Here’s a conversation I’ve been having with myself for the last two weeks:
Project ADD Me: Oh! I have a great idea for a painting I’d like to do for the Parlor!
Rational Me: What? The Parlor that still has pink walls and floors that haven’t been refinished and no furniture? I don’t think hanging a painting in there is our first priority at the moment.
Project ADD Me: Okay, true. But it would be a quick painting.
Rational Me: If you want to paint something, pick up a paintbrush and get to work on the wainscoting. Or, you know, the entire exterior of this house.
Project ADD Me: Yes, but I’ll never forget to paint the wainscoting, but I might forget the idea for this painting.
Rational Me: Write it down.
Project ADD Me: Slave driver.
Rational Me: Calling yourself names isn’t going to change my mind.
Project ADD Me: Whoa, whoa, whoa. You are not the boss of me. Who says I can’t paint a painting if I want to? It’s not like I’m living in a garage and have to build a house before winter.
Rational Me: The couch is still covered in plastic wrap, the shower is leaking on to the boiler, the weeds have taken over the side garden, there are approximately 12 pallets of concrete block and brick taking up space where the donkeys are supposed to live… do I need to go on?
Project ADD Me: Seriously, what is the point of being an adult if you don’t get to eat ice cream for breakfast and paint a fricking painting when you want to.
Rational Me: Mmm… Ice cream…
And then while the rational part of my brain was distracted by a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, I did this:
To save myself time and clean-up I bought some cheap acrylics. And to save myself money I reused one of my old unfinished canvases that was lying around in a spare bedroom.
Goodbye, wine bottles…
I’m going to be a temperamental artist for a minute and only show you a sneak peek of the painting, since it’s not done.
And let me clarify… I’m temperamental to a fault, but the three art electives I took in college don’t make me an artist. I’m just not any more afraid to pick up a brush and paint a house than I am to pick up a hammer and build one. Because the worst thing that happens is it looks like crap and then you paint over it or tear it down and start over. (Okay maybe the worst thing that happens is you build a crappy house and it falls on top of you in your sleep, but you get my point.)
Giving myself permission to just create something for the fun of it was one of the best decisions I’ve made since… well, since the last time I did it. I forget sometimes that before I was a girl who banged on houses, I was a girl who made stuff. The truth is that I like doing both. I like to be able to replace a faucet or tile my own shower, but sometimes I just need to spend some time taking an idea and making it into something real.
Plus, once the painting is done it may motivate me to finish painting those Parlor walls so I have a place to hang it. So, win-win.
My message for everyone this weekend is this: Yes, we all probably have 172 item to-do lists, and things that should get done first… and sometimes it’s really hard to give yourself permission to let all of that go and take on a project (or a book, or a nap) just for fun. So here’s me, giving you permission. We’re all allowed to live a little, to breath for a minute, and to do something that makes us happy just because it makes us happy.
And you didn’t even have to bribe me with ice cream for that.