50 Shades of Beige

11 07 2012

No.  It’s not a new, sexy novel.  It’s life!  I realized that yesterday.

Most of the downstairs of our home hasn’t been painted in years.   The kitchen, family room, and dining room have been done twice since we moved in; but because of the high cielings, I’ve been unwilling to tackle the living room and foyer.  Then, two weeks ago my wife and I purchased some new furniture, and now I have no choice.  I can’t put off painting any longer.

So yesterday I began peeling wallpaper and patching 12 years worth nail holes; and in the living room, everything went fine.  I spackled, sanded, and painted, and the walls now look as good as they’re going to look.  But then I went into hall and began doing the same thing.

Spackle . . . done.  Sand . . . done.  Paint . . . not so much!  Clearly, our foyer was not painted the same shade of beige as the living room.

I quickly made my way to the cans of paint stored in my garage, and to my surprise, way in the back, I found four more cans of paint that looked like they might match.  “Lulled Beige” . . . too light.  “Sawyer’s Fence” . . . to dark.  “Antique White” . . . too grey.  And soemthing called “Hotel Carl Tan” . . . way too brown!

“What on earth?” I said to myself.  How many shades of beige do we have in this house?

Completely disgusted, I went to sink to begin washing four, now-dirty, paint brushes, wondering why paint stores had to make so many different colors.  Why not just . . . Beige, or Grey, or Brown?

Later that afternoon, still fuming over the fact that I now had a foyer wall with four different colors of paint on it, I began thinking.  I really do like beige — no matter what the shade.  And I like it because it’s so simple, and ordinary.  And that was when I remembered a comment that a friend made to me several weeks ago at a graduation party.  Several of us were talking about raising adult children — for we all agreed that there was still a good bit of ‘raising’ that needing to be done even though our kids were grown — and one of the women said this: “I hope I’ve done a good enough job teaching my kids that most days, are just days!”

Most days, are just days!  Think about that!

Most days we don’t go out to dinner.  Most days we’re not on vacation.  Most days we’re not having Thanksgiving dinner, or going to Easter Brunch.  The reality of life is that most days are just normal, regular, routine days, just like the day before.  We get up, grab a bowl of shredded wheat, go to work, come home, make a burrito for dinner, watch some tv, and go to bed.  Then we wake up the next morning, and do the same thing all over again.  And the key to a healthy life is learning to be content with those days!  Everyone loves vacations, and cruises.  We all like going out to dinner, and celebrating the holidays.  But learning to enjoy the everydayness of everyday, is where one finds real peace and joy.

Much of my house is beige.  Not all of it — our dining room is a rich shade of brown.  We have a guest bathroom that I striped with black, white, and grey.  My daughter’s room is a light shade of purple, and one of my sons’ room is blue.  There is color in my home.  But . . . much of it is beige!

You see, as much as like color — and I really do like color — a house with red rooms, and green rooms, and yellow rooms, and orange rooms, would overwhelm the senses.  And similarly, lives where there is no beige . . . well, that’s not just the way life is.  And our children need to know that.   And we need to teach them that.  That is . . . if we ever want them to learn to be content.

Today, there is more painting on my to-do list.  Somehow I have to take care of that foyer wall.  So . . . off to Lowe’s I go.

I wonder what color would look good on that wall?

I think I’ll just go with beige!


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