It’s SEPTEMBER. As in, the ninth month of the year. How, and when, did this happen?

It feels like just the other day I was packing my office up to work from home, just before the National Lockdown was announced, and here I am, already back at work for three months. I remember thinking the lockdown would drag, and this year would be a cesspool of nothingness that would agonisingly eke by. Not quite, I must say.

“Normal” has become like the friend I once was inseparable with in primary school, whom I miss dearly but have no way of reintroducing to my life. With the disappearance of things like eating out, markets and picnics, LJ (the husband) and I have had to find creative ways of spending time with each other. One can only take so much Netflix and baking before “for better, or for worse” starts to take on a whole new meaning.

We recently decided to try our hand at DIY: our first such venture in four and a half years of marriage (I know, you can probably already hear the Jaws music). I had had my heart set on a particular set of stools for our kitchen counter, but they were just too expensive. I happened to find a second-hand set for an absolute bargain on Facebook – only snag was, they were a horrible shade of cobalt blue. Yuck.

We bought three cans of white spray paint (note, I said we’d need more but my beloved husband knew better) and excitedly taped up the stools in our front yard, all ready to begin. When we had finished ALL THREE cans on ONE STOOL, I lost my marbles. Cue me, frantically speeding to Checkers (on a Sunday) to find more spray paint. When that failed, I sent a message on our neighbourhood chat to ask if anyone had paint. When that failed, did what any sensible 30-year-old would do…I phoned my father.

Fast forward three hours (yes, three) and The Man I Married (terms of endearment were not an option at this point) has a lightbulb moment: he vaguely remembers shoving two cans of white paint in our storeroom after we moved in. Maybe we could use that?

With a deep, deep breath to calm myself, we set to work. Again. My Husband (I was a little calmer, then) found sandpaper, and we scrubbed the stools down before we painted them. Rocky beginning aside, we had a wonderful afternoon transforming our stools. They now park proudly at our kitchen counter.

What did this story teach me?

That anything can be transformed with a little love, time and patience. And that, sometimes, what I’m looking for is right there in front of me. LJ and I drove to Ballito, spent money on spray paint, wasted hours and almost ate each other alive…when we had all the material we needed for our DIY adventure right under our staircase.

Spring is supposed to be a season of newness and freshness, but for many, the past few months have not been easy and there doesn’t seem to be much light at the end of September’s tunnel.

Please don’t despair.

As you navigate this crazy period of lockdown, viruses, masks, sanitisers and social distancing…look “under the staircase” of yourself. Scratch around to find the courage, hope and tenacity you know you possess. Pull it out, dust it off and give yourself a DIY adventure.

Sand away all the roughness the past eight months may have brought, and dunk yourself in a lick of new paint. Sit still for a while, while you “dry out”, and then park yourself in a new space.

Go on.

You can do it!

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