home renovation

What Renovating a House and Working Out Have in Common (besides me)

Josie Feather Blog

Here’s a riddle for you, what does working out and renovating a house have in common? You know, besides leaving you sweaty and muscles sore that you hadn’t the faintest idea even existed.

Baby steps, and a hell of a lot of patience.

We’ve been renovating our house for over 5 years now. I’ve been running for over 3 years, and working out almost daily for over a year. When we started renovations I thought we’d have a mostly picture-perfect looking house in a year. When I started working out I thought I’d have abs in a month.

I can hear you laughing at your computer, you know. So rude.

It sometimes feels like the themes of my life are resilience and patience. I can, unfortunately, relate too deeply with Violet Beauregarde when she yells “I want it now.” I’m impatient and itchy. I hate to admit it, but I do want it now. but the reality is that nothing works like that, especially not the good stuff. Well, maybe it does for Paris Hilton, but even she has to work to get abs (unless they have plastic surgery that can do that now? Don’t even tell me, I don’t want to know).

“The key is over time. Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time.”
- Gary Keller

Every house project, every work out, every run, has only been finished by me focusing on each step. One at a time. One foot in front of the other. One piece of wallpaper scraped at a time. One painful burpee by painful burpee at a time. Usually, it’s at best dull, and at worst physically painful (both the workouts and the house work), but every time I’ve finished, I step back and feel the pain of the work melt away and satisfaction wash over me. The workout over, I breathe deeper. But it’s only with bull dogged determination and willingness to take those baby steps that things get done. I always walk away feeling like queen of the world after, even when rewatching The Office on Netflix for the 800th time sounded so much better then going to the gym or spending hours spackling a room. In the end I am always so glad I took those first steps, otherwise I wouldn’t be running now.

Dining Room Progress

Fine and Feathered

Even though our dining room has a long way to go, I think it's still one of the biggest transformations so far already, but that's simply because it was so overbearing to begin with. Here's what we saw on our first walk through...

Fine and Feathered

Red on red on red on red on... you get the idea. We actually thought at first "oh, we'll just live with the dining room like that for a little while even though it is bad" but the first day we owned the house we were looking around and noticed some spots already peeling. Well, one thing led to another and it was completely stripped. Then we thought we'd just paint that whole room and be done with it. But of course, there were some things hiding in the wall we didn't expect, so without further ado, here's the not-so-pretty stuff that you see when you zoom out of that first photo...

Fine and Feathered

Yep, those are live wires on either side of the flag that had been stuffed into the walls and covered up for who knows how many years. So we decided we'll just take things slow so that Frank can work on rewiring things without having to worry about messing up new paint. I am still really glad we stripped the walls. I am so much happer living with the bare plaster then with that wallpaper. We found an old flag in the shed and I just loved it, so I decided it's fun decoration for this in-between time since it was free and just required some tacks to keep it up. You work with what you got, right?

Fine and Feathered

Oh! We also moved those french doors over to the small sunroom (directly across from the dining room). There were definitely a pair of the same doors over there originally and it just worked a lot better for us to have them there. We're still really hoping to find a matching pair so both rooms can have them.

Please also take note of the sweet job someone did on the trim. Apparently they thought that since there was a door there they could just completely skip painting it. Can't wait until it's all repainted:)

I'm a big list-maker so I thought I'd share our long-term plans of things to do to the room, and some things I've been dreaming lately...

To do...

-Finish new dining table (frank's been working on it this week!:)

-Fix electrical

-Paint walls a soft, light gray

-Paint trim + radiator

-Refinish Floors

-Replace light fixture

-Find matching salvage french doors