When a Clean Slate Feels Really Messy!

We’ve all been given a clean slate in life at some point. It’s a chance for us to erase the past and start over, hopefully avoiding some of the pitfalls we’d encountered before.

Today, I came home from work and walked into what I’d call a clean slate. The renovation of my house that has been going on since early May and has progressed to the point when the upstairs of the house is being painted a beige color in prep for potential renters arriving.

My reaction to the color beige was instantaneous!! What happened to the orange walls in my old bedroom, and Tim’s prized burgundy and gold walls in our office in honor of his beloved football team and the bright color in our dining room? I kept blinking as if the colored walls would return if I blinked enough times!! What had I done? Had I erased all of the color from my life with Tim?

I thought I was ready for this but I clearly was not. Three painters were smiling at me as if waiting for me to give the seal of approval for their great work of getting the walls primed. But I couldn’t give my approval right then… all I could see were beige walls, a proverbial clean slate to my happy life in bright colors with Tim! I quickly ran down to my new area in the basement of my house and cried!!

After a few minutes, I looked around at all the family photos in my really cool new space. My three decades of memories in this house started to flood back!! Thank God!! I started to relax, I took some deep breaths and I went back upstairs.

The painters had begun to paint again. I told them what a great job they were doing. Then I stood back and just looked around. I could still smile at the memories we made in Kendal’s room, and at the dining room table during Scrabble tournaments even if the paint color was different now.

I realize that the new walls are just that, NEW. They don’t represent an eraser as I felt when I first walked in. Now I believe that those walls are a blank canvas ready for me to add my own color for the next part of my life. It may be messy and frustrating, funny and sad, yet also filled with love and joy! My blog title, Conquering Life says it all for me at this moment…I may not know what the future holds for me but I’m going to conquer it like I do everything else! I can’t wait to see what bright colors will eventually fill my life and replace this boring beige! Maybe this clean slate will be a great thing after all! And Tim would definitely approve!

6 thoughts on “When a Clean Slate Feels Really Messy!

  1. Oh, Loretta, I so feel for your shock and sadness when you walked in and saw the beige walls. When we first moved into our house eleven years ago, every single wall in every single room was the same color – I called it “tepid taupe,” and it drove me crazy until I was able to replace it with bright, warm colors. I decided that walking into our house should feel like walking into an Easter basket, and so it does. So I get it!!! But I have one thing to say to you, my friend: From having spent only one day with you a couple of weeks ago, I will attest to ANYONE that no beige can stand up to you! If you are around, no beige wall can survive for long. Even if it remains beige, it’s not going to seem beige if you are nearby. Your energy, your joy, your determination, your creativity are going to prevail, and nothing is going to be dull or boring or commonplace for long.

    I’m so glad that a few moments of reflection on your life with Tim, on all the memories you cherish, and on your own ability to take hold of any situation and bring your special light to it brought you back to a sense of calm and security in the life you have built and continue to build each day.

    I will also say that I hope you get renters for your upstairs who agree with you about beige walls and who immediately ask for your permission to bring color and brilliance to your home again. And I hope they ask for your advice, because I’m sure you will have great ideas, and you will have a chance to tell them about how you and Tim brought your own color to those rooms.

    Oh, Loretta, if we could all face change the way you do, this world would be a less anxious, more creative, calm, and peaceful place. Your prescription for meeting change head on is priceless.

    Much love to you as you continue exploring and discovering what life has to offer and making it your own,


    • Karen,

      Wow!! Thank you so much! You made my day!! You captured my emotions perfectly!! I was in shock when I walked in though I knew it was being painted!!! So glad you understood about that dull color!! I look forward to seeing your Easter Basket of colors in your home on my next visit!

      I’m guessing that you’re right and the renters will want to add some color!! That will be awesome!!

      I’m thrilled that my memories brought my joy right back after my initial shock!! I then got out of the house and took an awesome ZUMBA class and danced all that Beige away!!! So proud of me!!

      Thank you for lifting my spirits today!! I so appreciate the fact that you’re in my life!!

      Much love!!

  2. Beautiful! Every day brings new experiences and adventures. Your new “walls” will be filled with color in no time at all!

  3. Thank you so much Marsha!!! I never knew the painting segment of the renovation would impact me like that! Surprising!! Your trip notes & pics have been inspiring!! Thank you for sharing the trip with us!! And you’re right my new walls will be filled with color really soon!!

    Much love to you & Laurie!

  4. Beloved Loretta,
    Poetry in motion! My first thought reading you last night. You captured the pain and beauty of change. Seeing colors that belonged and defined your space with Tim erased and painted beige. Oh, my!
    And yet seeing, perhaps, beige’s beckoning call–serene, calming, even welcoming. I’m grateful you got to grieve the bright colors lost, those you and and Tim loved, even as my heart aches with you.
    I’m happy and honored to be adventuring with you soon. And I’m happy your painters later heard how much you cared for their work.
    Love you to the moon, and In sisterhood solidarity,

    • Thank you my sister!!! And now after additional coats of paint, the beige is actually pretty!! I hope the tenant will add some color and I’ll continue to add color and my spin on new memories to be made in my gorgeous new basement!!!

      Love you back!! Counting the days til our adventure!!!!!!!!

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