Friday, July 24, 2015

Painting Walls

Kathe and I are painting our walls today. 

When we moved into our newly renovated house back in 04, we chose bright, Mexican colors for interior colors.  Hacienda yellow.  Mamey red.  Maya blue.  Intense colors with deep saturation, and it made us very happy.  The was something about it that made it feel a little like we were getting to travel to our favorite places every time we came into our home.

Now, fast forward 10+ years, and the paint is worn, and we are at a different place in our lives.  The paint has peeled underneath the windowsash.  The blue has chipped and potlidded, and every corner has scuff marks from banged furniture.  The cabinets with their deep cherrywood tone now just seem to darken a cluttered house more, and the sense of 'coming home to Mexico' has lost some of its allure.

So we are painting.

I have not done an enormous amount of painting, so I am learning.  I knew from selling paint that the deep, rich colors require a generous application of Kilz, or at least coat after coat of the new paint.  Now I am getting the full effect of that. 

But as the beige goes up (I have it on good authority that it is actually 'vanilla', as if that works to drive the blandness away) the bright colors disappear... and then reappear, bleeding through the new paint.  What was vanilla five minutes ago, now has an odd blue tint.

So I wait a few hours, and do it again.  Still the blue comes through.  A few hours more, and do it again.

Eventually, the vanilla wins.  The blue no longer bleeds through.  Each successive coat got easier to spread, and made more of the remaining blue disappear.  Until finally, the happy cream color has succeeded.

I feel like that while I am trying to beat down bad habits, or when I am trying to establish new ones.  I work my butt off, trying to make sure that the push ups get done, or the 'leaving the boots in the living room' does not, or that the banjo gets played for at least a half hour.  At first, particularly, the old ways shine through.  No matter how bright and shiny that new habit looks, the old blue bleeds through.

I don't like push ups.  I'll catch up with an additional 150 tomorrow night.

I am so frustrated by the banjo right now.  I'll just play tomorrow.

I'm just going to kick off those boots... and I'll carry them to the back later.

But there is also a satisfaction to covering that old habit with a new practice.  And each time, it gets easier; the paint goes further, and it is less difficult to get 150 pushups.  Each coat goes further and making the habit stick happens with a little less difficulty. 

Well, except for the boots, of course.  Those just work better on the living room floor. At least for today.


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