Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer
You know how I’m always saying that I need my creative breaks in order to keep myself motivated and keep my momentum going while working on my house? That’s why, in the midst of chaos, and with rooms that are in complete disarray, I take time out to paint a piano or paint a buffet. That’s why, before a room remodel is even finished, I take a day and work on some artwork for the (not yet finished) wall. My process doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, but those creative, fun breaks are what I need to keep going.
Well, what you’ve seen lately is exactly what happens when I don’t allow myself those creative breaks. Right now, I feel like I’m completely losing steam. I walk into my music room/dining room/entryway lately, and I’m faced with so many BIG projects that need to be done, and should be done, before the fun, creative stuff can start happening, and I get frustrated. And then I procrastinate. And when I do force myself to work on it, I work so inefficiently (how long has it taken me to do my music room ceiling now?), and I have a very hard time staying focused. And with lack of focus comes a tendency to make more mistakes.
I made a pretty big mistake on my music room ceiling these last couple of days, and fortunately I caught it in time to correct it. As you know, I’m doing a wood slat ceiling in the mucic room, and I shared some diy tips for this project a few days ago about how I do that. One thing I forgot to mention is that after installing each and every wood slat, it’s important to measure to be sure that they’re all going on evenly. In other words, it’s a huge mistake to just rely on your spacer to get them all on straight.
I was doing just fine on this first section of ceiling.
I would use my spacer as I nailed a slat to the ceiling, and then measure at each end (from the edge of the slat to the wall) to be sure each one was even. If it was just a hair off, I’d know to correct it with the next one.
Everything was going smoothly. Then the next day, I worked on this next section. I wasn’t in the mood to work on it, but I forced myself to do it anyway.
And because I wasn’t really into the project, and would have rather been doing something fun and creative, I was distracted. And when I get distracted and force myself to work on something I really don’t want to do, I make mistakes. I put on the next ten or so boards without doing a bit of measuring to be sure everything was going on straight.
Big mistake. BIG mistake. When I started working on it again yesterday, it dawned on me that I hadn’t done a bit of measuring on those boards. And when I measured, I was a full inch off. The edge of the board on the left side was 47 inches away from the wall, while the edge of the same board was 46 inches away from the wall. An entire inch off!!
So as I installed the remaining boards, I had to course correct. I used my spacer in the middle of each board, but on the right side I had to push the boards closer together (just a hair on each board so as not to make it really noticeable), and on the left side I had to make them just a bit further apart than the width of my spacer. Over the course of the next ten or so boards, making that slight adjustment on each one worked, and the final board ended up being perfectly square with the wall. But mistakes like that are ones that I generally don’t make if I’m really interested in, and excited about, the project I’m working on.
I’ve just reached a point in these rooms where I’m quickly losing motivation to work on any of the projects I should be working on. I don’t what to sand the drywall on my dining room ceiling, or trim out my windows, or wood fill and caulk all of the wall trim, or install crown moulding. I’d much rather paint a big painting for my entryway, or make the pendant lights for my entryway, or make a ceiling light for my music room, or paint my dining room table, or work on my “wallpaper” in the music room. The last fun (to me) project I did was paint my piano, and that was two months ago! Two months!!
I used to feel like my need for creative breaks was a lack of self-discpline, and that idea was reinforced even more when people questioned me about it. “Why in the world are you working on that right now when you’ve got entire rooms that are torn apart and don’t even have finished drywall?” But I’ve come to realize that it has nothing to do with self-discipline. It’s just simply how my brain is wired. It’s how my particular personality functions. For me, those creative outlets are like coming up for air. It’s what sustains me as I take a deep breath and head back down under the water for as long as I can. And while that “coming up for air” looks different for each of us, depending on our needs, our personality types, etc., we all need to come up for air in our own way every now and then.
So why am I telling you this? Because I know it’s obvious that I’m running out of steam. 🙂 You all know it. I’m sure you’ve sensed it more and more with each blog post I’ve written over the last four weeks or so (or with each weekday that I’ve skipped blogging altogether). And I can’t help but wonder if a few of you may have even asked yourself, “Could this be the end of Addicted 2 Decorating?” 😀
No. It’s not the end. I’ve still got a ton of work to do on this house and our one acre of land. And as long as I have projects to do around here, and people are still interested in seeing what I’m up to, I’ll be blogging about them. But right now, I’m definitely running out of steam. I am going to make myself push through, because right now, stopping to do any of the creative and fun projects that I want to do for these rooms just doesn’t make sense. I’d just have to do them, and then store them, and that kind of takes the fun out of it. So I’ll press through with the necessary stuff, and eventually get to reward myself with the fun stuff.
All of that to say…I’m trying my hardest to be excited (or at least fake excitement) about drywall, and wall trim, and window casings, and wood ceilings, and crown moulding. But I’m not really good at faking it, and I know lots of you can sense my boredom. It’s not the end. It’s just a lull. 🙂
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!
BonnieOctober 29, 2015 at 10:15 am
I get it. I think of it as “slogging”…that part of the process wherein you have to get through the “technical” hard work, though it holds absolutely no satisfaction for you, before you can get to the part where all the fun is, usually towards the end or right at it!
Never mind, I for one am not bored, and fully understand where you’re at. Good luck on your slogging !
angelaOctober 29, 2015 at 10:20 am
you are doing 3 rooms at one time but it might be time to go down to just doing the music room and get that room done then you could move to the entryway or dinning room or both done.
Gilmer GalOctober 29, 2015 at 1:33 pm
I agree, Angela. Get a room done with the things that need to be done, then have a fun break working on the stuff that you love. which is decorating and crafting. Move on to the next room and do the same. I know you like to skip around, but you might try one room at a time, now that you have new windows just waiting for awesome striped curtains, painted table, etc. As it is, everything’s all “jumbled up” and that can be confusing for the human brain! Either way, we know you’ll get it done. Don’t despair! Get there! (Oh, so sorry for the rhyming thing…)
PMLOctober 29, 2015 at 10:26 am
I completely understand you running out of steam. One thing I like to do when I just have to push through something is to listen to TED talks or This American Life or Pandora or something. That works on the mindless projects anyway. Maybe you already do that… A long To Do list can be overwhelming for me, but if I break it up into daily goals then it can also be helpful and show the light at the en of the tunnel.
And if all else fails, just do something fun and store it!! 🙂
GraceOctober 29, 2015 at 10:26 am
ONE ROOM AT A TIME….ANYTHING ELSE IS MADNESS!!!
Joyce LibalOctober 29, 2015 at 10:29 am
Kristi, please, give yourself a break. I’ve enjoyed (without commenting on) your blog for quite some time and words cannot express how much I enjoy your blog and admire you. My husband and I completely restored/remodeled our old 3500 sq. ft. PA farmhouse, and it took more than 30 years. MORE THAN 30 YEARS! What I learned along the way: Doing things yourself takes lots of time and energy, and a house is never completely finished anyway, so you must take time along the journey to enjoy yourself. The smaller creative projects that give you pleasure will sustain you through the tough and grueling work, and they’ll make your blog more enjoyable for your readers too. The creative do-it-yourselfers out there are waiting to take inspiration from your smaller projects. So pick what you would most like to do, and have some fun with it. You deserve that!
nancyOctober 29, 2015 at 10:35 am
Follow your excitement.
Forcing and slogging just breaks your spirit. And it takes an enormous amount of energy to keep on keeping on.
Following your excitement, however, is very fulfilling. It works like a magnet. You’ll find that eventually you’ll be excited about doing drywall or you’ll be so magnetic that you’ll attract an alternative way to get it done – perhaps someone will offer to drywall in return for you giving them free advertising or for your decorating expertise.
JenOctober 29, 2015 at 10:36 am
If you are losing steam and you know that doing something creative “resets” you, why not take the opportunity and do just that. It doesn’t have to make sense to any of us. This is your journey, we’re just along for the inspirational ride! We love seeing the fun and pretty stuff just as much as the necessary work. If you’re still sharing with us, we’ll be here, cheering you on. You’ll get it all done, and it doesn’t have to all be today. Keep up the GREAT work!
DaleOctober 29, 2015 at 10:36 am
I understand exactly what you are saying about losing steam. You need a little diversion now and then! Just take one hour at a time & before you know it the boring stuff will be finished and you will be both proud and relieved!!!
CathyOctober 29, 2015 at 10:38 am
Procrastination. Boredom. Worked hard all day. Just-don’t-wanna. All are reasons my upstairs ( and basement for that matter) looks like the bomb squad was 10 minutes too late!! Why I’d rather learn to paint watercolor trees than do “what I’m supposed to.” No worries, kiddo; you’ll get your groove back.
SueOctober 29, 2015 at 10:38 am
I think it’s totally understandable to run out of steam. You have so much going on at one time,it makes me dizzy just trying to keep up. When I am overwhelmed by everything I have going on, I take a break and spend time in my craft room just playing with paper, sewing or crafting something. It lets my mind relax and often (after a few days) I am ready to move forward. So TAKE some “me” time for a couple of days and relax your mind a bit.
Vickie B.October 29, 2015 at 10:42 am
Hang in there, Kristi! Motivation, ambition, and drive are struggles for a lot of us. I definitely want you to continue blogging because I learn so much from your posts and find much inspiration here. You just do your thing and share with us what you want AND when you feel like it. I’m fine with that and very grateful. I certainly dread the day you decide to stop blogging altogether so I hope that day is a long way away. I still miss Young House Love but yet I respect and understand where they’re coming from. Same for you, but I do hope you hang in here. This blog is very much wanted and needed! =)
StaciOctober 30, 2015 at 12:38 am
Maybe you can go back to your nieces room to do something creative???? Or do a small/quick project for a day or too. Try to give yourself a time frame to get it done in small increments- then take a break. i.e. Drywall from 10-12, then lunch, then work 2 more hours. Just think after these big projects are done- you will be able to do many creative things. Maybe don’t do so many large projects at once.
ColetteOctober 29, 2015 at 10:44 am
You are way too hard on yourself Kristi. You’ve done more in the last month than I’ve done in a year. You may just be tired. Take a well deserved rest. Maybe even vacation, or just get a mani-pedi, or a massage and take your mind off the house for a little while.
GuerrinaOctober 29, 2015 at 10:48 am
Kristi, I can wait to see the ceiling finished AFTER you take a FUN, less physically grueling CREATIVE break! Whether a painting for the foyer or lights for the music room … no point in exhausting/depressing yourself so there is no energy left to do them!
RachelOctober 29, 2015 at 10:51 am
Just a thought, but maybe the room wasn’t perfectly square to begin with? Maybe you weren’t really an inch off,… the room was off and you would have had to adjust those boards anyways. Maybe not, but maybe!
SkyeOctober 29, 2015 at 11:19 am
It is an old house and things in an old house are never exactly square, I mean they may be mostly square to the naked eye, but when you get that measuring tape involved….you never know what you will find! My parents live in a house built in the 920’s – it is beautiful. To the casual visitor, the beauty is in some serious wall and ceiling details, but those of us who lived there, nothing is square, there is no where near enough electrical outlets, the plumbing is random, the stairwells too narrow, the list goes on and on and on. My point is, don’t beat yourself up over things that add the character to the house that you love. In due time, your energy will be renewed and you’ll be back at it!!!
Even though you are faking it till you make it, bored and unenthusiastic, you are being real about it….so many other blogs don’t allow that. They make things seem perfect, easy and like ma-a-a-ybe they got it mostly right the first try. This is one of the many reasons I Iove your blog. You are honest and real. You don’t hide behind mistakes or lack of enthusiasm, you own it. You let the rest of us know that not all DIY projects are perfect, or easy.
Also, it’s been a while since I checked your weight loss section of the blog, how’s that going? Maybe getting creative in the kitchen with some new paleo recipes ill feed that creative need. Or maybe your vitamin D is low. O maybe your body is just saying “take a break”.
Regardless, you still stun and amaze me with your independence and talent!!!
JoannaOctober 29, 2015 at 9:44 pm
That’s exactly what I thought! I’d be surprised if that room was completely, evenly square. In my experience, any of the houses I’ve lived in are always crooked, whether it be horizontally, vertically, or both. Thought your correction was brilliant. Nobody would ever know!
JackieOctober 29, 2015 at 10:51 am
Remember, Kristi, bake a good cake, and THEN do the frosting… – Olde Design Confucius saying…
Gilmer GalOctober 29, 2015 at 1:37 pm
I am so stealing this!!
terrillrOctober 29, 2015 at 10:52 am
You do what you need to do, regardless of how someone else might work (or want you to work!). Tell the naysayers to take a long walk on a short pier! We are only along for the ride to the final destination and have no input in the route we are taking. 😀
I LOVE what you are doing.
chiflipperOctober 29, 2015 at 10:55 am
You are in dire need of a “mental health day”. Take tomorrow off, leave the house, drive somewhere and go for a long walk, pick up some food and go have a picnic, get a massage, BREATHE. We will all be here, awaiting your return.
Karrah @Mrs Do It HerselfOctober 29, 2015 at 10:55 am
THANK YOU! You just described me. I honestly thought something was wrong with me, haha. We are working on a house we are flipping and I’ve gotten so burnt out with that, all I have wanted to do this week was come home and paint furniture. It makes no sense to my husband, he thinks I should want to be at the flip house every night until I get it complete. But sometimes, a girl just has to paint a piece of furniture and NOT tile a floor.
TrishOctober 29, 2015 at 10:56 am
Kristi, cut yourself some slack, no one wants to do the boring stuff, I’m the same way and it drives my husband nuts. Creative minds are wired different, if that’s what you have to do to get back on track, by all means do it. Take a day and paint the wall art or do whatever your creative mind tell you to do and let your creative side shine, you know you need a break so take it. I know that when I do that I get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time once I get back to the tedious. Don’t be so hard on yourself, take a break, and have a bit of creative fun. 😉
SusanOctober 29, 2015 at 11:00 am
So nice to know you are human.
We love your blog no matter what you blog!
Just so you don’t feel alone, we were doing a house when we lived in Chicago and I was painting plank siding for the garage. 12 inche wide the feet long, all cream color. Boring! So to get thru it each day I put on a Movie Soundtrack that I adored and painted until the track was done, then I was done until the next day. It got done and I didn’t self destruct in the process.
Another house in the Southwest, I was doing white colonist six panel doors. Two coats! Boring again! So I was getting everything ready to go and dreading it but putting on a cheerful Oh boy I can hardly wait,face, and Hubs came in and said, I think we need a break today. (He was putting a new roof on our hip roof L shaped Ranch House.) Let’s play Hookie! Needless to say we were both burned out a bit and realized the necessity of getting a change of scenery. Enjoy your day!
Jean ReevesOctober 29, 2015 at 11:11 am
Hi Kristi, I understand the place you’re in. I look forward to your posts HOWEVER you are not here to put a bright spot in my day, it’s a blessing when you post, but you have a lot on your plate. You do more than 10 people & sometimes taking things at a slower pace is what is best. Believe in yourself, take care of yourself. Everyone who is blessed by your blog will be here when you are feeling better. We all have to do those things that help us recharge, Blessings.
VeronicaOctober 29, 2015 at 11:12 am
If I remember right, you and Matt had a staycation last year or so and watched movies, relaxed, and revived your creative juices. Sounds like you need to rent Jurassic World, bake some pies, and start some early Christmas shopping!
AndreaOctober 29, 2015 at 11:14 am
I totally get where you are coming from. For me, it always comes with a large project. What motivates me is seeing results and getting projects done. When a project is big and there are so many things to do, I start to get bored because it gets mundane and things never go as fast as I would like. I usually need do something fun and small in another room that I can do in less than a day that will give me the sense of accomplishment I need. The way I see, I would have done the small project at some point anyway so it doesn’t matter if I put off the bigger one for a little bit. It will all get done at some point anyway. And if that is what I need to do to stay motivated and excited about my big project, I would much rather do that. I don’t want to get to the point where I dread my project. Then it just isn’t fun. So I say if you need to take time off and accomplish fun things to keep your enthusiasm for the project up, go for it!
VeronicaOctober 29, 2015 at 11:15 am
I left the above comment without mentioning that whenever I get into a rut, baking and making something small like jewelry always revives me!
Laura H.October 29, 2015 at 11:16 am
I know exactly where you’re coming from! I tend to work the same way. If your mind and body are telling you that you need a break, then you should take it. You said yourself that you will make mistakes if you don’t so why “slog” through it when you know this? If you don’t want to work and store a fun project for the house, what about starting something for the upcoming holidays? I’m sure there are some decor or gift items you could work on that would be fun and would be a way to let your creativity shine while also giving you that break you need. I’m sure you can come up with something.
As far as the house goes, the only timetable on it is the one YOU have set. I know you’re anxious to get it done and need to have some kind of plan to go by but don’t hold yourself so firmly to that timetable that you are rushing through things or smothering your creativity to stick to it. There will always be things you will want to do to your home and, trust me, it will never really be “done”. Taking care of yourself and Matt should be first always.
Those of us out here who love your work, understand and will be here for as long as it takes. We love seeing your projects – whether that’s a room makeover, painting a piece a furniture or doing a piece of artwork – so do whatever you want and most of all, what YOU NEED TO DO FOR YOURSELF!
AshleyOctober 29, 2015 at 11:23 am
I am the exact same way! If I go too long without doing something crafty I don’t feel like myself. Just this week I spent an entire morning ignoring my mile long to-do list and painted new artwork for my children’s bathroom. It was just so refreshing.
I love seeing what you so with your house…even the boring stuff. 😉
Rebecca BOctober 29, 2015 at 11:30 am
Kristi, I never got the impression that this was the end. One thing I have noticed is that your blog alternates between different types of projects and different topics. Some of them are more interesting than others. Such as when you are building something really neat. That’s just how it is. I think most people are wired like that. Different things are interesting to different people. Thanks for the insight you have given me into my own brain.
KellyOctober 29, 2015 at 11:34 am
I agree with the suggestion for a mental health day! Whether you are in need or not, it’s always a great idea!!! You are doing a great job, I will continue to read your blog everyday you post and will continue to learn things every single time. Most of all, I will be cheering you on in whatever direction you choose to go! Even if it’s to the beach for a week 🙂
JulesOctober 29, 2015 at 11:39 am
I know exactly what you are taking about. I call it my mojo. If I don’t have the mojo going I can’t make myself do it. I’m building a picket fence for my back yard. I have literally primed every single 2″x8′ board twice, then cut my pickets from that and then nailed each picket up. I’m finally in the process of painting it all. I’ve stopped on it several times just because I would get so bored with it and wanted to do something fun like paint a dresser. I know my neighbors wonder why in the world do I not finish that last section of fence. Probably drives them crazy. Good news is, I’m finishing it all this weekend weather permitting. Me and the neighbors will be so happy when it’s done! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that gets in these ruts.
Julie B.October 29, 2015 at 11:46 am
Why don’t you just go ahead and make a life fixture or work on the painting? You’ll get MUCH more accomplished in the long run.
JannOctober 29, 2015 at 11:48 am
Darlin…..you are doing so well. So glad you could make the adjustments and have it come out right…your expertise in knowing how to do that is amazing…..take it easy on yourself….you are an AMAZING DYI-re……take time for yourself….be gentle and kind to yourself…..we are all…..still in AWE of what you have accomplished……
Big Idaho hugs dear one…
marciaOctober 29, 2015 at 11:53 am
I look for your posting/blog everyday – always something new and different – thoroughly enjoy – steam or no steam
Carol FOctober 29, 2015 at 11:55 am
I totally get the way you are feeling! Maybe you could ask family to come in an help get you though some of this? I don’t know, but keep your chin up.
Carol FOctober 29, 2015 at 11:55 am
Have a drywalling party!
CarolOctober 29, 2015 at 2:27 pm
I agree. Maybe this weekend is a good time for a family visit, where you just LAUGH!!!
Cheryl Smith-BellOctober 29, 2015 at 12:04 pm
I love your ceiling what did you use as finish on your boards? Just poly? Sanding, More than edges?
I know the lagging feeling. Most of the time it is when I have an overwhelming amount of work to do, whether it’s projects or just keeping up with the chores, and my artwork. Do what you know you need to do to get going.
Glad I’m not the only one who goes through this. [I don’t wish it on anyone!]
If I lived closer, I’d come help you, just to learn how to do it! [only if you wanted it tho!]
Lauren POctober 29, 2015 at 12:06 pm
We could be twins. 0.o I love reading your blog because you handle things exactly like I do.
So, here’s a reminder that YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO DO SOMETHING CREATIVE! 😀 You work yourself so hard and those creative moments let you step away from the massive To Do list and let your brain reset.
Maybe take your mom or your niece out for a creative adventure–away from your house? You could go to one of those ceramic painting shops, or find a beading boutique, or a scrapbooking workshop… or you could pick up a whole new craft kit and learn it together. (Having had some MAJOR lack of steam myself, I’ve just begun exploring paper clay, and I have a needle felting kit on its way to me in the mail; I hear repeatedly stabbing a hank of wool is cathartic. 😉 )
Definitely take some time for yourself. Your blog fans will still be here when you come back!
MelanieOctober 29, 2015 at 12:07 pm
Take it easy on yourself — you are awesome.
TheresaOctober 29, 2015 at 12:10 pm
Do something fun!!! I vote light fixture for the music room! Or maybe even something fun for the hallway or master, rooms you’re not even working on! Ha! That would definitely be a break!
You’ve got a pretty loyal following. Pretty sure you can wander wherever you want. We’ll follow!
Peggy ROctober 29, 2015 at 12:12 pm
Wow Kristi: The ceiling looks great. I totally get the need for a creative break, or even just a break period. Maybe you should treat yourself to a day out, have a cup of tea, go for lunch. You absolutely deserve it. If I lived in Texas, I would come by and take you, however I live in Canada and it is a little bit of a commute.
Lisa GarberOctober 29, 2015 at 12:14 pm
First, I’m going to admit I didn’t read previous comments, so if I am repeating someone else’s brilliance well – it takes one to know one. :))))
Where is it written that bloggers can’t take a break? (Maybe in your advertising contracts, but I dont need to know). Where is it written that you can’t say “i need a few weeks to stop and smell the autumn leaves, be back by Nov. xx”. Where is it written that you cant do some work during that period, tale the usual pix, and blog about it afterwards, instead of during?
Think about it if you can. A worn out Kristi in’t good for anyone – least of all Kristi and Matt. Xo
dianeOctober 29, 2015 at 3:27 pm
Also, where is it written you have to do all the work to explain it to us? I wouldn’t know where to start to bid out or contract a job and would love to have someone explain the process. How much supervision is too much or not enough? Do I get a better job if I offer lunch or snacks? Jave soneone else finish the ceiling mudding &tapping and trim work so you can get to the stuff you find creative. It is okay with us and we might learn something from you on the bidding, contracting supervision parts. 🙂
KarenOctober 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Maybe you should hire someone to help you with the crap work… like the drywall. It would go faster and you would get it behind you so you could move on to the fun stuff.
AliOctober 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm
You may not be excited about framing out your windows but I am!! We are going to be doing ours soon and the way you explain things just “clicks” in my brain 🙂 Hope you can get thru these “boring” parts quickly so you can get to something more fun for you!
Diane | An Extraordinary DayOctober 29, 2015 at 12:48 pm
Offering up a quick prayer for you to find your JOY again.
BTW…. I totally know this spot where you are. It will pass.
Keep a positive mindset and lean in on the Lord. Tomorrow is a brand new day! 🙂
RobbynOctober 29, 2015 at 1:05 pm
I try to change my mind set when faced with those tasks; I first remind myself I am prepping for the “pretty” and we all know a better prep job makes for a better final project and those little details I didn’t take time to do “right” will drive my type A personality batty in the long and then I tell myself I only have to do (whatever) for 15 minutes, but I have to do the best job I possibly can for 15 minutes. My mom used to say “you can do anything for 15 minutes” lol so I challenge myself and for the most part it works. I am inspired by you taking on a project this large (mostly) by yourself.
Know we are all here cheering you on!
MicheleOctober 29, 2015 at 1:21 pm
Kristi, count me among your regular readers who admires you immensely for what you are doing for you and your hubby. You are an icon, girl! Even more so that you admit you are facing a bit of burnout lately. If there is one thing I detest it’s the relentlessly cheery TV diy hosts for whom nothing ever goes wrong, nothing smashes their fingers, their tools don’t fail them and they don’t get sick, sore or just plain bored. It’s that false standard we hold ourselves up to and come up short. Stop it right now! Make a plan that includes a few days of fun for you and hubby. Now that the rain has stopped, visit a park, have a picnic, go to a movie or just goof off together. When you come back home you can then relax and face things with a fresh eye. There isn’t one way to get this house renovated. You seem to gain inspiration when you veer off to another project – I was so struck by that when you did the hall bathroom, which is gorgeous. Can you use the strategy of breaking up the onerous jobs into smaller ‘assignments’ and give yourself some pleasure with other small jobs? I am not a person that could completely finish one room before working on another. Just not made that way, and it sounds like you aren’t either. And finally, thanks for your candor. I’m sure it means a lot to other diyers that are struggling.
DebbieOctober 29, 2015 at 1:29 pm
BY LEO BABAUTA
If you feel overwhelmed, breathe. It will calm you and release the tensions.
If you are worried about something coming up, or caught up in something that already happened, breathe. It will bring you back to the present.
If you are moving too fast, breathe. It will remind you to slow down, and enjoy life more.
Breathe, and enjoy each moment of this life. They’re too fleeting and few to waste.
MarthaOctober 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm
Thank you for hanging in there, Kristi. I found your site last spring when I needed to make lined drapes for my sliding glass doors…your clear instructions were just what I needed, and I’ve followed your blog ever since. You’ve inspired me to tackle project upon project…more drapes, then removing wallpaper, patching walls and painting entire rooms, painting furniture, floor cloths, making a quilt…not too shabby for a lady born in 1942. You’ll notice there are alot of ‘fun’ projects mixed in with the home improvement ones, and I can’t imagine getting it done any other way. You’ve got to reward yourself for hanging in there, maybe get that wallpaper started or a light fabricated…otherwise what’s the point? P.S. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction to actually buy a great paintbrush…what a difference it has made!
Hope WilliamsOctober 29, 2015 at 1:32 pm
Oh Kristi, you just described ME in a nutshell! I get tired, exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically just walking in there! I have to stop, I mean skreeching halt kind of stop!
Take a couple days off and spend time with Matt. Go off for the day, park, movie, anything that takes you away for some distance between the “have to” and take in some want to! You’ll be refreshed, with new vision and renewed energy!
You own the house, the house does now own you!
Blessings to all, Hope
Hope WilliamsOctober 29, 2015 at 1:33 pm
Sorry, meant The house does NOT own you.
Lisa EOctober 29, 2015 at 1:37 pm
I get it. I get burnt out or bored quickly. I think I have project A.D.D., ha! Definitely take a break real soon to do something creative, even if it’s not for you. Maybe a gift for somebody else? Whatever it takes. You do so much by yourself that these breaks are indeed important. Cheering you on from afar!
Susan DouganOctober 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm
Dear Kristi, I don’t usually comment, but today I just had to say what is in my heart. Yours is one of my most favourite blogs. I enjoy it so much that I ‘cheat’ and skip to yours before I read the others. I love reading about everything you do, whether it’s work on your place, your thoughts and frustrations, or your moments of joy when you do something you love. You bring this same happiness that I feel to so many, the responses to every post show that more than anything. You are a talented, real, amazing woman and I’m honoured that you share with us, sometimes even when you’re not feeling super at that time. Never feel you must write if it isn’t in your heart to do so that day. When you return, it more than makes up for the days you are quiet.
Much love and admiration from a Canadian fan… Oh, and the music room ceiling is beautiful, your work is stunning. As usual 🙂
CarolOctober 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm
Well said. I just teared up!
Susan DouganOctober 29, 2015 at 10:03 pm
Thank you SO much. 🙂
AmyOctober 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm
Kristi, did you finish your neice’s room? Did I somehow miss that post? You had SO many smaller projects there & it was fun to see it all coming together.
You can come help me decorate my house in KY for a break! ????
KGOctober 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm
It’s overwhelm. Gets us all. You’ve been stuck before, do what you know works for you. A few days doing nothing, or doing something creative even if you do have to store it. I would call in a helper for a couple days, handyman.com, and knock out that nasty drywall & trim, so you can clean up and be ready to use your new hvac in peace!! Good Luck!
Sheila FOctober 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm
You do realize that these feelings are COMPLETELY NORMAL! Right? Lol. I for one only worry if I don’t see a post for a few days without warning. I don’t think that you are quitting. I worry that you or Matt or the fur babies are ill or hurt. (I tend to look at worst case senario’s, Lol) Take some time off Go to your Mama’s house for a day or two and WHINE! Mother’s love to know their children still need their shoulder to cry on and we will always be the ones to offer love without conditions. Lol. Take some time away with your loving Husband! Paint a picture! (It dosent matter if the wall isn’t finished. Hang it up for now!) There will always be 1 or 2 Naysayers, these people must find fault with others to make themselves feel better. Just ignore them. And remember that you have a great number of blog followers who care about more than your blog. We care about you and Matt and the babies (and your Mother, brother, niece, father -in-law….) Take a break! BIG HUGS!
KateOctober 29, 2015 at 2:44 pm
Kristy – you are exactly correct about how your brain is processing. I am a special education teacher and see daily what happens to children when they are pushed to work without enough breaks. It simply burns them out, they start getting things wrong, feel badly about themselves, and hate school. Breaks are essential to everyone no matter what age. Take your breaks and enjoy them – you’re actually doing the very best thing for yourself – and your work is lovely!
GeorgiaMinOctober 29, 2015 at 3:01 pm
I usually only read and don’t comment but was wondering why you couldn’t do a 2fer. Take a break and finish your niece’s room? I think I remember you saying it wasn’t 100% yet and boy is it a beautiful room. The 2fer is taking a break from you house and being able to finish something you still have hanging out there.
Just a suggestion. I absolutely love your blog and the reason I don’t comment is because you lay out your post so expertly that by the time I finish reading it seems you have already identified the solution to your concerns. I think that is fantastic!!
MaggieOctober 29, 2015 at 3:42 pm
We , it’s about time you decided that you just might need a break!! Take a Home Depot run for some flowers and work outside in the dirt for a day. You can get some great fresh air and still make pretty things happen. Take your mind off the inside for a while. Or bake a cake and you and Matt have a slice with some ice cream while sitting outside and enjoying your surroundings. Ice cream always works for me. lol Everything will get done in due time. Relax.
AthenaOctober 29, 2015 at 4:21 pm
Why don’t you take a day to 2 and focus instead on helping to finish up your niece’s room? There’s got to be some more exciting and fun things you could do in there that would fill your creative juices and let you refocus on your home.
LauraOctober 29, 2015 at 4:47 pm
Does your church set up a “store” of donated toys and items for those in need to shop for holiday gifts? Our church collects items for all ages so family members can shop for each other. Maybe you could create a painting or colorful bookcase or some other item with your creativity to donate to that or a similar volunteer program. That would allow you to be creative, feel joy of volunteering for others, and not have to store items for your home. If your church doesnt have such a program, they may be open to your donations for another use or program– spruce up a hallway wall or church library room?
PhoebeOctober 29, 2015 at 4:54 pm
The way I see it, this is the perfect time to make a nice light for the music room (or something). How about something to complement the birds? Seriously, don’t push yourself to just “keep going”. First of all, you know it’s not going to work out. Second, why would you even do it? So that your house will be ready in five years instead of five years and two days? This is a marathon, not a sprint. Besides, blog-wise, fun projects are better. So there’s your excuse: you need to do something fun and creative because this is what your job requires you to do! 😛
(Seriously, go do something fun).
Patti LeeOctober 29, 2015 at 4:56 pm
Kristi, it sounds like you need a long weekend someplace to rejuvenate! Anyplace you can go and just recharge for a few days, or even a week? If anyone deserves it, it is you. And I’ll bet Matt would like to get out of the mess, too!
arliOctober 29, 2015 at 5:15 pm
You’re human, not a robot. And that means you need to take a break every once in awhile, revive, and reset. Do what you need to and take as much time as necessary. It’s YOUR house and YOUR blog, and YOUR blood, sweat and tears that makes it all possible…we’re all just along for the incredible ride. Go create!
SharonOctober 29, 2015 at 5:30 pm
I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s how I’m going to try to tackle my next unfun project. I will set a timer for a specific length of time and work on it, then take a break, or stop until the next day. That way it doesn’t feel like the project that never ends and continually sucks my energy. Another idea is to try to make it fun. For example, I don’t know if you listen to music while you work but it can switch things up and I find it helps to occupy my mind so the work is not so tedious.
Mary Anne LoobyOctober 29, 2015 at 6:52 pm
I get it! Walk through my house and there a million things that should be done, but aren’t. Of course mine are not construction things, but they are buggers just the same. I have a master bedroom sitting room that is lovely. I got a new rug, new sofa, moved some chairs from the bedroom, hung some artwork, and some new decorative things, and now…..the fabric samples are still sitting on the sofa, the hammer box of nails etc are still sitting on a chair. The chair that was in the room is covered with God knows what. I have a clock that needs to be hung, scones that need to be hung(had them wired two months ago) and I simply cannot find the motivation to finish it. Moved all my shoes from my shoe closet to open shelving in the master, but the stuff that wasn’t shoes is still piled up on the window seat in the hall. Sometimes we just loose it. When that happens you have to take a step back and clear your brain. For me the best way to tackle it is to make a list of each area that needs attention and then focus one only one. It is hard to live in chaos, yet those of us who tend to be creative often do. Relax, take some time for yourself, if you are not eating well start. Good nourishment is imperative for a functioning brain. Do not be afraid to ask for help. You are not mighty mouse, even if you think you are. When you finish the music room ceiling, get the dining room and entrance done. That way you have a kitchen and dining room and entry finished. Move on to the music room during the holidays when you can draw the design on the walls. Then it is all done. When the new year comes you will be able to focus on the breakfast/sitting room. Just remember that Rome was not built in a day, and your house is going to be there when you wake up. Blessings
JennyOctober 29, 2015 at 7:03 pm
My mother always used the expression “A change is as good as a holiday” . Your creative breaks are a way to refresh you. Pure and simple. Sometimes I go and do something creative, but totally not needed, just for the heck of it, to give myself a break from the things I do everyday.
AnnieOctober 29, 2015 at 7:52 pm
I’ve been following your blog for quite awhile now and you are such an inspiration to me. I am closing escrow on my fixer upper in December and can’t imagine not having your blog to help me through the next few years of work in front of me.
While we all have our own way of working I appreciate you sharing your process. I’m a professional long arm quilter and know what it’s like to lose inspiration and/or creativity mid-project or client job. Sometimes stepping away and focusing on something completely different is the only way to find our way back.
My first project will be my tiny kitchen and because of you I know I can do it myself. Thank you for inspiring me. Hang in there and keep being you.
BTW – I have purchased all of the tools you recommend : : )
KrikitOctober 29, 2015 at 7:58 pm
After the immenseness that was Creation … I mean, can you imagine all that work in seven days!? — even G.O.D. rested. -;)
Take a break. Rest. Replenish. Revive. Rejeuvenate. The come back a wow the socks off of us all!
Wendy StevensOctober 29, 2015 at 8:01 pm
I think you are incredible, a true woman. You get the job done and it’s awesome. Be proud of what you do, but take a break. Go visit people and she how you have inspired them. Take a spa day, get a manicure, a massage. See what people do that don’t have your talent. When you step back and look at your house with fresh eyes you will be amazed at what you have accomplished and be raring to go again.
You inspire so many people with your blog. Your pictures are awesome.
Grace DouglaaOctober 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm
I understand your dilemma! Try a home tour or open house in a high end neighborhood. Have you bought that Kreg work center yet? sometimes a cool new tool is all it takes to get me back in the groove?
Sheila EOctober 29, 2015 at 8:10 pm
Please don’t fake it. If you’re not excited, then you’re just not… write about it, because we’ve all been there or are there too. 😉
MaureenOctober 29, 2015 at 8:13 pm
Here’s one more voice in the clamour.
Let me see if I got this right. You’re a creative person. When you’re working, you need fun breaks to give yourself time to re-charge. If you don’t take breaks, work becomes a slog, you burn out, and you make mistakes, and right now you’re burnt out and you’re making mistakes.
Soooo, your decision is to NOT take a break but to keep slogging cos you have so much to do. Do you see anything wrong with this picture?
XX Love your blog. And your work. And your human-ness.
Marie ClaireOctober 30, 2015 at 5:48 am
What do you think about hiring someone to finish up the drywall ceiling? Don’t feel like you need to make the posts exciting because we all totally understand what it’s like.
LoriOctober 30, 2015 at 6:50 am
I understand becoming unmotivated working in your dining room. Focus on the final result….put that in your mind. Put a picture on the wall with the final look and every time you feel unmotivated look at it. Every minute, every hour you are that much closer to being done. You are so excited about your windows and they look gorgeous in the room. Thanksgiving is not far away…set a goal for yourself to have Thanksgiving in your new finished dining room. Get ‘er done knowing in a few days you can work on the dining table. You might consider hiring someone to come in and sand that drywall for you and also do the trim so you can speed the process up. No matter what, it will be beautiful!
CathyOctober 30, 2015 at 8:43 am
There is nothing wrong with your process. In my opinion…your ultimate goal is to compete your home. Working on a “fun project” right now makes sense to me. Listen to yourself. In the long run ALL work (fun or not) is a step forward toward your ultimate goal. Stop worrying about what we think…you have invited us into your home…I thank you for that. I personally love when you switch off and work on a fun project…go for it! In the long run you will get ALL your projects completed sooner if you celebrate your process! SO HAVE SOME FUN…YOU’VE EARNED IT!
C B.PhillipsOctober 30, 2015 at 9:07 pm
I’m only surprised it took this long for the burn-out to occur. You do more work than anyone I’ve ever seen. You are a beast. Give yourself a break. It will all be there when you get back. Actually, there will always be something to do, so enjoy the process and don’t beat up on yourself.
Take a break! There’s a “burn-out” because you’ve been working like a “house on fire.” Cool down. Take a break!
RosieOctober 31, 2015 at 11:13 am
As long as you are up to something on your property, I’ll be here reading about your fascinating adventures!
Maybe you and Matt should take a little vacation, I mean GO AWAY, no DIY’ing!