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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

In the Midst of Chaos

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In the midst of chaos, recognize what works. And find peace.

I had two harbingers of good will yesterday:

1) I had quite a bit of wall patching and painting to do at our current rental to appease the great and powerful landlord. I had appointed myself this task last night. I removed all hardware from the walls, spackled and sanded and yogaed while waiting for the pink spackle to dry to white (seriously, I think this stuff is one of the best home improvement innovations in recent history, especially for those of us who tend towards impatience). Most of the walls on the “to be fixed” list were covered in the paint they came with. Paint that the landlord said resided in a can in the garage.

I located two promising cans, hacked the paint-encrusted top off of one, stirred to blend the separated mixture and swiped a test strip on the wall. No matchola.

No problem. I opened the second can (actually, the remains of a 5 gallon bucket). I wished I hadn’t. Umm…can latex paint spoil? This bucket smelled like it had been used to hide a body not hold Summer Chaff, or whatever the color inside was called. Trying not to breathe, I mixed the questionable fluids within. What? It may stink, but I needed to cover the now-white spackle and the evening was getting from me.

This one wasn’t a match either. Damn, this was starting to feel like online dating.

I looked around my mostly empty office as I pondered what to do. Panic was starting to set in. Fixing these walls is critical to getting our deposit back and every dollar counts right now.

My eye fell on a plastic bag filled with paint, counter and flooring samples that I collected for renovating the new house. There was a large paint chip placed on the top of the pile. Could it be? Could it really be? I snatched it up and held it to the wall. Seamless. Suspicious, I moved to another room, cloaked in the same paint, but with very different lighting. Perfection. A quick trip to paint department, and all is well. I wish it was as easy to patch holes in my life as it is to patch holes in the wall.

This is not the first time I have had to color match an existing wall. (I wonder if the apartment complex I lived in ever found the 1″x1″ square cut out of the drywall in the closet and used to obtain a match?) But this is the first time I have ever had success with a paint chip. Especially one that I already had. Especially the first one I touched.

And speaking of fingers,

2) In all the craziness, we are trying not forget to take care of the final details for the wedding. Like buying wedding rings. I had already decided to buy mine off Amazon (I know, how very modern and practical). The problem? I had no idea my ring size. We got the engagement ring from a private jeweler and he just sized it to fit. I could have gone to a brick and mortar to determine my size, but that takes time and I hate abusing sales people when I know I don’t intend to buy. Enter the coolest app ever to come to ring shopping: Find My Ring Size. All you need is a ring that fits and a standard credit card or driver’s license card. Use the card to make the screen display true to size and then hold up your existing ring against the images to find your correct size. Now, $80 later, I have the perfect slim and plain white gold band. That fits.

Two tasks have now been checked off the list. But even better, they were moments of alignment amidst the chaos. That brings peace and a space to pause and breathe before the world overwhelms again.

I actually have that paint chip sitting where I can see it so that when I feel panic starting to set in, I can remind myself that sometimes, things just work.

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9 thoughts on “In the Midst of Chaos

  1. This brought me back to my college days when my roommate and I always picked the blue rooms because that particular shade of blue just happened to match a particular brand of toothpaste. We always left with the walls plugged (or cavity free). Great post.

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