Eleven Doors

By: Peggy Willms

(5 min read)

If you have been reading my blogs for a few weeks, you know I chose to release a book and move into a new house simultaneously. And in choosing to move into a new home, we “brilliantly” decided to paint the 2,000-square foot dwelling, which we took from terra cotta to fresh popcorn. Anyone who has painted before understands the drastic color palate switch would involve a primer coat. There is no need to inform me there is paint with primer in it. I know. How do I know, because one of my sister’s professional hats is she is a paint department manager.

She has worked at a hardware store for damn near half of her life. She is the first person we called to get advice. And we followed all of it. Prime, use paint with primer, use satin on the walls, semi-gloss on the baseboards and doors, Frog tape, and 3/8” rollers.

Oh, and we grabbed paint thinner to remove all the pigment in the stainless-steel kitchen sink because paint inevitably ends up all over the place. It is like sand when you go to the beach. It is everywhere! And we went through four sets of clothes and my Hokas are trashed.

We both work from home and brilliantly thought we would just squeeze in a room here and there as we pounded through our To Do lists throughout the day. When you are an entrepreneur, you work every single day that ends in “y.” There are no breaks or holidays and surely no days off to paint. We are working on work-life harmony and do not have it mastered so I am not sure what we were thinking especially when my other half left town on business for nine days. Shut the front door!!!

Well after a month, we got all the walls done. And then came the doors. The doors from hell. The room doors, the two inside/outside doors, and the accordion closet doors. There was a total of 19.

Now, I am not a virgin home renovator. I have ripped down walls, rerouted stink pipes, inserted garbage disposals, scraped and repainted popcorn ceilings, and miter-boxed new baseboards. I am not new to trips to the hardware store. What apparently, I am new at is the ability to count or the inability to accept that someone from another dimension is messing with me.

My angel number is 11. I see 11:11 nearly daily since 2017. I see it on the clock, license plates, TV, and more. When I see that number, I usually stop in the moment and chat with anyone who will listen. It might be God, my arch angels, spirit guides, or those who have passed looking down on me. And I focus on my life purpose. I assess if I am still taking steps to stay aligned with my passions and gifts. And, I recognize nuggets of gratitude in those moments. My time with the number 11 can take a few seconds or hours.

The biggest frustration in the last several weeks hasn’t been the book’s release. It has been these doors which luckily were not originally terra cotta. Thank God. Oh my, can you imagine? It would be a regression back to the ’70s. Luckily, they were what we called “smoker” white. If you grew up with parents or grandparents who smoked their guts out, you remember everything in the house eventually turned yellow – the ceilings, walls, and curtains.

As I painted and painted, I eventually went from 19 doors down to 11. As I said my guy left town in the middle of the door escapade, and I wanted to finish our colossal project before he returned. Every night, I reported how many doors I had left. Eighteen, seventeen, sixteen. I eventually got to eleven.

And it stayed there for over a week even though I painted daily. I am serious. Every single night when I reported my numbers, I had eleven doors.

“Peggy, you must be miscounting or are you repainting them, and they all look the same, so you think you aren’t getting anywhere?”

“Hell, I don’t know. All I know is there are ELEVEN!”

After three days of living in my own version of Groundhog Day, I needed to regroup. Exhausted from long, long hours working and caring for the new yard of five trees and about 30 plants, which I also thought was “brilliant” to create, I went on a mission with my paintbrush. On the corners of each door, I put a swipe of the new paint color. During the daylight hours, I could see the difference. At night, not so much. Yet I went to bed confident I would be able to detect the exact number of remaining doors I needed to paint the next day.

Upon wake up, I was excited to count the infamous hallway of doors. And there were ELEVEN left to paint. It was like standing in the hallway at the Stanley Hotel, and the nightmare wouldn’t end.

So, I decided that was it. On a mission to determine which of the doors were truly done, I decided to put those I thought I completed back on their hinges. I didn’t care how heavy they were or if I banged the crap out of them or myself; at this point, there was no waiting for my man to get back home to get this shit done.

I started roaming around the house, hanging doors. Ninety five percent of them ended up in the wrong locations. You see, though not a virgin to this reno world, I didn’t mark the doors when I pulled them off and not all of them are the same size. Duh. Seriously, what was I thinking? To find the rainbow in this mess, at least I got in a good workout.

So, I took them all off the hinges again and lined them up in the hallway of death like they were ready for a gunshot execution. I grabbed the orange measuring tape with white speckles because that too also had paint on it and went to all seventeen remaining spots waiting for a finished door. The two doors leading outside obviously were done. Over and over and over, I remeasured. The numbers were changing as I went back to check them. Was I exhausted, or was I losing my mind? Don’t answer that. I felt like I was in a house of mirrors. Everything looked the same and I started feeling there was a strong possibility there was no way out. I would forever be painting 11 doors and forever be trying to hang them in the wrong places.

Finally, after a week of this…yes, a week, I did what no one else would ever do. I began repainting the 11 in question.

I am down to five. Five doors are recognizably different in the lineup.

I cannot explain what in the hell happened to me the last week and a half. I am going to chalk it up to being completely exhausted, unable to count, or someone on the other side has found humor in playing the ELEVEN game with me. My takeaway. Hire the damn project out next time.

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC
                                                                  peggy@allthingswellness.com

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