One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Paula's little painting problem

Sometimes Paula becomes so focused on the little things in her life that she forgets to see the big picture. Other times she believes that she hones in on these tasks so that she can avoid thinking about the big picture. She's a little picture type of person. But she's been in the same little picture for a very long time, and has grown bored with it.

She sees other people make major changes in their life ... just up and change it all ... look for a new job and then just sell their house, pack it all up and move to some new place, start their lives over in a completely different environment ... or just conquer some fear that has taken hold in their life and held them hostage.

But the very thought of all of that, and all it would entail feels incredibly massive ... she keeps trying to somehow make her little picture work for her, to just work around all of her stuff. Instead of making major change, she focuses on small improvements, like planting a garden of cleaning a closet or painting a room or washing every window in her house or ... well, things, like that. She's not sure why, but it makes her feel better to completely engross herself in such projects and to focus on them to the abandonment of any other thought. Sometimes the intense focus backfires, as it did recently when Paula literally painted herself into a corner.

Once she realized what she had done, she panicked, because in that instant she realized she was truly stuck ... not just because she had painted herself into a corner and was now surrounded by wet paint ... but because ultimately none of these things that she did to make herself feel better would make much difference.

Paula knew somewhere deep inside that it wasn't the walls she painted or the gardens she tended that most needed her transformative efforts. It was her fears, and she had no time to go searching for a wizard in Emerald City to provide the courage she needed to make change. She knew the wiz was a bit of a scammer anyway and that everything she needed in this life was already inside of her, just buried beneath layers of self-doubt that she now envisioned chipping away like old paint.

She knew she couldn't paint or garden or clean her way to happiness, yet oddly it was the painting that brought her to this little corner, pinning here there for a solid two hours in which she had nothing to do but look inside of herself and contemplate her life, and the things that brought her to this moment and all that it encompassed.

It's funny how these little yet significant life-altering moments come when you least expect them and in the places where you least expect them to happen .... in the corner of a tiny room surrounded by paint with nothing at all to do but think.

Dropped Paula under the mailbox at Southland Shopping Center on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale .... not because she's going postal. She's just thinking.


At 1:19 PM, Blogger carolynking37 said...

Hi Mary
I found Paula this morning on the way to lunch with my guy (stopped to get a News Times from the paper box). I think it's wonderful that you do this and after reading your write up on Paula it has made me think of my own life and my own corner. I will keep this always and put in in the restaurant we plan to open as a reminder that a corner can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Mary Tiler More said...

Thank you for dropping a note. I'm so glad that Paula has found a good home. Good luck with your restaurant and your corners! They really can sneak up on you ....



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