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How to do home renos without getting a divorce

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My 20-year-old daughter tweeted this a while back:

"My parents, who are usually very much in love become extreme enemies when they do home renos — every time."

Ah, from the mouths of babes.

Well, she is partially right — we do love each other very much and we do not look forward to home renos. Does anyone?

In any case we usually try to figure out how many ‘swears’ this project will elicit and if it’s more than a ‘four-swear job’  we can generally agree that it’s worth paying someone else to do it.

This week, however, we ignored our own rule and — even though the last time we tried to put up a ceiling fan we just about got divorced — we took on the dubious task of wallpapering together. Not just any wallpaper mind you, delicate seagrass wallpaper that had to be lined up and treated like a fine cashmere sweater. Arghh.

Insert swears here.  More than four.

But … they say things are only a failure if you don’t learn from them, so I guess you could say this wasn’t a failure because here is what I learned (or was reminded of) and I hope it serves you as well:

1. You get what you expect. If we expect things to be an awful, hair-pulling mess they generally will be.

2. Bad energy is contagious. Like a flu bug, your mad makes me mad and when mom’s mad — well ...

Next time we are going to have a pre-reno conference and here’s what we are going to do:

Ask, on a scale of 1-10, what kind of experience we want this reno to be. I’d be super-happy with an ‘8.’

We will discuss what do we need to do to create an ‘8 experience.’

This will include:

Starting with a good attitude and a good kiss; putting some music on that we both like; agreeing on regular breaks; complimenting each other when the other person does something right; putting on our patience caps; ensuring we have all our supplies before we start; watching the YouTube video on how to do what we’re going to do  – even though we watched it two weeks ago; planning for a little reward when it’s done.

What experience would you like to create?

This one bit of preparation could be better than all the wall primer in the world. Try it and see how is works for you!

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