This morning as I was driving into work I was listening to my favorite Portland radio morning show, Tony, Jake and Jenn on 98.7 The Bull, and they were discussing something that really resonated with me…specifically what Jake Byron said:
(I’m paraphrasing because I didn’t write it down since I was driving) He said “My mother told my wife and I, when we were first married (or maybe it was when they bought their first home), that if we didn’t like the color of the wall to just paint it!” Basically if you don’t like something don’t overcomplicate things, especially easily changed things like the color of a wall; just GO FOR IT!!
Now this concept has been interpreted over the years (probably for centuries) in many different forms, like YOLO (you only live once), however, this way of stating it just seemed a lot less “Come and jump off this cliff with me because #YOLO!!” Yeah NO! Or one of my favorite quotes from the book/movie Eat Pray Love “Il bel far niente (dolce far niente) translates to the sweetness of doing nothing.” This concept is very clear, slow down, do nothing, and be okay with that, you only have one life to live. But the concept of “just paint the wall” is much more down to earth and far less extreme as those examples. I interpreted this concept as follows…
You have a wall and it’s currently an ugly 90’s yellow color.
Your husband wants a teal wall and you like stark white.
You then head into a long discussion about furniture, how long you plan on living in the house, your ever evolving style of interior decorating, etc. etc. etc.
You end up talking about the wall color for a month…could you not have spent that time better?
Of course you end up compromising and painting an “accent wall” (for those that aren’t interior styling savvy that means you are painting 1 wall in the room a popping color and all others a neutral color like white) teal and the rest of the room (and house btw) white.
Then, you go to the store and stress some more about the cost of paint, the varying shades of teal, the labor involved with painting…blah blah blah…
When you arrive home you paint the wall and it’s over, you move on with your life and more “just paint the wall” type decisions, because that is just part of being an adult.
Moral of the story is that in the end you painted the wall but did you really need to burn as many brain cells painstakingly discussing this? It’s a wall. If you hate it you can always re-paint it. If your style changes in 5 years you can repaint it. If you move out of this home, into another, the new owners will probably repaint it. Yes repainting said wall costs money, but it’s a fairly simple thing none the less. Now apply this concept to other decisions in your life…changing an electrical outlet to a newer version, upgrading your cell phone, cutting your hair into a new style, buying a new swimsuit, buying a new car, getting a new job or changing careers, going back to school, etc.
This concept also applies to money…now before you freak out here’s my take (this was directed at my hubby lol). Everyone should have a 401k, fully vested for retirement. Every family/adult living on their own should have at least one months worth of bills/rent/mortgage saved up in the event of an emergency. Every person should have at least $250 set aside for safe keeping. BUT, don’t stress about saving $100,000 on top of what would reasonably give you the same quality of life in retirement. You never know you could die at 63 years old (average retirement age in America) and not even get the chance to enjoy that money (this may be an extreme way of looking at it but did you know the average American male lives to 76 and females live to 81 yet we are trying to save to live to 100). “Just paint the wall!!” Go on that vacation, spend some of your leftover money on things you WANT (once your NEEDS are taken care of each month), etc. Yes some people want to leave money for their relatives when they die, but to me I’d rather leave memories!
Here are some of my favorite memories, those that are worth way more to me then the money we spent to create them!
You only have ONE LIFE!! Not to mention life is short and you never know when your time is going to come, however, don’t be standing at the pearly gates and look back and go “man I wish we’d just painted that wall…”