Peeling Paint

It all started innocuously enough. The doorway to my rental apartment needed scraping and painting. No big deal, except that I put It off for a year so it was a bigger deal than it should have been. I went to the hardware store and bought a scraper (because I waited a year) and a quart of white exterior paint.

But you know how these things work. First, if you think back to fingers on the blackboard in school, that’s what scrapers on wood sound like, so the next order of business was to find some earplugs. Fortunately, a local craft beer barkeep had just given me a new pair over the weekend! I went out for an IPA and couldn’t drink mine, until he gave me the plugs, because the local band wanted their music to reach Chicago.

Earplugs in, I went to work on the doorway, only to notice that the windowsill next to it was in even worse shape. So I got the stepladder and prepared it, too. But as the paint chips fell to the ground, I noticed that the brick foundation was also losing paint. Dang it! This went on all day until paint chips lay around my house like a bread-crumb trail.

As I spent the afternoon painting (which is a cathartic experience for me so I’m not sure why I put it off so much) I realized that home repair is a lot like life. We have these places inside ourselves that need attention but we put it off, fearing it will be too painful or take too long or bring up stuff we aren’t sure we can deal with. But when parts of us start hanging out at the seams, the day of reckoning comes. The irony is that we’re always better after we address our hidden selves and then we wonder why in the heck we waited so long!

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