Much like most people, over the years, I have indeed used the expression “it’s like watching paint dry” to describe an event that might be considered boring. But based upon my recent experience, I might reconsider my use of the phrase. I just don’t agree with its accuracy anymore.
In this year’s round of spring cleaning and home projects, I decided to get some painting done.
As much as I love the whole ceremony of painting, in recent years, time and energy have been in short supply.
Plus, my body just doesn’t seem to respond well to weekend paint jobs without complaining in the days that follow. Between working muscles that don’t usually get used in that way and with arthritis starting to drop in unexpectedly, it was time for me to (reluctantly) look into hiring a painting company.
Upon finding a highly recommended team of painters, I decided to put their professional expertise to the best possible use. The first project was one set of walls I haven’t done since I moved in: the walls around the staircase.
I don’t know what the actual height of that area is but I do recall that the few times I tried to dust the lighting fixture or to try to grab the cobwebs in the corners, I felt like the Roadrunner’s archenemy, Wile E Coyote, trying device after device to extend my reach to get the job done.
When I was finally successful in completing the task, it was usually followed by a visit to the medicine cabinet for some internal and/or external approaches to pain relief.
I decided that for this paint job, the extent of my involvement would be to tidy up before, to remove my personal effects from the painting area, to set up the cat in another part of the house with food, water, litter and favourite toys, and then for me to sit and relax.
I admit that it felt like I was going against nature to be sitting, sipping coffee and clearing content off the PVR, while the painters were hard at work. I truly had to supress my natural impulses to pick up a brush and to help them.
But when the aroma of the ceiling paint starting wafting toward the living room, I knew I had made the right decision.
When they invited me to check in on the progress, my heart was pounding with joy to see the wall starting to get restored to its original beauty. That was when I knew I had made the right decision and that my investment in professional painters was money well spent.
A few hours later, it was time for the big reveal. I felt like I was on one of those HGTV shows, as all I could say was “Oh my God”, staring at the walls in disbelief, marveling at the beauty of their work.
When they had left, I parked myself on the top step of the staircase and sat there, literally, watching the paint dry.
As I breathed in the aroma of fresh paint and stared at the walls, I felt a range of emotions. Boredom was definitely not on the radar.
I felt a sense of accomplishment. The task which got consistently pushed down the to-do list over the years was finally done, even though I didn’t do it myself.
I felt amazement that the bumps and scuffs left behind by 33 years of home owners and renters were completely erased as the walls were restored to their unblemished beauty.
I felt gratitude in thinking that whenever I decide to put the house up for sale, this monstrous task won’t need to be done again.
I felt relief in thinking of the physical pain I spared myself by having a team of experienced painters (who probably know better how to avoid the strains I would have experienced) take care of the walls and ceilings in areas I could not easily reach.
I felt pure joy in seeing how one coat of “Cloud White” paint in one highly visible area makes the whole house look better and fresher.
After this wonderful experience, I also felt encouragement that I have found a painting company I can trust for future painting jobs.
While some people might think that watching paint dry might be boring, I think they need to look a little harder to find the joy, the satisfaction and the gratitude that comes with freshly painted walls.
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