I took the week off from writing my usual column for this e-newsletter, instead sharing something from my book, Hurry Slowly. Reflecting back to one particular summer years ago, some things I learned still ring true. Enjoy!
It's been quite a busy summer at our house. Among other things, we had the opportunity to re-do the front porch of our Victorian cottage. We were fortunate to receive a generous restoration grant from the San Antonio Conservation Society. The grant paid for all the supplies and contractors, but did not include the painting. So Zet and I have been prepping and painting the detailed woodwork off and on for a couple of weeks now.
We've done a fair amount of this kind of work over the years, so we sort of knew what we were getting into. But we hadn't counted on having one for the hottest Junes in history. Combined with my awareness of all he other projects and deadlines bearing down on our overheated desktops, the oppressive heat made me feel tired and very put upon as I was painting in the yard.
Then one morning, I got tired of working so hard and decided that the easiest solution was to make a game of it, to go ahead and do the work, but from a different perspective. The rules were simple: Pretend this painting project was really a Creative Living class I'd signed up for. My homework assignment for the week was to note the number of spiritual lessons being presented. Here are some of the things I learned in class:
2. Focus on the little things. Paint one small area at a time. It's helpful to check in and take a look at the Big Picture, the larger task, periodically but not too often. The real work is done one small patch at a time.
4. Work is more pleasant in the company of friends. It's not only more fun, but much easier painting alongside someone else. There's just more energy available when tow or more are gathered and focused on the work at hand. Even when Zet was painting on the other side of the house, I swear I could feel the energy of working together - or feel the drop in energy when she went off to take care of some unrelated business.
So, that's what I've learned so far. Both the front porch and the Creative Living class are definitely still works in progress. But that's the joy of owning an old house and of being enrolled as a perpetual student in the School of Life.
With gratitude and blessings,