Tuesday, February 22, 2005

how to resist the redecorating craze

Directions for writers (0r bloggers):

Do you live in a house whose walls are still builder-beige after all these years? Do you return home from visiting friends to find yourself entertaining the nagging thought - I should do something with this place?

Now I’m not talking about adding the odd picture, bookshelf or file cabinet. I’m referring to serious redecorating where you move all the furniture, replace flooring, paint or paper walls, build stuff – in other words, bring major disruption on yourself. For though part of you knows you should redecorate, another part argues, why would you plunge yourself into such chaos when all you really want is the peace and quiet to write?

If this is you, take heart. Help is at hand. Do one or all of the suggestions below and house-guilt will forever be a thing of the past.

1. Watch lots of redecorating shows. Even a few of these will exhaust you and leave you feeling that you yourself have been redecorating for days.

2. Have a husband who, the first time you mention redecorating goes apoplectic and ever after asks for complicated things like a cost-benefit analysis (well, actually no, but he does ask if it fits in my budget - what budget?!).

3. Hang around with friends who are perpetually redecorating. You’ll soon find that in all the time it takes to collect and consider paint and carpet swatches, visit drapery stores and home shows, you could have finished your novel - or at least come up with an article idea.

4. Redecorate one room as a trial run. When you see how much work it is, you’ll be cured forever.

5. Scrub your house till it glows. Who’d want to improve on such a lovable place anyway?

6. If you should happen to find that lonely decorating article that lauds the hodge-podge look of your home, keep it handy against the next time the urge to redecorate resurfaces.

7. Buy one or two trendy accessories to make you feel better (no matter that they don’t fit the 80s decor of your home).

8. Stay the course and one of these years the house fashion trends will come full circle. All those mulberry, taupe and navy walls of your friends will find themselves beige again, faux wood will be all the rage again and your house will be fashionable again without you ever raising a hammer or paintbrush.

9. Stay the course and before you know it your house will be a community heritage treasure with by-law protection against change.

10. Write instead, make lots of money and hire a professional decorator or your decorator-savy friends.

11. Write instead, make lots of money and move to a house that comes pre-decorated.

12. Memorize every Bible verse about contentment that you can find. Start with: "If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that" (I Timothy 6:8 - NIV).

(BTW - This isn’t new. I wrote it about a year ago in response to a weekly FaithWriters.com weekly Writing Challenge. I think it’s part of a book collection somewhere--yes it's in volume 1. Of course I still live by these principles!)


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