Articles and Media

Holiday Madness

by Ana Palles

Carribean Holding several swatches of paint colors in my hand, all in varying hues of blue-green, I noticed that the indecision was bringing on a tension headache of throbbing proportions. This time of year, I love to complicate my life not only by switching out my home décor to reflect the holiday festivities but also involving room rearrangements with numerous trips to basement storage. Apparently though, a part of me still felt I could raise the bar, so these past two years, I’ve also managed to include a remodeling project or two just to keep things interesting.

This year’s lucky room contestants are the sunroom and the half bath. “The bath was going to be cakewalk,” I said to myself. “I have stripped wallpaper before and am pretty good at getting it back up.”

It was the sunroom with its soaring ceiling and beautiful windows that would pose the challenge. And this is why on a unseasonably warm November afternoon, I was rubbing my temples in obvious distress while I considered the lineup of paint choices in front of me.

Overdosing on decorating shows and magazines, I convinced myself that bold was the order of the day and it was time to abandon the safety of neutrals and off whites. We were going for the gusto and this year, gusto for me comes dressed in bright teal blue.

I could have treaded lightly and opted for the more subtle shade until I heard myself asking the paint store clerk for the sample paints. “I just want to see how it would look,” I said. And that’s when it hit me! I was agonizing over nothing more than a can of paint. If the color didn’t work, I could simply paint over it. Problem solved!

With steely determination, I told the clerk I would take a full gallon of their best paint in this brilliant shade that reminded me of a Caribbean ocean. I thought of the lovely mermaid picture I bought on a recent trip to the keys and immediately saw her poised in mid swim on the sunroom wall. I gave the man behind the counter a big wide grin as I picked up my can of paint from the counter and he immediately smiled back conspiratorially. “I really like that color,” he said, and his amusement beamed at me making me laugh. The tension headache was a thing of the past.

Although it was too late to start painting when I got home, I had to immediately grab a paintbrush and run a nice long swath of color down the southern wall where I could see it from different areas of the house. My daughters looked downright shocked when they came home and looked down the hallway into the sunroom. They turned to me with wonder. Just when they thought they had me pegged, in I walked ready to make a loud statement in bright blue. It certainly keeps things interesting.

My astrologer would say that I am feeling the influence of Uranus – the planet of freedom, change and revolution – cozying up to my natal first house Mars. I just felt like it is time to wake up and stir things up.

The truth is, I do enjoy change. If something is getting stale and irritating, it is time to shift it. I am not happy being the frog in boiling water and I like to think that few people truly are. If you don’t like something, take steps to change it. We make choices every day. And as much as I understand that we are sometimes victims to circumstance, we have the option to either stay in the role of victim or shift into someone who is working through difficult situations. There is a world of difference between these two states.

Our lives do not have to be rigidly encased and accepted as is. Like the scene in Jurassic Park where the clever Velociraptors continuously test the perimeters of their fence to see if anything has changed that would make escape possible, we can also reexamine our options to see if anything new is available.

And there is always something new to wrap our brains around and to try. If you are dealing with chronic pain or a debilitating health condition, ask yourself, your family, and your friends what other options can be explored. Have you considered nutrition, environment, complementary and alternative care wellness? There are a number of techniques in energy medicine that are powerful, effective and worth exploring. And the best part is that you don’t have to believe in energy medicine to reap the benefits. Frankly, why would you not consider trying some of these out? You might just find that you feel a lot better.

If you are having problems with your finances, be honest with yourself and figure out what can be changed. Maybe you can get a second job for a short period of time until you get back on your feet, or maybe you change your eating habits to more economical fresh made foods instead of restaurant fare. You are an innovative person. Give yourself the credit to devise options. And always keep testing those fences.

Like my realization that it’s only a can of paint, we often struggle with making changes that frankly are not that permanent and only require a limited commitment if you are unhappy with the choice. What is permanent, though, is the feeling that you are left with when you open yourself up to a new possibility, feelings of strength, leadership and confidence.

And maybe it’s the craziness of getting everything beautified and ready to welcome the holiday season as a treasured guest, but the sense of freedom and adventure as I picked up my bright blue paint loaded brush wafted by me as a comfortable and heady scent. One sarcastic offspring muttered as she sauntered by that it was simply the paint fumes!