In my third week of retirement and have found a goal to work towards... Decorating the new house!
I have not had a moment to settle into this house and make it a home, it has been nonstop since we moved in with weddings and funerals. Since my first retired project was to fix the mess I had made in the laundry room it started to wet my appetite for color... All of our walls were painted a wheat color, so we haven't been subjected to white walls but just one basic color. So when I went to fix the laundry room I decided to add some color and add some cheer, since laundry is one of my least favorite things to accomplish. I went with a sky blue and got a border of clothes hanging on a outdoor line blowing in the breeze that matches perfectly. Wow, what a difference walking into that room is from the rest of the house, it actually has some personality now. It only took me three trips to Lowes to get the right amount of paint (I am not the best at painting but getting there...) and then the border was an after thought so back I went. Now I decided to expand room by room so off to Lowes I went to get paint samples to decide what each room needed.
I should stop and explain a bit about myself so that you all see what my thought process on this is.. You can't appreciate crazy unless you get it completely detailed out the right way. :0) You see when I get my nails done, I usually just go with pink and white because any color by the three week time I return to have them done again will be driving me insane. I can pick a color for my toes, as they are further away and I can cover them with shoes or socks if they bug me. (See, I am a special kind of crazy right?) So now I am thinking in my retired state, I will be spending large amounts of time in these rooms so they need to not drive me crazy with the wrong color. With all this in mind I decided color samples should probably hang on the walls for a short period of time to test the color for bad reactions. I had to go back and forth to Lowes a few times to get all the combinations I wanted to hang on my walls and then the borders needed to change depending on the colors being hung... It took a few days and several trips but by the weekend I had it all up and started my testing period.
In comes Alex...
He was a bit annoyed to come home and find bits of colored paper on every wall in the house and that I was on a first name basis with the paint counter guy at Lowes. Well Alex baby I am a nice social person that likes to be friendly with people, especially when I see them so often. It had taken me several days of asking said counter guy (Barry :0)) for help and his advice as a paint expert. I was super tired on Friday night from finishing the border in the laundry room and my couple trips back and forth to Lowes. I had several paint samples in bed with me and pictures of all the samples hung on the walls on my cell phone that I was comparing before I zonked out. Alex found me that way and declared as he was trying to remove all the samples and tuck me in that Saturday was going to be a paint free day. Which was super funny since he woke up with a paint sample stuck to the side of his face, as he had missed a few the night before in his clean up effort. It was a really nice emerald color that did great things for his eyes, I told him that I would get him a shirt that color. I thought it was a good idea, but all I got was the "you are pushing it" look as he removed and threw away my paint sample. I did wait for him to be all the way in the bathroom before I went to save my paint sample only to hear him yell down the hall to leave it in the garbage. Grrrrrrr. The poor paint sample didn't mean to end up on his face, I am sure of it! Sigh. Good thing I had another sample in my bag, so not a total waste. :0)
We were out to lunch on Saturday afternoon when my cell phone went off and it was Barry from the paint counter at Lowes. He was calling to let me know new samples were delivered and did I want him to pull some off to the side for me. Yes, that should have clued me in that maybe I was going a bit over board... But I was just excited to have more samples to work with and told him I would be by to pick them up later that afternoon. I hung up and was locked into the eyes of one very ticked off husband, who cleared his throat and asked what part of a paint free day did I not understand. "Oh no worries honey, I can call him back and let him know I will be by tomorrow or Monday. " I was picking up my phone to do just that when it was removed from my hands and put on his side of the table. I then got a lecture on how retirement was to help me relax and focus on the kids and spoiling him. See now we had been discussing my retirement for over a year now and never once did he mention that one of the outcomes of this would be me spoiling him. I don't mind spoiling my husband at all, in fact I love taking care of him. But now that he full out said as much and he was taking away my color joy I was a bit miffed myself. Did I not just offer to by him a new shirt just this morning that would do great things for his eyes? Hmmmmm? For some reason he didn't find that a very good retort and we ate the rest of our lunch in silence. Grumpy man, totally killing my relaxed retirement mood. (You all are still on my side right? Yeah, me either now that I am thinking back on it and shaking my head.)
Sunday afternoon I had Lori come down after church and look at the color samples hanging and the boarders. We had a glass of wine (I even pulled out my special stash) and were having a great time until the men came looking for us. We had left them down the street with all the kids swimming and watching the BBQ and we might have lost track of time. Lori had seen some really cute puppy print keep sakes and even another where you put the puppy prints next to their adult prints later with a photo between. Really fun idea and the chances of getting Alex to ever allow another puppy into our home is VERY slim. So I was thinking we should take advantage of this time and see what my little puppy paws looked like. It was all very controlled and not messy until the bigger dog wanted to see what was happening. I had left him out to keep things controlled and he found another way back to us through the maze of the house. So in he came and bounced himself right into the middle of things and knocked over the box of wallpaper samples and got himself tangled up. That was just about the time the men left the older kids in charge and came down to retrieve us for lunch only to walk in to two giggling females, two puppies covered in paint and one large unhappy dog wrapped in wall paper. It was funny how it all happened and we had it under control until the front door opened and the puppies decided to greet the new comers. Ugh. The paint all came off, it was wet and we got it fast so no long term issues or clean up efforts there. My wallpaper that got mangled was not fit for anything but garbage, so was not happy about that at all. But the kicker here is that Alex decided to blow this all out of proportion and got upset that we were messing around with paint when he had declared a order of a paint free weekend. Excuse me??? "Um... Yeah, you declared Saturday paint free not the entire weekend!" This I stated very matter of fact like while standing on the opposite side of the living room far, far, far away from mad and overly grumpy Alex. That was the point that Alex asked Jay if he would mind taking Lori back down and we would join them in a bit, we need to have a discussion.
"What??? Come on really, this was all harmless and everything got cleaned up and we had a laugh. Get over it already and have a glass of wine grumpy."
Lori cleared her throat and give me a very clear (dang girl just say you are sorry and stop the madness look) and headed for the front door. Thanks pal... Jay looked around laughed and said the hazel nut was too dark for the kitchen and left. (I tend to agree and have decided to go with cream brûlée instead) So now Alex and I are alone and engage in a rather heated stare off, the dogs all feeling the tension had decided to head upstairs far, far away from us.
Alex: "You don't know how to do it do you?"
Me: "Do what?"
Me: "I do too!! I am the picture of relaxed until you come and take my fun away and get me all upset and NOT relaxed."
Alex: "You are so relaxed that every room of this house has bits of paper and paint hanging on them. Every night the last two weeks you have made a new recipe that non of us have even heard of or can identify with the naked eye. You have even gone to the trouble of making second meals in the case one of us doesn't liking the first meal and you even made the dogs meals instead of regular dog food!! You have fallen asleep before I even make it to the bedroom because you are exhausted and now you are going toe to toe with me when I tell you enough is enough. I thought given some time you would settle down and start to relax, but that isn't happening and I am done cutting you slack. It is VERY clear to me that you don't know how to relax and I am going to step in and help you along with it!"
He started his advance towards me right around the toe to toe bit and I started to back step towards the stairs. I went to run around the sofa, but he is so darn big and fast I didn't make it past the arm of the sofa and was up and over his shoulder and on my way upstairs before I could start a full on panic. Once we made it upstairs he went straight to the bed and down I went over his lap and down my shorts went and well... Let the discussion begin! It was not a fun discussion and it took a while for me to submit and just let go, I surprised myself with the fuss I put up during the first part of the spanking. Maybe I did have a bit of stress going on and maybe I had gone a bit over board on new recipes and getting the paint right. When I finally let go I started to cry and told him I wasn't good at being retired and I was just completely messing it all up. He stopped and cuddled me and rocked with me and whispered in my ear that being retired is not something I need to excel at but enjoy. His goal was to see me happy and relaxed and not strained and barely hanging on anymore. This was a gift he wanted me to enjoy and could I please start enjoying it for him. Ugh... Talk about seeing the light!! I didn't see the big picture here..Alex was giving me a huge gift and I didn't recognize it as being a gift but as yet another challenge. He was 100% right, I don't know how to relax and I totally sucked at trying to figure it out on my own.
I have taken down all my paint samples and picked colors for all the rooms and each one will get done in time... But one room a month and if the color bugs me, I can pick another color and pick another month and tackle it then. New recipes are nice, but in moderation and with some discussion with the family to ensure only one meal needs making. The dogs like there dog food just fine and shouldn't be eating people food anyway so that insanity is also done. I spent the entire day yesterday watching movies with my daughter, eating rice chips and laughing more than I can remember in a very LONG time. Today I am writing and tonight is dinner out with my son and his new girlfriend. (She actually is growing on me, much better than the last one did anyway.) I did run out and get Alex a new shirt the color of emerald and I just know it will make his eyes pop!! One day at a time... I am going to take this as the gift that was intended and try to not do CRAZY anymore... Or maybe not as much. :0)