When Home Projects Take Over Your Life

I thought I had the perfect plan. My man was out of town for a week, and when he got back, my aunt and uncle were coming to stay for the weekend — their first overnight visit to our house ever. I decided to paint my bathroom. I mean, how hard could that be? I'd already tackled the living room and kitchen. What's a little power-blue bathroom?Let me tell you: It's been four days of hard labor and I'm nowhere near finishing. The first color I picked didn't work out. The deep purple was a gorgeous hue, but in our bathroom it just didn't look quite right. (I usually test and then test some more, but home-project hubris had taken over my common sense.) So I spent a couple of hours looking at other options, finally settling on a shade of green that would unite the rest of my house's color palette.

That second color I picked was spot-on. Great! But then I realized that I not only had to paint the wall color, but also deal with bead board, trim, the door and the ceiling. Back to the paint store. Oh, but wait, there's more. Once the upper bathroom walls were green and cheery, I realized I simply could not live with the hallway, which was still the same dingy beige as when we moved in. I decided to paint it a bright cheerful white. Oh no, more molding and doors.

At this point, there is obviously no turning back. Actually, there was no turning back the second I painted on that first swath of purple. But readers, I am tired. I have lost my will to finish. My muscles ache, my house is a mess, and my dog has patches of white all over his face and bum (likewise, my just-painted trim has taken on fur). And I keep thinking: I still have to eventually paint my office, our bedroom, and the entire basement. Noooooooooooooo! (Hiring professionals is another option, but I hate to pay for something I can do myself.)

I need your advice: How do you push yourselves forward when you've lost your will to paint another stroke or hammer another nail? If you stop your projects, do you ever finish them? (I have a half-painted pantry door that says no.) Do you give yourself a reward when you're finished, or is the finished project reward enough?

Image: AnnaMaria Stephens

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