Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Many Hands Make Light Work

While we are looking for land, we are also taking care of the home we already live in. We have needed to paint the house for a few years now but have put it off; it just sounded like too much work and we didn't think we could stomach the idea of paying someone else to do it. It was just easier not to think about it for another summer or two. But alas we have discovered that denial doesn't really help anything very much, large or small, so it was time to paint!

We had a family meeting, got all the kids on board, and decided that maybe we could just do it! We decided to put some money in each kid's sharebuilder account and give everyone a little summer spending money. Balancing my need not to let it drag on all summer with our need to relax and play a bit sounded like a big task. But it hasn't been bad at all. We started on Memorial Day weekend. The kids had things to go to in the evenings with their friends, and we had leisurely mornings sleeping in. We put in about 4 hours each day and did a section at a time. We worked a few evenings during the week following the holiday weekend. And we're almost DONE! We have one section of house left to do as well as all the decks.

The best part is that we discovered that we COULD work together, no one was upset (except for a few occasional concerns from the girls about spiders--an issue that is not restricted to painting as far as they are concerned!), and we've saved the $5,000+ that it would've cost to have someone else paint the house.

It felt great to work together and put into practice the idea that "many hands make light work." Often our approach has been to "divide and conquer" thinking that getting tasks done separately was more efficient. Maybe it was efficient but I'm sure it wasn't more fun.

Working together is a way that we build connection and experience joy. I didn't think that painting a house would be "fun," but I've had a wonderful time being with my family and working on things together. I have renewed hope that as we round this corner at home & in the wider world, that the answer does lie in togetherness; supporting each other and enjoying the work that lies ahead.


Toni said...

Glad it's almost done. It's amazing how the mountains become molehills in retrospect.
PS - I didn't want to be accused of lurking!

Elizabeth said...

Well, Toni, you're not the only one. :-) Thanks for de-lurking!

Saffista said...

Welcome since folks are being called out for lurking I better post as well.

It's impressive that you got the whole family involve in this project!

Elizabeth said...

Hey another de-lurked! :-) Nice to hear from you, Sam. Anyway, it is a start on the working together thing. Now if we could just get that last section in the back done...