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Every once in a while (maybe once a month), I get insomnia. I’m naturally a night owl, so I am often up late, but sometimes after several weeks of solid rock-like sleeping, I have a night where I feel too wired to lay still. Lately, the only thing that seems to cure it is to do something to the house, like putting a second coat of paint on every other step on the staircase.

When you have a full time job and are in the midst of five to ten ongoing DIY projects in your home, life often seems like it will forever be stuck in a state of chaos. My brain works overtime thinking about all of the things I still have to do, and the embarrassment I feel when it’s obvious to others (no guests in the house for months, my neighbors witnessing firsthand that I can’t move a damn ladder because I’m too short, etc) will keep me awake.

So on nights where my brain just won’t shut up, I aim for something that I can feel a sense of accomplishment from – hence the second coat of paint. Sure, it’s not the last step in the project, but it’s one step closer to a finished result.

And the funny thing is, when this happens and I’m struggling to get through the next day, when my brain is full of cobwebs from lack of sleep, I’m still really very happy that I’m in the situation in the first place. Even when I know how much tomorrow is going to suck because I didn’t get the usual seven hours I need to feel rested, waking up after my short nap (let’s face it, that’s pretty much what it is when seven hours become three or four) to see a freshly painted staircase still makes my heart skip a beat. Knowing the potential for it to soon become something that looks amazing as this keeps me going.

That, and coffee.

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