In 2015, we decluttered our house and currently are living only with what we use on a regular basis and what brings us joy. We continue to follow the ‘one in, one out’ rule by giving away the old equivalent of a new item. We continue to question everything we impulsively think we ‘want to get.’ Admittedly, we have become scrupulous when it comes to bringing any new items into our home. Yet, there is still plenty of work to do. This year, we are updating our home with DIY renovations. Our goal is to refresh our space and make it jive with our new simplified lifestyle. Paradoxically, the work itself is not simple, but minimalism doesn’t always equal minimal effort.
Two weekends ago, Mr. Wanderlust and I painted the living room / dining room, upstairs landing, and stairway from the living room and kitchen level to the bedrooms upstairs. My parents had graciously taken Wanderlust Juniors to their home for the weekend, leaving us with two days of uninterrupted work. Our time was limited and the original walls were a dark, deep raspberry colour to cover which we had to apply two coats of primer. We made a mental note to think twice next time before making the decision to paint a wall red.
By Saturday night, the living room was a labyrinth of furniture around which we had to tread carefully while moving paint cans, brushes, and other tools around the perimeter. As we were preparing for bed, having showered and washed the primer off our arms, determined to wake up early the following morning to resume our work, Mr. Wanderlust asked me to bring a thermometer to him. He was running a high fever, having come down with strep throat, as the doctor would advise two days later.
He spent Sunday morning migrating among the bedroom, where he attempted to sleep, his face a sad sickly grey shade, waiting for the pain killers to kick in; the bathroom, where he gargled with salt water; and the living room, where he joined me in painting for ten minutes at a time before feeling faint and needing to lie down again. Despite all this, he never complained. He did his best to assist me.
By 7 p.m., after resisting the urge to snap at each other due to fatigue (felt by us both) and sickness (that of Mr. Wanderlust), the living room furniture had been pushed back into place, the carpet had been vacuumed, the floors washed, and a few pieces of art hung on the walls. We were ready for the boys’ and my parents’ arrival.
If there is a lesson that Mr. Wanderlust and I have learned from our marathon painting experience, it’s this: Life’s plans are not always congruent with our plans, but when we are determined to make progress and are ready to work steadily together to create changes, we can usually come out on top. I’m grateful for my selfless and committed partner and his quirky sense of humour, even when not feeling well. I’m grateful for the antibiotics that brought him back to good health. I’m grateful that Wanderlust Juniors have a wonderful father who is a great role model for them, and we are looking forward to celebrating Father’s Day together.
Wishing a very happy Father’s Day to all who are celebrating this weekend!