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Re: Tell about your big projects, obstacles, outcomes (and treasure!)

Re: Tell about your big projects, obstacles, outcomes (and treasure!)2011-10-11T21:34:33+00:00

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Cleaning out (emptying) the downstairs bedroom and painting it. Planning a mural or large painting for that room.

The room was full of junk furniture, trash, miscellaneous stuff, lots of mouse poop, dirty dishes, scattered pieces of toys and games – it was disgusting. I took it on in 3-4 hour chunks. What tended to stop me or slow me down was either not knowing what to do with things (how to organize or where to put them) and just being grossed out. There are times when I go into cleaning mode when it’s easier to throw things away than to analyze their meaning, purpose, or value.

After the cleaning, during which I discovered that some objects could not be removed from the room (such as a television, due to a cable hook-up) I still got almost everything out, which enabled me to think.

Painting the walls took a lot longer than I expected. I did it in about three 2-hour sessions. It was a real physical work-out. Then I ran out of paint.

I still need to paint the ceiling and trim (it’s all the same color – a very bright white.) The brush and roller are still (2 weeks later) sitting in a bucket of water. The newspapers are still on the floor. The empty can is still sitting there. I need to buy another gallon.

Yet, I feel good about my progress.

For the mural, I had months ago collected a bunch of photo reference materials, and in a few 2-hour sessions have 90% completed a small 10 x 12 inch study of what the mural will be like. It is not done, but it’s close.

The “treasure” I have discovered is that it is much easier to engage in a project and find meaning in it when it benefits someone else- in this case, my older son who started high school and should have his own private bedroom. I can get motivated when there is a clear goal or outcome, when I will know when I’m finished, when it’s for a clear purpose, and when it will make someone else happy.

A similar example would be the times I’ve spent cleaning and decluttering a friend’s kitchen because she has mobility issues. It is easier to be objective about another person’s space and stuff, and the work doesn’t carry the heavy emotional weight it would if I were doing it for myself.