I was talking with my eldest daughter the other day (okay, maybe it was more like complaining) about how much I’ve been spending on all my DIY home improvement projects; projects which include reviving the hardwood floors that I discovered under my grungy living room carpet, ripping up the ugly linoleum from my bathroom floor and laying down vinyl tile, making a bathroom sink back splash out of art glass squares, constructing a stained glass privacy panel for the bathroom window, remodeling the kitchen (still in progress), and redoing my dining room to… well, to make it look like a dining room and not a staging area for all my other projects.
And those are just the indoor projects.
My daughter asked me if spending all that money brings me happiness. ‘Cuz, you know – that whole thing about how money can’t buy you happiness. I didn’t have to ponder that question long at all before giving a resounding “Yes!”
I never had much occasion to practice any handyperson skills up until the past couple of years, so every home improvement project I take on involves a learning process of new skills and knowledge about the workings of “this old house.” (Does that phrase sound familiar? I could probably start my own DIY TV program).
The projects have varying levels of success. Some turn out well, some have to be completely redone. Some results are “interesting” and “unique” to say the least, so I just pass those off to my eclectic artistic license and try to imply that that’s where I meant to go with the project – I just didn’t know it until I got there.
Regardless of how I rate the outcomes, I can honestly say the process itself is almost entirely fun and satisfying. I love the challenge, the chance to research and learn new things, the hands-on real world application of what I learn, and the gratification of a daily tangible result.
So despite my complaints about the cost of my myriad DIY projects, it is indeed money well spent. It buys a more comfortable, appealing home atmosphere. It buys an “experience” in addition to paying for material goods. And – you might well say – it buys me happiness.
The Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Satisfaction