December 15, 2010

Turquoise

Photo

We’ve now lived in our house for about 7 years. In that time we’ve worked on rehabilitating almost every aspect of this property with our own hands. With the exception of the bathroom.

The bathroom is a weird shape; altered somewhere along the line of this property’s twisted history. We planned to-someday when we could afford to-cut the bathroom in half and make a master bathroom and an everybody-else-bathroom. We decided not to touch it. And it was ugly. Probably three different wall textures. Cheap fixtures. The whole bit. It was depressing and embarrassing.

Last night, we finished painting our bathroom. We painted it turquoise. That color that isn’t quite blue and isn’t quite green. Turquoise. At least, I think it’s turquoise. The swatch from the hardware store says “twilight seafoam” or something weird like that. I say it’s turquoise.

I hesitated at the color when my wife brought it home. “You don’t like it?” she said. “Uh, well, let’s look at it on the wall before I say anything,” I responded. A splotch of turquoise can always be painted over. Right? I should know by now that I should trust my wife’s design sense over mine. It ends up that it looks nice with the shower curtain, etc.

A couple weeks ago, Brooke decided that she’d had it with the condition of our bathroom. The least we could do was hang up a few things and paint it for the meantime. (While waiting for my long-term, master plan to unfold) So, she pulled out some old frames and spray painted them bright colors, we hung up a new shower curtain, put up an old full length mirror on one wall, along with some vintage towel hooks and, as I said, painted the walls. Turquoise.

As I looked at a job finished last night, with that fresh paint smell, I realized something about myself from this whole experience. I like to do things right. But this sometimes paralyzes me from actually doing anything.

If I don’t know how, or feel as though I lack the resources, to do something, well, I hold back. But while this is appropriate in some cases, it isn’t always appropriate. Sometimes, I just need to make the best of it with what I know, with what I have. A few days ago, I tweeted something like, “Sometimes our ideals get in the way of us actually getting anything done.” And I think this is true. At times, our perfectionism-or idealism-gets in the way of us actually making the best of a situation.

Does this mean we should continually compromise? I don’t think so. When I have the time and the resources, I still plan on adding that second bathroom. With a family of five and a steady stream of over night guests and visitors we could use it. But for the time being, the most unpleasant room in the house is now pleasant. And what’s more, my wife is happy. That in itself is worth it!

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