Gina (my 20-year-old daughter) Tweeted – “My parents, who are usually very much in love become extreme enemies when they do home renos – every time.”

Ah from the mouths of babes. Well, she is partially right – we do love each other very much and we do not look forward to home renos  – does anyone?

In any case we usually try to figure out how many ‘swears’ this project will elicit and if it’s more than ‘four swear job’  we can generally agree that it’s worth paying someone else to do it.

This week however we ignored our own rule and even though the last time we tried to put up a ceiling fan we just about got divorced we still took on the dubious task of wallpapering together. Not just any wallpaper mind you, delicate seagrass wallpaper that had to be lined up and treated like a fine cashmere sweater. urghh.

Insert swears here.  More than 4.

But … they say things are only a failure if you don’t learn from them, so I guess you could say this wasn’t a failure because here is what I learned (or was reminded of) and I hope it serves you as well:

  • you get what you expect – if we expected things to be an awful, hairpulling mess -guess what – it generally will be.
  • bad energy is contagious – like a flu bug, you're mad, makes me mad and when’s mom’s mad – well that never ends well.

So next time, we are going to have a pre-reno conference and here’s what we are going to do:

Ask, on a scale of 1-10 what experience do we want this reno to be, let’s say I’d be super happy with an 8,

Discuss – what do we need to do to create an 8 experience?

  • start with a good attitude and a good kiss
  • put some music on that we both like
  • agree on regular breaks
  • compliment each other as we are going along when the other person does something right
  • put on our patience caps
  • ensure we have all our supplies before we start
  • watch the YouTube video on how to install it again  – even though we watched it two weeks ago
  • plan for a little reward when it’s done

All that is likely to combine to make an 8 experience rather than the 3 that we had.

What experience would you like to create? What job would you like to shift your attitude about. On a scale of 1-10 – what number would you like the experience to be when you are done?  What do you need to do now, to get to that number.

This one little tiny preparation could be better than all the wall primer in the world.  Try it and see how is works for you! let me know.


In honor of my 25th anniversary (Sept 17), I thought I would take the liberty of spewing a bit of relationship advice, based not on science – just on personal experience!

 Staying in Love:

  • let them be right once in a while – or at least let them think they are right
  • once in a while be on your best behaviour – like when you were dating this may mean no tooting, beltching, nose picking, jock scratching or other unmentionables in front of your partner – that’s why bathrooms have doors, excuse yourself and use them. Women – you too!
  • surprise him or her with something that they love but you hate, tickets to ultimate wrestling or the ballet, dark chocolate or white chocolate, a romantic movie or a thriller, you will get bonus points for the effort especially when they realize it’s truly a gift for them
  • forgive the little things, shhhh, just shhh, you don’t have to comment out loud all the time, say oh and let it go, everything in your head does not need to be said,  shhh – is it really that important?
  • i love you are nice words to hear but ‘you’re right’ and ‘great idea’ are also real sweet spots – find out what your honey loves to hear and say it –  a lot!
Stephanie  Staples

Stephanie Staples

Your Revitalization Specialist

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