I have to remember to do that more often because I need it. You need it!

After my break yesterday, it was about 6:30 that I went inside and started on something I had been procrastinating for months.  Months?! Really, how do I procrastinate doing something for that long?  Part of it has been that I've been busy almost every weekend it seems for as long as I can remember.  Either getting ready for a show, doing a class, or having some other place I needed to be that prevented me from doing this or at least strarting.  The other part of my procrastination has been fear.  Fear of getting started with something I really didn't know if I could do myself.  I still may not be able to do it all myself.   But I knew this weekend I was going to at least get started and get over my fear.   It's amazing what fear can do to a person. It can freeze you right in place and stop you from going forward, the ironic part of fear is that whatever it is, is usually (usually) not as painful, not as hard, not as scary, once you get started or dive into xyz.  And so I started last night working on one of many projects I want to do in my new home. By myself...well, at least first it was by myself.

As some of  you may know, I bought my first house in September. (((YIPPEEEE))) It's not the biggest house on the block, or the newest, but it is the best house in the world for us right now and I love it.   I'm so happy to have found it or maybe it found me..who knows how the story goes but I'm here, we're here and I am so 'Happy Where We Are" (just like the painting above).   I do want to do many things to the house but I've been putting off and putting off doing these things, mostly because I know I need to do them myself. I could hire out to do them, but I really don't have the money to do that so the options are limited. My knowledge is limited as far as what to do or even how to get started.  What is the answer then?  Just get started.  Start somewhere, anywhere. Tackle something you know you can handle, or even if you don't know you can handle it, give it a shot anyway.   I really have been wanting to repaint every room in this house but the one thing that has stopped me is the fact that EVERY, SINGLE, WALL, (except for my studio and one bedroom) has wallpaper on it.  That's overwhelming to me.   Taking down all that wallpaper, ensuring I don't screw up the walls while doing so and just really the enormity of the project had frozen me.

I gathered supplies at Lowe's the night before and asked some basic questions to a seemingly well informed stock boy (he had me at wall paper,  and then last night I got started. I was scared at first because if I tear up these walls by scraping too hard or pulling off something I should have, I'm well, pretty much screwed.  But then, after I got started, the feeling of relief washed over me. It wasn't that hard, really, and truthfully, it was relaxing in a new way.   Josh had been watching me for a good hour since I started to work in his room.  I remembered long long long long time ago, helping my Mom renovate and do projects around the house.  My Mom is infinitely braver than I have ever been or ever will be.    She tackles things with a self assurance that I've never had, but at the same time, I want my son to know that you can do things you set your mind to, no matter how much you fear them.   He got up from his video game chair (grrr kids these days and their games) and started helping me. "How come you only got one scraper?"  Me, "Because I figured I was the only one that was going to do this."   "Oh....well, I want to help, Mom."  And so the two of us worked for 3 hours tackling a project that really wasn't that hard to do.  We need music I say.  Josh (9 years old) goes and puts his Ipod on and we worked listening to the Beatles---one of his favorite groups. Laughing and teasing each other as we pulled strips of paper and removed the residue from the wall, it was a good time even though it tired us out.

  "I'm proud of you Mom".  At that moment, I had a flashback to my Mom and remembered us doing similar things together under similar circumstances.  The wave of pride came over me that I was following in her footsteps, if even for a moment, engulfed me.    Overcoming our fears is tremendously scary, but by and large, they are never as scary as we build them up to be in our mind.  The power we have to overcome ourselves and do things on our own is unlimited.  Getting started is half the battle.


Shabby Cottage Studio said...

What a wonderful thing you did. Taking the first step to conquer any fear is the hardest part of the conquering. And then you had a wonderful bonding timne with your son. What more could you ask for?! And I won't tell you that as a former faux finisher and a painter of a gazillion walls you can paint over wallpaper as long as you make sure it is firmly attached to the wall. But don't ever ask a clerk in a store about it because they'll tell you it can't be done. ;-)

Heidi said...

What a great story! I removed four layers of very old wallpaper in one room our house, and it took all weekend just for two walls! And we did have to have the walls repaired (they're plaster) but now the fun part comes! I've primed and now get to add color. YEA! (Our paint expert told us that often walls that might have residue of wallpaper paste should be primed with an oil primer, lest you have problems with the latex paint sticking. Just a thought.)

Amy said...

How sweet. I am glad you got started. Let me know when you are ready to paint. I am pretty good at it.

Tess said...

I am proud of you to Jodi. And I know that those few words will never again have as much meaning for you as they did at that moment coming from your son. Congrats, you just taught him a valuable life lesson both in character and in how-to. My hubby knows very little of home repair because his mother never let him do anything like that with her. She was a di-it-yourself sort in a bad way. You are doing it in a good way. Get info, get supplies, tackle the job and take the help when offered. Kudos to you. Big hugs and do show us a few pics of before and after please. Oh and I loved the paintings spread through out this post. Wonderful....