Paint by Numbers


The royal purple in our hall

Remember paint by number activities?  There may be an ocean and an umbrella and a crab and a sand castle and they all had certain numbers in them 1 through 6.  A chart would be on the side listing the colors corresponding with the numbers.  Piece of cake to paint if you knew your numbers.  I want color by numbers in the rooms of our new house.  It would be a lot easier.  

But alas, suffering is a part of life and I must be due up for some based on my recent run-in with interior paint colors.  Meg had come over a week ago and helped me with my palette, deferring to my color tastes but ensuring that the tone and colors all flowed well.  Jon mentioned in passing as we were wrapping up the day “You should probably get samples of those colors to make sure you like them.”  I brushed him off and said “You don’t worry about color – this is my baby.”  He didn’t say another word.  I should have listened to him. 

I instructed our painter to order the colors I chose for the living room, study, dining room and family room.  12 gallons.  Jon went over the next day and the painter threw on some of our kitchen color for him to view.  He called me at work: “This color is awful.”  “What color?” I asked.  He explained that the color was putrid and could never be painted throughout our kitchen.  I took his concern with a grain of salt.  Jon’s taste and my taste can be very different and I figured the color was a little too funky for his style.  We went over to the house that evening and when I walked in the kitchen I thought a baby had pooped on the wall.  The green I had chosen looked like the color of a baby’s poop when the baby starts eating strained foods, e.g., peas.  Lovely.  Because I hate to lose or waste money, I kept trying to look at the green in a different light and find something beautiful about it.  Nothing worked.  We opened another color that was going to serve as an accent color in the family room and that green paint was a tad bit better but still failed to impress us.  All of my work last week down the drain along with a couple of hundred of dollars.  Damn!  I don’t know why but it stressed me out a lot.  I came home and searched the internet for color schemes, examples of colors of rooms, etc.  I even dreamed about the paint (way too complicated and strange of a dream to discuss here!).   I woke up the next morning and took a deep breath as I put on my I-pod to take my morning jog.  “Mary, it’s paint.  Really, let go of it.”  And that was it.  I changed my thinking (stop stressing – paint is not a big deal) which changed my behavior (stop moping – go out and find new paint) which changed my results (feeling helpless to being proactive).  I hit Sherwin Williams at lunch and studied more colors.  I left with five samples.  Our painter kindly painted each sample on the wall for me to contemplate.  I really liked them all!  And so did Jon!  Bingo. 

Maria, Grace, Zach, and Mario

We are still debating over a yellow or green in the kitchen (green is getting a little more love at this time) and a peppery orange or a cream in the dining room (cream will allow us to do more with our accessories so that one is getting some more love at this time).  But I think we have found our downstairs colors.  Now for the bedrooms.  But I will keep the mantra in head… Thinking pushes behavior pushes results.  I need to take myself out of my habitual thinking (e.g., my habit of stressing over everything) and mold my thinking to what is going to get better results.  Yeah, a lot easier said than done.  I can tell you that my brain usually beats down this mantra, especially when I am tired or irritable, but I am a work in progress.  

I tried to explain the mantra to Maria on the way home tonight after she got in a fight with her friend Zach who called her a lazy-butt.  “You just have to understand that Zach doesn’t think about what he is doing.  He just gets mad and acts smart alecky which leads to his friends feeling bad.  If he would think about it how he is feeling and know that it will lead to bad behavior and hurt feelings, maybe he would not do it.”  Maria looked down at the sidewalk, listened for a minute and responded “Zach meant to say those things.  I don’t like him anymore.”  Ok, so maybe Maria is still a bit too young to process the mantra or maybe she did process it but she just knows Zach and knows he knows what hs is doing. 

Who knows?  I don’t know.  All I know is I have some sweet paint colors because I let it all go.

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