Thursday, January 12, 2012

20 minute beauty regime

So what does a girl get up to in the first two weeks in Paris?

Not seeing the Eiffel Tower. Not the Louvre. Not the ballet.

She lays a floor in her bedroom.
That's right, folks. I laid a floor. All. By. My. Self.


Because Christophe thought the floor was just fine as it was. And one thing I learned on the road of nomadic bloggery, Do First, Ask Permission Later.

I've always been rather willful. 

I've never actually installed a floor before, but my dad is a flooring guy and when I was a kid I picked up a lot watching him while I was involved with my only instruction of staying out of his hair.

I was a little scared to start. Not just because I moved in with a guy and started our cohabitation by changing things. But the first time doing anything new tends to bring up plenty of fears of not being talented enough, smart enough or even just physically strong enough. To combat said fears, I did two things:
  1. I told my Super Support Posse. I have a bi-monthly call with two lovely ladies. It's an hour of supporting each other as we wrangle up ideas and move through the steps of our dreams. They did their job wonderfully by giving me the permission I wanted to give myself to lay that floor.
  2. I set my alarm for 20 minutes. I told myself I only had to do it for 20 minutes and then I could rest and move onto something else. Everything worthwhile in this world can get done by starting with 20 minutes. 
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
With the support of my Super Support Posse behind me and 20 minutes ahead of me, I began. After the first 20 minutes I had a few planks down. They were looking pretty good so I put another 20 minutes on the clock and another few planks down. Four hours later (including another trip to the hardware store because I didn't measure correctly) I was done and it looked fabulous. I had a pile of dull blades from my cutting knife, bruises up and down my arms and a smile of satisfaction on my face.

Three cheers for me!

I also had half a pack of the planks left over so I recovered the gawdawful shelf in the bathroom for another three hours and now my original smile of satisfaction has turned into beams of pride whenever I sleep or pee.

True. Not making this up.

Christophe came home and said it looks better but retains his opinion that it looked fine before. Though he admitted later that my added joviality around the house makes me sexier.

Being in Paris reminds me how important it is to surround oneself with things that bring joy, whether it be people we love, flowers or even a new bedroom floor. Constantly surrounding ourselves with what brings joy raises our soul energy and, I think, makes us healthier human beings.

In Paris, insistence on beauty has seeped into the culture so much that Parisians become offended by having to look at something that isn't lovely. It's probably why everyone gets dolled up to run across the street for two minutes to grab a brioche. Why yoga pants are only for yoga. Why the green garbage trucks patrol the city like an occupying army. Or why, when you're just out grabbing a few groceries to feed your family, you're treated to beautiful scene to feed your soul...

The government at Hotel de Ville and a Carousel. Work and play mingle lovingly in Paris.

Oh Notre Dame, you're gilding the lily with that tree out front.
A VĂ©lib cyclist zipping around town.
Right outside my apartment. I live a charmed life.
What will you do with your 20 minutes? 


  1. I'm impressed! Laminate flooring I'm assuming? Becauase if it was real hardwood, I couldn't imagine you with that gigantic air gun and you would have mentioned it in your post. :) Well done!

  2. Yes, laminate! Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to wield my cutting knife so masterfully.

  3. Where's the picture of the new floor? You're such a home improvement tease!

  4. Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a handsome butcher and a beautiful carpenter...

    Between the pictures and your lovely description of Paris, it all sounds like a fairy tale.

    And yes, as Mandy asked - where are the pictures? I want to see the floor AND the shelf!

  5. I certainly wouldn't be laying a floor in the next 20 min. the only laying I would be doing is lying down to have a nap. The Macleod's are famous for their naps. Congrats on the new floor, I'm sure you have picked up on a few tips in your childhood years.Your dad would be proud of you.Christoph might even learn a few tips from the little girl from Clear Creek

  6. very symbolic if you ask me. perhaps a metaphor?


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