For the love of masonry

For those of you know me, you know I have strong opinions about HGTV. Once I got rid of cable TV (maybe 7 yrs ago) my HGTV opinions began to crystallize.

You need to know I was a TV loser

I watched TV to pass the time, relax, because my show was on, because my show wasn't on- basically whenever I was sitting down. When we first moved into our house in 2000 we somehow had free cable for a couple of years.

It was amazing. (And very sad when it mysteriously disappeared)

Don't worry I signed up shortly after and became a paying customer. I watched plenty of HGTV in its golden era circa 2000-06. I just loved the show Decorating Cents. It was clever in a use what you have sort of way. Some of things they came up with were really silly, but it was sweet, fun and endearing. It fueled me to do tons of DIY projects in my home.

My house became my laboratory.

One time my dining room was 3 completely different colors in one day. Erik came home to find me huddled in the corner with a paint roller in my hand unable to cover the remaining one patch of wall. Thankfully Erik took the roller from my cramped hand and finished the job. (My knight in shining armor). All this experimenting gave me first hand knowledge of what works and what DEFINITELY doesn't. It gave me the foundation to become an expert color & decorating consultant at Sherwin Williams where I chatted with customers about their decorating projects for 9 years!

But something started to happen to my beloved HGTV around 2007-ish. The luxury hotel look had a strong hold which initially was kinda fun, but then things started to become formulaic. I lost interest.

Homes became houses. Instead of houses becoming homes.

They were far too many shows with snotty house hunters being picky about wall colors (which can easily be changed 3 times in one day apparently by my standards, ahem) Houses were coming to be seen as a commodity. Many of the shows were about resale value. Making things standard- devoid of personality- ya know, in case you needed to sell your home in 10 yrs. It was such a bore to me. Not to mention nonsensical. I mean shouldn't you be enjoying and personalizing one of the most expensive purchases you may ever make?

Shortly after that we cut the cord. (Erik was thrilled, as he is much more of a reader)

We entered the world of choosing when and what we watch: DVDs from the library and Netflix. (Soon to become binge watching- look how fast I can go without commercials, Ma?!) It was hard getting used to not being able to channel surf and numb out when ever I wanted.

I sometimes still miss that.

But after I detoxed from my TV as pacifier addiction, I began to realize so much of what I was watching was marketing bullshit made to make people feel less-than about themselves so they will want to go out and buy more. It's how you make perfect consumers (in advertiser's minds). I suppose it's been like that all along, but I like to think it at least used to me more clever and thoughtful.

I mean if your gonna screw with my mind-- at least be creative about it.

But I have to say, strong opinions aside, I have been sneaking in some Fixer Upper episodes on Netflix (how can you not love those guys?) which lead to me International House Hunters with Renovations (WITH RENOVATIONS! I am sucker for renovations)

And after an episode or two, I am wistful- full of want and thoughts like:

Why the hell do I live here? but in a good way because it feels slightly motivational more like a hint as to what to do next.

I have read things that tell me to dream big and ask me "what's on your bucket list?" 

Also: Under this life-coach-e umbrella of queries there's always: "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" 

I have always felt ill equipped to answer these sort of questions with anything meaningful. Not a whole lot turns me on. But after watching an episode of International House Hunters I think I may have found my answer: My love for brick.  And stone buildings that are also super old and especially in Italy.  It's all coming back to me.

All of sudden I want to be around artists, eat great simple food and be surrounded by historic and natural beauty.

And lately:  (Here it comes. It's coming up. Bubbling to the surface...)

I have been feeling: RESTLESS.  The big old middle finger to way I have been living my life.

I came across this quote from Carl Jung. It's not the first time I have read it, but seems to registering more in the brain since I am recently 40 and deserves a spot in my rambling.

“Wholly unprepared, [we] embark upon the second half of life. Or are there perhaps colleges for forty-year-olds which prepare them for their coming life and its demands as the ordinary colleges introduce our young people to a knowledge of the world and of life? No, there are none… But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the programme of life’s morning – for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.” – C.G. Jung

Thanks, Carl. That pretty much sums it up for me.

This is where my arrival to the age of 40 has left me standing- pretty much without a clue, except the one: my love of masonry.

What can I say? I love masonry. 

That thing that has pushed me through and has driven me hard for the past 40 years is no where to be found and wants to be replaced with a love of bricks? (You can't make this stuff up!) I don't want to repaint another room in my house. I feel like I have discovered all its mysteries and what I can be in it.  It makes me sad.

I am not needed in the same way I once was and I do not want the things I used to want. Frankly, I don't know what I want except an old masonry structure and to be around artists, eat great simple food and be surrounded by historic and natural beauty.

So I turned to my trusty friend, Pinterest to flesh it out. Check it here and here and here.

There's also this beautiful SoulCollage card I made... There might a be clue or two in there, too.  We'll see.

 Original SoulCollage® Card by me

Original SoulCollage® Card by me