Purge, Paint, and Regress

Purge, Paint, and Regress

It’s become clear that I have a set pattern when things are massively stressful or in times of great grief.

First, I purge.

I take all that emotional energy that many would spend sobbing or ranting and I throw myself into gutting a closet, the cabinets, or whatever cluttered-up corner I can get my mitts on.

Problem is, I’ve purged quite a bit over the last couple of years, and now I’m running out of things to throw away. Sometimes I throw out/donate/sell something that I have to turn around and buy again. These purges can become costly.

A few episodes ago, the Hubs told me I couldn’t be anxious or purge-ish in the garage.

Meaning his stash of 50,000 nails (he builds things as much as I cook, so I don’t understand why we have all these nails) and 5,000 golf balls (ok… he’ll probably go through these before he retires) will remain secure.

I purged a couple of weeks ago. Moving piles of this and that to out-of-sight locales and the garbage when needed.

Next step? Paint.

Sometimes it’s just a room.

Sometimes it’s several rooms. The way the circus is going, I’ll run out of rooms sometime next year and will have to find a Bob Ross tutorial and start painting my own “Happy Little Accidents.”

I throw on a publishing podcast or an online writing class, turn off the world, and inhale the fumes.

This time, it was a small bedroom.

I started with the ceiling. I posted this update on my personal Facebook feed:

You don’t know how much of a mouth breather you are until you paint a textured ceiling.

Afterward, in the fog of physical and mental exhaustion, I came up with a half-brained (fumes, right?) business idea:

Flavored paint.

I mean, I tasted that ceiling multiple times. The paint goes on very light pink then dries white. The flavor could be Candy Cane or Strawberry Vanilla Shake.

The walls are a minty green. I was sure I was going to run out before the room was done, and I did NOT want to buy another entire gallon just to finish four square feet. So I was rolling that stuff on pretty hard, spreading it as thin as I could, creating tiny splatter droplets that landed, well…

Turns out I was still mouth breathing (or gasping for air because I had to shut the door to keep the cats from licking the walls or using their tails to do touch-up work).

So I tasted the walls, too. Andes Mints? Avocado Delight?

(If anyone makes this a reality and someone locally decides to repaint in a Reese Cup Sunset or Tiramisu Beige, I’ll help you paint.)

After wearing myself out purging and killing brain cells (and searing taste buds) painting, I regress.

When all the physical anxiety is gone, my mind wanders back to my childhood.

Ewoks and Wonder Woman.

Indiana Jones and Mr. Rogers.

Gizmo, ET, and Kermit the Frog.

I think my mind needs something soothing to land on, and these memories don’t require extra thought, emotion or decisions. They just… were. Things Little Girl Beth loved.

I’ll rewatch movies I’ve seen a hundred times. Search Pinterest or Etsy for unique takes on those retro characters. Anything to allow my mind to rest, I suppose. A therapist could explain this behavior more thoroughly, but I’ve yet to make that leap. I don’t even have time to get to Back Guy, and he serves as a mighty fine therapist most of the time.

This Regression Round? Unicorns.

To the point where I spent way more time than I’d like to admit shopping online for unicorn bedding for my newly painted and freshly tasted mint green bedroom. I even texted the Hubs and work, asking if I could have a unicorn room.


Good answer, seeing as he won’t let me touch his garage clutter.

I texted a friend and double-checked that since I’m a grown woman and all, would it would be okay if I had a unicorn room.

She didn’t see any problem with it. As a bonus, she even tossed out an epic short-story writing prompt that allowed Little Miss Muse to go off and play for a while. Which, in turn, pulled me out of the funky cycle and allowed me to start thinking about writing goals for the rest of the year. Ahhhh. To dream.

I have a good Hubs and good friends.

So, that was my week.

Circus. Purge. Paint. Regress.

And begin to dream again, just a little bit…

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