There’s this great home improvement store that has everything you could possibly need to build a house from the ground up. They literally have everything and the kitchen sink. No joke. It’s kind of overwhelming going in there when all you need is a little screw or something. You might end up perusing the aisles for days.
This, however, is not an ad for said home improvement store. Sorry, no paid advertisements here. It’s just that this great store has this great slogan “Never stop improving”. How great is that, right? It’s very motivating on the commercial when you see all the great things they carry and all the great ways you could improve your home. They even hold do-it-yourself classes like “installing chandeliers for dummies“. And when you see the commercial with the motivating slogan you say to yourself, “My house does indeed need some massive improvements!” And of course you know just the place to go. The store with everything and the kitchen sink. Maybe that should have been the name of the store. I wasn’t consulted before the naming.
The point is (yes, I have one) that when the store’s slogan popped into my head the other day and I started wondering if there weren’t some hidden dangers in the push to never stop improving. It’s a good idea to keep your roof repaired, fix leaky faucets, pull up nasty carpet. And its fun to throw on a different color of paint now and then. But how many of us have been sucked into the Bermuda triangle of home repairs never to be heard from again. Haven’t you heard the new statistic? The leading cause of divorce is kitchen remodels.
All too often I wander around my house taking note of the chipping paint, spider webs collecting on the light fixtures, and that red spot where someone managed to get fake blood on the wall last Halloween. I usually heave a deep sigh, roll up my sleeves and try to tackle all the things I’ve neglected. But I can get so sucked into improving the house that I neglect other things. Important things. Like watching my daughter land a crazy jump on her new bike. Or hearing about my son’s new youtube video.
Here’s the deal, there will always be another wall to paint or repair to make. Trust me, I asked my daughter’s magic 8-ball if the house would ever be clean while the kids were living in it and it laughed at me. So this is what I want you to do – put down that hammer or paint brush or ratchet (I just wanted to use that word, it’s so weird) and do something for sheer enjoyment. Grab a glass of iced tea and head to your favorite chair in the back yard and start reading that book that’s collecting dust that you’ve been wanting to read forever. Or call up that friend that you keep meaning to invite to coffee. Binge watch the last season of Orange. Walk to the park with your kids or dog or guinea pig (I hear you can totally put those little guys on a leash and take ’em for a walk, so go for it!) Or have that tea party with your daughter. The one she’s been planning with Mr. bear and her monster high doll that’s missing its head where she plans to serve red punch and pretend that you both are vampires. Sure, it’s a little creepy but maybe you’re raising the next Tim Burton.
“Never stop improving” may be a great slogan for a store but not always for life. Life is short. Find some enjoyment in it. Seriously, like now.
P.S. If you have never finished a project in your life and in fact spend more time in your recliner than on your feet, this post is not for you. Get up you lazy bum! That floor’s not gonna finish itself!