Every year, as the air chills, the skies turn a semi-permanent gray and life grinds into winter mode, I compose a long seasonal to-do list. Some are simple indoor projects. Some are about achieving life goals. Usually, there’s very little in between.

Yeah. I don’t believe in doing things halfway, including to-do lists.

Lately, the list has gotten even more ambitious. It suddenly occurred to me that I’m not 25 or even 35 anymore. Those ages came and went a long time ago, but I honestly just noticed. I’m not planning on leaving this mortal coil anytime soon, but I do feel a certain stress about projects that take some physicality. They aren’t as easy anymore, and may require weekly visits to a chiropractor if I’m not careful.

Aging is a little disconcerting — and inconvenient.

Some items on my list might, just might, involve other people, like my desire to repaint almost every room in my house. I’m called a “serial painter” for good reason. I am always planning painting projects. These days, the dark walls of my living room that I initially found homey now seem downright depressing. Seriously, who thinks mud-brown walls are a good look? I want pale gray or even white. With a colorful accent wall, possibly.

Truth: Last time I painted a room — a small bedroom, actually — by myself it took three times longer than I expected. I wanted a “beach” theme, so I painted two walls turquoise and two a deep blue. But the walls weren’t 90-degree angles, so the corners looked like a toddler had grabbed a paint brush. I wanted to paint the ceiling tan so it would be the “sand.” I didn’t take into account that ceilings are high (I am short) or that textured surfaces are hard to paint. I stopped halfway through. It stayed that way for nearly two years.

Don’t judge.

On the small side (I hope) would be painting every one of our interior doors a solid white. I would love to have natural wood shining through, but our doors are all two-toned: white surrounding inset, natural-wood-colored panels. They were like that when we moved in a year ago. I hated them then. I hate them now. Like I said, I hope that’s an easy-peasy project.

Last but not least, I want to completely repaint the walls of our finished basement. Again dark colors, in this case a deep blue. Again, initially I thought they were cozy. Now I realize that feeling is claustrophobia more than joy.

Now on to my truly big project. I have always wanted to write a nonfiction book. I love history. I find it fascinating. Shows like “Mysteries of the Abandoned,” which looks at now-abandoned buildings, fascinate me. I already have several book ideas, all focused on Ohio history and its parks. Do you think I’ll at least get started this winter on this dear project? I sincerely hope so.

Darkness can be our old friend, not our enemy. As much as I adore summer and the lazy times sitting by a pool, the arrival of Cleveland gray is warm and comforting. It’s a vast opportunity to get things done and possibly follow my dreams.

Contact this reporter at editor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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