The attack of the one-eyed monster
My funny hobby began as a distress call. The One-Eyed Monster did it. Or, shall we say, the multiple One-Eyed Monsters.
She was a cute little toddler. Fine motor skills a-humming. Needed a creative outlet. Had plenty of markers. And crayons. And energy. And creativity. What could be a more perfect canvas than our unmarked walls?
The monsters were hidden. Behind her play kitchen. Underneath the staircase rail. Right near a light switch. She giggled delightfully and proudly when one was discovered. I fearfully knew there were more. Many more. Of course, we asked her not to write on the walls. Isn’t that the equivalent of asking a young male child to pee straight into the toilet? Avoid your walls? Avoid your floor? Let me tell you folks, it ain’t gonna happen.
I decided to paint the kids’ bathroom first. I had to start somewhere. Needed a small space. A nice area for a pilot test.
It was absolutely hilarious. My mother cracked up. Apparently, my painting errors downright tickled the funny bone. I didn’t know anything about edging… or painter’s tape… or rollers… or anything else practical. I sloshed paint all over the floors. Lots of “oops” moments. But I had fun. Oh, and most importantly, the kids loved it… and they were my target audience.
A new hobby was born…out of pure necessity: DIY home improvement. Out of pure frustration for our current wall situation. The times, they were a-changing.
Fast forward a few years
Wait a second—I got good at it. Painting became an intense hobby. Room by room, I learned to paint like a pro. I learned about fancy stuff like drywall mud, sanding the wall, removing baseboards before painting and edgers. Shoot, I even learned how to sand and stain baseboards, furniture, etc.
My husband got into the groove. He learned that ripping up carpet and replacing the flooring was pretty darn cool. Incredibly and instantaneously rewarding. He figured out how to design and build furniture.
We are now quite the team. We are Team Home Improvement. He handles flooring, furniture design and furniture creation. I handle walls, baseboard sanding/staining/polyurethane protection and furniture sanding/staining/polyurethane protection. Wow. Little ole’ us. Who knew?
According to Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market, a study performed by Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, homeowner improvements are on the rise. As Team Home Improvement, we are quite proud and honored to be a part of that trend.
Side benefits of DIY home improvement
Here are a few extra bonuses I didn’t anticipate from our DIY home improvement efforts. The side benefits are cool—really, really cool.
1. It is the ultimate workout.
The squats, the lats, the bicep curls, the tricep extensions, the calf raises. I could go on and on.
2. It is an excellent creative outlet.
It’s the I did it phenomenon. The what? I can do that? phenomenon.
3. It forces you to eat healthy.
It is hard to be Team Home Improvement without the proper fuel to energize your body.
4. It’s a great time prioritizer.
We don’t waste time on frivolous activities that we never really enjoyed anyway.
We don’t really watch a lot of TV. Instead, we creatively relax and energize our minds while doing the projects.
5. It promotes the family team concept.
We collaborate. The whole family has to agree on everything. So everyone’s creative input is asked for and incorporated.
Huh? You do what?
It’s funny. When I share my Team Home Improvement concept, people do a quick double-blink. Then the script goes as follows:
Their line (read with exasperation and incredulity): Why don’t you just hire someone?
My line (read with patience and amusement): We enjoy doing it.
Their line (read with a good thing we know better nod of the head) Oh.
Their next line (read with an exploratory manner): We sure would like to get a few projects done around here. (Tick off explanation of the projects.)
My line (read with an amused and knowing smile): Oh.
My next line (this is a thought… not expressed aloud): Silent chuckle. That project isn’t really that big of a deal. All they have to do is….(I automatically tick through my head the easy steps needed to make their project happen.)
My funny hobby is empowering
See, learning how to do something new is empowering. Especially when it is completely opposite of what you have been trained to do. Via your education. Via your job and life experience.
I love feeling empowered.
I love that I know what DIY home improvement questions to ask and that the explanation will not go over my head. I love the fact that I can quickly tabulate in my head how much it will cost in materials to completely overhaul a space. I love that I know how to do it. I love being an integral part of Team Home Improvement. I am grateful that I like to do it. After all, it is my funny hobby… and it’s OK by me.
What home improvement project do you want to tackle with your family this year? Share in the comments below!