“Yes,” I agreed.
That morning I got up early while everyone else was asleep and took Marley for a 5k run. The sun was shining and the bunnies tormented her the entire time. I listened to my playlist and lost myself in the rhythm of the music.
I made the little boys cereal, drank coffee, and read the paper with Dan. Mornings were much more calm since I didn’t have to be presentable or show up anywhere at 0830. I dropped them off at school and went to the grocery store. In the check out isle I stopped and thumbed through a magazine dedicated to Meghan and Harry’s wedding. I stood there unhurried as I looked at the pictures and read sentences here or there. I thought about buying it, but then thought maybe someone in my family would pick it up for me for Mother’s Day.
That unhurried moment, actually several moments, was something I had lost for years. Years. Since before I decided to run for office and lost.
Painting did make me smile, as did running, picking up the house, making dinner, and reading magazines in the isle.
I hadn’t realized how much of me was gone, until I began to see myself again.
In the last few days, there has been a change in me. I have started dancing and singing again. I did it at dinner last night after our Breakthrough 307 meeting in Casper. Dan and I went to On the Border for queso and margaritas. There was awesome 80’s music and when Olivia Newton John started singing, I sang with her. Dan looked at me like I was crazy, but underneath that look I could see that he was pleasantly surprised. He hadn’t seen me sing in awhile. The Bengals, Brian Adams, I sang and I danced in the booth and I laughed.
Today, while painting, I caught myself dancing with the paint roller and singing along to Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran.
More and more people stopped by to check out the project like what we were doing with the building was something great and not just a lipstick job.
Today, both of our tenants on the other side came by to check out the progress. Our architect came by to look at the upstairs for lofts. He liked that we left the wood paneling. Dan came by to see how it looked. Jack came by to help, but I had ran out of white paint so he left disappointed. Mom came by with the little boys and brought me grey paint, not white. Oh well. We would pick up some more on the way home. A neighbor across the street came by to introduced himself and told me about their cleaning produces and supplies. He was going to tell his barber friend to come check the place out. His name was Nicco, the neighbor across the street. Just Nicco. Last names don’t matter when you are doing a renovation.
It was like I was in a different world. I was meeting new people, doing something completely different. My wrists hurt from so much painting. I was active, moving, stretching. Free yoga all day I told myself. The satisfaction from seeing the walls finished was exhilarating. I spilled way too much paint on the floor and only briefly worried if it would be hard to clean up. My phone was somewhere on the window sill with the ringer turned on yet it never made a sound. All of the emails and phone calls and texts had stopped. All of the noise of my failures and mistakes had stopped and while I was painting, all of the heartache we held as a family stopped too. I was only in charge of myself. The toughest decision I had to make in a day was if I should I paint a wall white or grey?
I never wanted to stop painting.