The Art of Fine Tuning

Last week was another one of those crazy ones that are far more regular around here lately.  I was working on another furniture painting project (I paint furniture on the side  – more on that another time) and was having trouble getting the paint to lay right on the top of the dresser I was working on for a client.  It seemed no matter what I tried, I kept getting these teeny tiny microbubbles that were leaving the top of the piece looking very uneven and spotty.  I had never run into this problem in over 5 years of spraying furniture and had been struggling to resolve it for over a week.
So, in an attempt to fix the situation, I told my husband I was going to take some extra time one night to try and find the solution, once and for all! After spending over an hour of fiddling with my paint spray gun, I was no closer than when I started.  I was so frustrated and on the verge of pulling my hair out, so I decided to take a much-needed break.
I went upstairs to where my family was getting ready for dinner (my shop is located off our garage in our daylight basement). When I get upstairs, my family could tell I was frustrated, to say the least, and my 5-year-old son promptly told me to, “… be positive about my painting and think good thoughts…”, just the type of advice I would have given to him in the same situation!  This completely took me off guard and stopped me in my tracks.  I knew he was totally right! My attitude was terrible, to say the least, and clearly not helping my situation at all.  I needed to change the way I was looking at this situation and try again.
I went back down to the shop after dinner, and long story short, I made a few very minor twists and turns on my paint spray gun and I was back in business!! The bubbles were gone just like that!  The difference this time was the amount of twisting and turning – the solution ended up being much more minimal compared to what I had been doing – yet, it was clearly all that was needed.

Oh, the metaphors for life that exist in this situation!! I just am always shocked (you would have thought I have figured it out by now!) how often the simplest changes can make all the difference in the world.  I think we often tend to complicate things, in general, but when we get down to it, the best things in life are usually, just that, simple.  In all of the craziness of schedules and to-do lists, I know I feel like I will never get it all done or find happiness in the chaos, but what if I choose to look at it differently?  I will never get it all done and that is okay – it means I am alive, right?  But, seriously, I hope that I am 90 and still have a mile long list of things I want to, things that make me excited to get out of bed, people to spend my days with, and have learned to enjoy the fun that chaos brings to it.  I mean, who really wants to know everything that is going to happen before it happens?  Chaos brings surprises and great unknowns – often the best things in life come this way.

I also think that being reminding that advice and words of wisdom can come in many forms like mine from my kids, or maybe yours is from a co-worker, or a friend, or even someone you are not so friendly with – you get the picture.  Help can come in many forms, some you may ask for, some not so much.  The advice that I got in that moment when I needed it the most, was just what I needed.  I needed to make a minor tweak to find my alignment again and realize that things don’t have to be hard.  Life isn’t supposed to be hard, it’s supposed to be good, really good.

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