by Patrick McNerthney

I was supposed to paint our porch last weekend. As usual I waited until the last minute to buy all the supplies to do the job “right.” Thankfully the hardware store by our house closes early on Sundays, so my reward for procrastination was not having to do the work, which I love.

However, as I lay on the couch Sunday evening, my wife actually bothered to look in our basement and found everything I needed to do the job, which didn’t go over well. So, sadly, you’ll know where I’ll be this weekend.

(My nemesis)

These home improvement projects are inspired by the fact that spring is coming. Mercifully with this spring comes a little more traffic on the road (counterintuitive I know), more people in restaurants, airport “departures” lanes full of folks actually departing for somewhere…and a host of other small signs that point to healing and recovery.

This is good. But this spring also brings many people “celebrating” their one-year, COVID-inspired social isolation  anniversaries on their social media, specifically pointing out the extreme fatigue they feel, and concern over how to keep going.

The reality of doing work that matters occasionally involves feelings of being tapped out and not knowing what to do next. This is what happens when we actually care about the impact we make on those we seek to serve: it’s okay to admit that things like finding common ground, inspiring new habits, and teaching technology can be exhausting when it comes to helping the elderly and other vulnerable populations.  After all, everyone’s work, no matter what they do, can deplete their energy if they can’t find a way to recharge, or better yet, to tap into some reserves.

Which made me realize lots of times when I fumble through my home improvement projects, which aren’t so much about improvement but more about keeping my house from falling down, I think I have to start from scratch – go to the store to buy new supplies, new nails, new paint, new stuff.

But I already have a perfectly good inventory of supplies in my basement, left over from other projects. (Most of which are brand new.) I don’t necessarily have to start from scratch. I just have to take the time to conduct an inventory, like my wife did.

(Resources hide everywhere.)

So if you’re wondering what to do next when it comes to helping those you care for, or if you feel like your gas tank is empty, here are a few questions worth considering:

  • What have you done in the past that’s worth revisiting?
  • What projects have you started then stopped, or what projects haven’t been fully explored?
  • What relationships are worth rekindling, who haven’t you spoken with in a while?

If you take the time to dig for the answers, you’ll likely find that you have an existing inventory you can pull from and reserves you can tap into. You don’t have to start from scratch.

Fine Art Miracles provides an inventory of ideas to make your generous work a little easier. You can always contact Tess to brainstorm ideas for art projects, using what you already have. Or you can take advantage of FAMs Art Therapy classes and ART2GO packages, both great ways to begin a journey of replenishment this spring. Providing your residents a channel to express creativity and share their work improves self-esteem, self-worth and staves off anxiety and depression. Fine Art Miracles is happy to help! Please reach out to get started or to ask any questions.

Oh, and don’t bother calling me this weekend – I’ll be covered in paint.

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