Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Painting Rooms - A Philosophy of Life

Today we painted our bathroom.  The exciting part of that sentence isn't that we painted, the exciting part is that we did it today.  As in one day.  Yes folks, my husband and I painted a room in one day.  Before you can understand my excitement you must know this is a 3 - 4 day process normally.  We have painted many rooms in our house over the years, and we have NEVER done it in one day.

For us painting is a process.  There are steps, procedures, orders of operation, assigned tasks and a quality control process. There is order amongst the chaos of paint.  There is also a lot of stress.

Painting is a hard task for two engineers to handle together.  It is even harder when one of the engineers is an artist and the other is a planning queen.  (Must I tell you who is who?)

We agree on a few things, namely the room must have clean lines, neat edges and crisp detailing.  We also agree we must like the color.  After that is where things get a little sticky.  We both have very firm opinions on how to paint a wall.  I can almost hear the joke now, "How many engineers does it take to paint a room?"

So here is what I learned.  We are both right.  Yep, in fact we are.  We are also both wrong.  Yes, indeed.  The reason for this silly truth is there is actually no perfect way to paint a room.  The room itself isn't perfect.

I hope you just had an "aha" moment there because this is where I insert my deep thought. 

Most of us go through life having some very firm opinions about things.  We have learned either through experience or observation what we feel is the "right" way to do something.  We try and use this information wherever we can to guide us in our actions.  The problem is this, no two situations are the same and no human is perfect.  How can a "perfect" solution fit imperfect people?

So we do the best we can.  Some people do a better job of smoothing things over than others.  Some people do a great job of being honest, whether or not the situation calls for it.  Some people avoid conflict, others dive in.  Any way you slice it, people do the best they can.

I don't believe there is a perfect method to get through life.  There are perfect theories and perfect intentions, but as I mentioned, there are no perfect people.  So we are all right, and we are all wrong.  In the end, the room will get painted.  It may take a day, it may take a week, but in the end it won't matter. We will either like the color or not.

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