They say a writer should write about what she knows. And today, what I know is a home project gone long. I was drowning in the constant bad news of the day so I came up with a plan: distract myself with a project: a facelift for the bathroom. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong in there other than… borrring! No matter that this is trivia in light of wars, COVID, political divide and economic uncertainly. But that’s the point, getting away from it all and escaping reality. Some people escape to Maui. Others paint their bathroom and work a little Wordle every day.

It’s a simple concept really: paint a small bathroom. Simple-minded to think it was simple, that is! As work progressed and dilemmas mounted, the closer we came to adopting what we refer to around here as the G. E. method – that’s Good Enough! But we kept our eyes on the ball: a room painted the color of tropical seas would be a little niche of pleasure that would make us smile everyday.

WARNING: the material you’re about to read contains graphic descriptions of a homeowner’s brilliant idea. Some may find it offensive.

The process:
♣ Pick color. Go crosseyed comparing color chips from the paint store. This is too blue, this is too green, etc etc. Let the paint guy talk you into the most expensive paint in hopes it’ll cover in one coat. A fantasy!

♣ Replace baseboard. Rip out original vinyl coving and discuss if the exposed crack where the wall meets the floor is big enough for spiders to get in before we’re done. Select new baseboard high enough to cover all the glue left behind when we ripped the old off.

♣ Vanity. Spend hours online searching for a smaller size, one where you won’t bang your elbow when you use the loo. A challenge.

♣ Plumbing. Wrestle with the timing of disconnecting the old and hiring a plumber to install the new. Allow lots of time for pipe wrestling and mistakes. Prepare for inconvenience!

♣ Begin. Remove outlet covers, towel racks, tp holder and mirror. Tape edges. Paint edges. Painting behind toilet, a bitch. Roll ceiling, another bitch. Roll walls. Stand back, admire work in the morning. Debate whether the paint job is G. E. Bite the bullet and repeat yesterday.

♣ Put hardware back so toilet paper is within reach once again. Hang new mirror up so you can go back to admiring your pillow hair first thing in the morning. (I loved not looking at myself first thing!)

Home improvement projects good for your mental health.

No matter what the frustrations of home improvement turn out to be, my mind has had a break from depressing news. One could argue that changing the color of a room just for the heck of it is just plain stupid. One could also argue that I am just another whining white woman. Both are true. BUT… we all need a bit of stupidness in our lives right now.

This little piece of real estate that is my bathroom will now be a welcomed sanctuary at the end of the day. I got a fancy little camp lantern for Christmas this year and the best mode of all is the low light that flickers as if it were a candle. Remember, I am a bath addict.

Deciding to change a room color is, of course, frivolous and feels decadent compared to the struggles others have to cope with. But it’s given me something to do besides wringing my hands in sadness and worry about what will happen next in other parts of the world.

My bathroom will be an 4×10 island where I can escape every evening. An island where I can pretend, if just for a little while, to get away from it all.