DIY Project: Renovate Your Life

“Just like a coat of paint can completely change the look & feel of a room, a new perspective can completely change the look & feel of your life.” ~ Darlis Collinge

I am pretty sure that a love for home improvement and Do-it-Yourself projects is genetic. My dad was a contractor and my mom, well she is an unstoppable Jill-of-All-Trades with the power tools (and over 100 screwdrivers!!) to prove it. She turns 70 this year and spent the summer renovating a shed behind our cabin to turn it into a guest house. I have the DIY bug and so does my daughter. While I have three grown sons, it always seems to be her and I working on projects like painting, laying flooring, putting in new vanities and installing shelving. We are always willing to try something new and are open to advice from those who have experience in areas that we do not.

Yup, it seems that some people just are naturally drawn to take action and improve their home. It’s the same with life. Some people are just naturally drawn to take action and improve themselves. I happen to be one of those people and I absolutely love courses, classes and stimulating conversation that help me grow as a person. Every time I have a new “A HA”, it’s like a renovation in my life… out with the old and in with a new updated thought, attitude, perspective or piece of knowledge.

Home renovation and life renovation are similar in other ways too. Let me use one of my first DIY projects from several years ago to explain. The plan was to simply take a day to remove the carpet in the bathroom and replace it with tile. And so I began and along the way, I discovered:

  1. Surprises are everywhere – you never know what you will uncover once you commit to looking beneath the surface. I found not one or two but THREE layers of carpet!!! In renovating my life, I have discovered old and unnecessary patterns of thinking hidden beneath my point of view.  
  2. One thing leads to another – once you start, unexpected new actions show up (like having to fix a VERY seriously rotten floor around the toilet that gave a clear view into the basement… yikes!). When we start making changes in our life, we often discover that our view changes and there are more things we need to do than we originally thought.
  3. Gaining knowledge is ongoing – at some point in your DIY experience, you will need to learn how to do something new to accomplish your renovation goal (like caulk a tub… over and over and over until you get it right) and a life reno project is the same. Earlier this year, I made the decision to no longer eat processed foods, grains, sugars and several other things in our food chain. This meant learning an entirely new way of grocery shopping. I had to read labels and recipes over and over until I finally understood this new way of feeding my body.
  4. The process is worth it – when you step back and see where you started and what has changed, there is a feeling of accomplishment and joy at the progress made. This is the same whether you just painted and redecorated your living room or realized that you have become a more compassionate and patient person. The end result is new, fresh and an improvement.  

While my mom has been my biggest inspiration for becoming a DIYer, my biggest inspiration for life renovations are the people who share their wisdom, knowledge and experiences with openness, honesty and vulnerability.

At WomenTalk, I am inspired to consider if there are renovations needed in my life. Do any attitudes need to be removed and replaced? Any behaviours needing repair? Any beliefs needing a new coat of paint? The stories of heroism, despair, joy, sadness, compassion, betrayal and celebration shared by the women every month are tools we can use to spark our own life renovations. What’s your next reno project?

“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” ~ Madonna


Darlis Collinge

Down to Business Solutions

Strathmore, AB  Canada