Starting in the middle / by Susie Lubell


You know how the hardest part of any project is starting? Of course. We all know this. I sometimes have trouble with the finishing too. And the parts in the middle when I want to quit. Or leave the country. Or eat a pita with Nutella. When we decided a few months ago that we were not going to move because we just can't afford anything else in this area, we said, OK let's manage the space we do have a little better. Starting with the garage room which doubles as my office and studio space. So my husband went online and quickly bought a kit to build a Murphy bed and has spent the last few weekends building it while I have been losing my mind trying to occupy our kids so he has time to build. Last weekend he finished the thing in record time and started talking about installing it and I'm like, wait, what about ripping out this hideous carpet and painting the walls?  This was not part of his plan. This was part of my plan. So he said, OK, we can start doing that next week. And something in me snapped. I needed to start painting a wall at that moment. So I took my son to buy some paint and we came home to paint the whole damn room test the color. We didn't move any of the furniture (except the futon) or tape anything or put plastic down. We just started. Painting.

Now, know that this is totally not my style. I plan everything. I am careful. I don't jump in usually. But I had to do it. And as we are painting and having a jolly time my husband is slowly coming unglued. And he's put together with epoxy so this is unusual. About an hour later I get a lecture about how this isn't how he does projects. Nothing about the room is ready. True. But I am ready. He understood the urgency and took the kids to the pool and I agreed to take everything out of the room while he was gone. That night we painted. And the next day I bought the wood for the floor, we ripped out the carpet and in one weekend the room was done. Almost done. Putting in shelves and installing Murphy next week.

Sometimes you just have to start. And who better to know this but my husband who, for months, has wanted to start a compost. We inherited the outside bin but not everything was aligned to get started. We needed some chicken wire to deter rats. We needed to mow the lawn to use the grass to get started which meant we also needed our lawn mower back from friends who had borrowed it. We needed a compost can for our kitchen. But none of this stopped him from starting to collect rotting fruits and vegetables in a salad spinner on our counter. For about a week. Eventually all of the pieces were in place but had he not started saving scraps and stinking up the kitchen, we might not have been so quick to figure out the rest.  I made this analogy for him and he rolled his eyes. But I have a new floor so I let it slide.

REMINDER: Still time to enter the cute little gift cards giveaway. Go here. Happy weekend!