Nearly every day for the past two years I have pulled up to my house and lamented at the state of my slowly-deteriorating shutters. Every so often I would take a detour through the front flower bed and push the bottom slat of the worst of them back to where it belonged. Lately, however, that bottom slat no longer stays in place no matter how many times I nudge it and now the paint is peeling off four of the six shutters to boot.
I have asked my husband to take the shutters down approximately 500 times (or maybe twice). And each time he has provided me approximately 500 valid reasons he cannot do so… he’s too busy, he doesn’t want to dig out the tools, the house will look bad without them, the dog is sad and in need of comforting, we don’t have replacements yet, bulk garbage pickup isn’t until the next week, the game’s about to come on, it’s supposed to rain/snow/monsoon any minute, or the most direct excuse of all - he simply doesn’t give a fuck about the state of the shutters or what Ms. Vera across the street with the perfect yard “must think of them.”
The eleventy-billionth and last time.
Today I was out working in the front flower bed and I peered up at those damn shutters and cringed for the eleventy-billionth - and the last - time.
I yanked them off the house.
One by one they simply “popped” right off the house, held in place by a simplistic wedging system that probably hasn’t been used since the 1920’s. Which, if the 40 layers of paint on them are any indication, is when the shutters were originally installed.
Seven hundred and some days.
Seven hundred and some days of having that ever-present, nagging, little stressor in my life and it took fifteen minutes to resolve it. For the life of me I can’t figure out why I waited so long. Or why I was so convinced that someone else had to do it for me.
I do hard things all the time. Revamp my failing marriage? Check. Go back to school and get a master's degree while working full time? Check. Quit my job of sixteen years without backup? Check. Cash out my safety net to start a new business? Check. Stand up to Ms. Vera across the street with the perfect lawn every time she gives me and my rotting shutters the side eye?
Okay, that didn’t happen. Ms. Vera’s like a ex-Marine and shit and she takes yard work very seriously.
Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.
I have a note taped up on my desk in my home office that reads, “Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.” And it’s true - I know I can. I exert a lot of energy to make a big splash a lot of the time. But I overlook the small, simple ways I can make my life so much easier all the time.
It doesn’t have to all be so grand, so big. Sometimes simple and small matters just as much. Actually, it probably always matters just as much.
What’s the one thing you can do this next week - one small, simple thing - that gets you closer to a dream? Shoot me an email or drop a comment below. I’d love to hear about it!
With much love and gratitude,