Repainting My Home- A Meditation on Transition
I recently repainted my living room, dining room, hallway and kitchen, in a weekend.
Yes, a weekend.
All at once, the eighteen months of agonizing questions such as, “what colors accent the odd flow of the space well?’, “do I really want to do another painting project?” “Is there any way I can justify spending the money to hire someone else to do it?” “When can I fit a project like this into my already busy life?” became clear and a free weekend appeared.
I knew what color scheme I wanted the upstairs of my home to be, became excited about the transformation and even enlisted a few friends to help me finish it.
Let me be clear, this all crystallized in 24hrs.
Once I began, something unexpected occurred…
As I was prepping the walls, taping and “cutting in” at the baseboards and crown molding, I noticed myself reflecting on my family’s time here in this home and on my role as a mom. At the same time I found my mind drifting into the future, watching the new color blending with the old eventually replacing it. It awakened the sometimes anxious, sometimes sad, sometimes joyful feelings I am experiencing in my current transition to an empty nest.
The project took on a meditative quality.
In the back and forth flow of reflection and resulting clarity that mirrored the flow of the paint roller my tension about the past and the unknown of the future eased. I relaxed into the process, into the unfolding of the moment.
Maybe it was the acceptance of the moment that allowed answers to the ever present questions of:
Was this enough? Was I enough?
And allowed the becoming of the unknown future to stay as yet unknown within the present moment.
As my painted edges revealed themselves imperfectly, yet also good enough, I remembered many instances of the same in my parenting; times when I showed up less than graceful, less than ideal, yet also probably good enough.
With each scuff mark I painted over or each accident inspired dent I smoothed with spackling; I recalled the laughter and the noise of my kids and their friends.
In accepting as well as honoring the perfectly imperfect time capsule this home has provided for us all, I also accepted myself a little more completely, a little more deeply. By holding my successes and shining parenting moments with the same love and compassion as my own scuffed parenting responses, my own accidentally dented approaches to loving and guiding my children, I realized it was all ok, I became able to more eagerly lean into the unknown future of this home and my own identity development during this new transition.
I can open more easily and trustingly to what is, what is becoming and what will be.
Right now, I know that I have an upstairs with fresh, beautifully coordinated paint, rearranged furniture and a future that is likely as imperfectly perfect as my past in this home, to look forward to.
As we approach the transition to a new season, recognizing and joining with other transitions in our lives; maybe we all can approach ourselves with a little more kindness and compassion, honoring each imperfect part of the journey.