There were days (not too long ago!) where after a bad day, I would go straight to my wine rack
and grab my favorite red (Malbec) to relax. While I still L-O-V-E a great glass of red wine, I realized that it was not solving my problems, I just happened to love the taste and it would put me in a good place, for that evening. TRUST, I am NOT condemning drinking wine, as I still have my fair share, but I choose to not use it as an outlet, because I truly found something that is a much better outlet for me: creating!
Growing up I remember painting a mural that won 1st Place and was painted on the side of the school for a year, this was 8th grade, but still it was my FIRST publication of MY ART! After that, I created small things here and there, but nothing too significant. When I got to college (The University of Pittsburgh) I would watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition as an outlet, weird yes, but hear me out! For those of you who haven’t seen the show, they would adopt a family, build a home for them (and design it) and then at the end of the show they would show the home to the family! I. Cried. Every. Single. Episode. This is how I let any of my negative energy out, I would watch the show, see the creativity and the loving people GIVING BACK to the community and it allowed me to cry out any of the “issues” I had to get through the rest of my week.
Fast forward to September 2014 I had the privilege to purchase my own home, it was a foreclosure built-in 1976, the bones were good, but I had my fair-share of work cut out for me! I remember the first time I walked in, I knew it was the house for my family: I couldn’t wait to take out the doors for the hall closet, and tear out the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and O.M.G. I HAD to PAINT! The bank had painted the entire house this “neutral” yellow/light brown color (yuck!) I knew that Caden, Cameron & I were going to be here for at least five years, I wanted to make this house our perfect Family Home, so as soon as I closed on the house – I got to work!
Every time I finished a project, no matter how small, I became empowered by the fact that I did that!
Of course, I knew EXACTLY what to do, I watched HGTV every. single. day, plus I had built my Pinterest board for months. I started by painting, one room at a time: foyer, the boy’s room, the boys toy room, my master bedroom… I LOVED IT! Every time I finished a project, no matter how small, I became empowered by the fact
that I did that! Over the years, I have painted every room in the house (except the laundry – project is coming soon!), tore down the closet door at the foyer, tore out the wall between my dining room and kitchen, designed and re-designed the boys bedroom, took out carpet, refinished hardwood, demoed and rebuilt TWO bathrooms.
My career is extremely stressful, on top of that I am raising two little boys on my own, people ask me all the time: “wouldn’t it be easier to pay someone to do that?” Well, yes and no… Yes, I guess it would be easier in the fact that all I would have to do is pay you and let you do what you’re good at, well, for some things I do that (such as, when I replaced all the windows on the lower level). For the most part though, I truly enjoy the demolition phase and the ability to create a masterpiece that was designed just for MY family. Now, when I have a stressful day at work, my favorite thing to do is come home and create something – ANYTHING! Whether it is cooking a fancy new recipe, baking a delicious dessert, cutting my hair or knocking down a wall in my house, creativity is my OUTLET!
At a very young age, I got the boys involved in my creativity as well: they cook with me, paint with me, and even the other day Caden told me “Mommy, I have an idea, I do not think the trash can should be on this wall, we should move it over there!” Do you know what I did? I moved the trash can, and he was right, it does work better in its new home! The more you involve your children in your passions, they can be a part of what is making you happy; no matter how tired they are making you or how much they Just. Won’t. Listen. PLEASE NOTE: if you are going to have your little ones helping you with house projects, you must watch them VERY carefully.
I urge you to find your outlet – what is that one thing that when you do it, you can be 100%, un-apologetically YOU? Whatever that one thing is for you, do it, no matter what people say or think, it will make you be a better person, a better mom and allow you to RELAX! Please share your personal ways of releasing below.
Cari F. Adams