23 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

What-Me Work?

How do we bring joy to a task that we don’t really want to do?

One day out of frustration, I started scraping a little chip of paint off of our railing outside. One scrape led to another and before you know it, I had made a mess and there was no turning back.  I was going to have to completely scrape this railing and repaint it, which is a major big deal. The rail is made like a picket fence consisting of individual pieces of wood that have four sides. A very tedious and time consuming job.

I tried for three days to scrape the paint off, but of course, now that I wanted the paint to come off, it didn’t want to budge.  Along comes Ken with his mighty man pressure washer. This will get all the paint off for sure. No such luck, we had to scrape with wire brushes and sand paper.  How do I stay joyous when this is going to be such a big deal and my neck is already killing me?

We live downtown and the sun beats on the front of the house all day. You’d think September would be a good time to paint since the temperatures usually drop. Not so.  Hot was the word of the day.

What I’m trying to say  is, how do I look at the job of scraping, priming and painting in the hot sun as a joyous experience when I’m not too thrilled about doing it.

First, put on a cute outfit. Something that makes you feel like a funky paintress. I chose a pair of hiking shorts, bare feet, ball cap and tank, with a lovely off white paint mask to add a bit of drama. The last project I did I chose a pair of Kens plaid boxer shorts.  I think he was embarrassed to see me out in the driveway shoveling dirt in these things. Sorry, but they were cute, and very comfortable. I don’t think I offended anyone.

Next, put on some paint music. My music of choice was Prince. It gave me something to groove to and sometimes even sing along with.  At one point I got up off of the driveway and started to dance to “When Doves Cry”.   Do I care that the Dermatology Clinic is right across the street and the people coming in and out are watching me dance?  If it keeps me in a joyous space while painting then sorry folks, this is what I’ve got to do.

What I’m saying is, make it fun for yourself however you can. Get your favorite drink and put it in a fancy glass and bring it outside with you, stop and talk to the neighbors, get yourself a nosh, spray yourself with the hose.  It’s all in the attitude. I know if men are reading this they may not agree with my philosophy. They most likely just want to get it done.

So here’s my take away from this project. I spent three days inhaling primer fumes which brought me to another mental state without taking drugs, I didn’t have to go to bikram yoga to sweat, my legs and back got a bit of a tan, I spent some time jamming with my man Prince and the railing looks great!

If someone else were doing this work for us they would get money as their reward.  Since we’re not getting paid, we’re making sure to treat ourselves in some way. A dinner out, a movie, a massage, something special. After all, think of all the money we saved by doing this project ourselves.

Experience Joy And Pass It On!

Please leave your comment below and tell us what brings you joy.

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