Little by little the bird weaves its nest. Cherokee Proverb
Our house is in a complete shambles.
Our living room carpet, once a crisp linen white is now soiled and stained. Murky grey. People prints and paw prints. A chili mishap in year one. A spilled bottle of root beer in year two. Christmas candle wax drippings in year three. Beach sand and sawdust and gravely dirt . . . By year six we’d given up completely, knowing it simply needed to be replaced. Now in year ten we’re finally saying good-bye.
But in the home improvement business, it seems that one thing almost always leads to another.
Replacing carpet never turns out to be just replacing carpet.
Pulling the carpet out of the living room lead to the decision to replace the damaged laminate in the dining room which is adjoined to the laminate in the kitchen and entry hallway. Replacing the laminate means, not only do we need to move all the furniture, but we need to remove all of the baseboards as well. Pulling off baseboards and stripping floors lead to the realization that now would be the perfect time to paint all of these rooms. Painting lead to taking everything off the walls, removing all of the light switch and outlet covers and pulling out all of the appliances from their usual spots. Pulling out appliances lead to exposing a decade’s worth of filth and grime, which leads to scrubbing and scouring and vacuuming and . . . you get the picture.
Replacing the carpet seems to be code for reconsider everything!
The once beloved Raffia color of the kitchen walls had gradually come to feel dreary and drab. I longed for a just-right yellow. Calm, yet playful. Optimistic and warm. But, two days into the project, I was frantically working to cover up one misguided paint color decision with the next. My first choice, Laguna Yellow, had let me down miserably. It’s neon like qualities actually making me squint. Lighter, yes. Peaceful, no. Next I chose a richer and earthier Buttercup. Loving the sounds of the name, I quickly set out to hide my first mistake. But Buttercup rolled on more like a jack-o-lantern with an upset tummy immediately entering into a disagreement with our kitchen cabinet Cinnamon.
Confidence in the tank, I headed back to the store. Another agonizing choice. More stir sticks. More mixing. More waiting. More paint. Charismatic Yellow. Its name expressed more confidence than I felt.
I fell into bed exhausted and disillusioned. The chaos. The uncertainty. The self-doubt. They were all getting to me. What were we doing, anyway? Hadn’t our home been just fine two days ago? Was all of this upheaval really necessary? All of this effort? All of this expense? Why not just shampoo the carpet and forget it? This was crazy. I was completely overwhelmed.
When morning came I stumbled my way through the wreckage to let the dog out. Furniture and fans. Trinkets and tools. Rolled up rugs and misplaced mementoes. Everywhere; belongings piled in places they didn’t belong. I found my way to the kitchen and flipped on the light.
Prepared for the resignation of disappointment, I was instead instantly delighted. Charismatic Yellow filled the room, grinning at me, with the smug satisfaction of surprise.
Suddenly my energy and enthusiasm returned. This one small patch of yellow was like magic. It calmed me. It lightened my spirit. It whispered hope in my ear. . .
The chaos. The clutter. The hard work. They were all still there. I could feel them just over my shoulder. But when I considered shifting my attention to them, Yellow drew me back in.
She winked playfully and I grinned in return. The rest would have to wait a bit. Because for this one moment, I was going to do nothing more than bask in the glow of Yellow.
A small success on a long path. A cause for pause and celebration.
Yellow. Sweet, simple, just-right Charismatic Yellow.
It seems that whether we’re working to replace worn-out carpet or worn-out practices, it’s easy to get frustrated, frantic and a overwhelmed. But taking time to notice and celebrate even the smallest patch of a Yellow might make a world of difference.
What small glimpse of your vision is starting to show itself?
Slow down. Look closer. It’s there.
Notice it. Name it. Celebrate it.
Celebration is fuel for our journey.