Discovering a passion for home improvement projects in retirement

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It’s interesting how different phases of your life affect you differently. I’m a newcomer to retirement, but I am most definitely acclimating quickly.

With the newfound time I’ve been gifted, I’ve chosen to fill it with some of my favorite things, and that includes projects around the house and gardens.

Maria Von Trapp may have had raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but she clearly did not have Home Depot! Otherwise I’m sure that famous song would have been sung differently.

Yesterday was trip number one (of many, I’m sure) to the Mecca of Maintenance, the Haven of Home Improvement, the World of Wonder. I felt like Alice in proverbial Wonderland.

My list of projects rivals that of Santa’s naughty and nice list in length. And the passion for these projects was fueled by the fire of the inventory of my new favorite place.

Aisle after aisle of items I never knew existed. Aisle after aisle of colors of paint. Aisle after aisle of power tools. Not to mention, my favorite Home Depot hangout — the garden department.

Once you step in the doors of this majestic handyman’s (or woman’s) paradise, you have to take a moment to breathe it all in. Glance to your right, and as far as the eye can see, there are countless crossroads, each with a myriad of choices on a plethora of signs.

Oh, and don’t forget to look up… the ceilings are incredibly high — I wouldn’t be surprised if you could see the stars at night from within those walls — after all, it is almost a universe unto itself.

On my first post-retirement trip, I asked myself the burning question, “Where do I start??”

I’m sure that each visit to this wonderful place will give me new and exciting ideas for future projects. No, I don’t have an island in my kitchen… but I could! No, I don’t have a pond in my backyard. But why not?

And do you have any idea how many different kinds of soil exist in the world? Garden soil, topsoil, peat, mushroom soil, just to name a few. And don’t even get me started on types and colors of mulch. My gardens will be glorious!

I suppose this is just my personality, to make lists of projects to do, and little by little, chip away at them. For many years, the lists included mostly items for work, things that were expected of me or things I chose to do in my job.

Don’t get me wrong, I took a lot of pride in it all and truly enjoyed it. But now, suddenly, my time belongs to me. My projects are of my choosing. It is a gift; the gift of time. It’s a gift I never take for granted. It’s the gift that keeps giving. And it’s a gift that is to be treasured.

I hope you can take the time to do the things you love. It’s a great feeling — in fact, I think it’s one of my favorite things!

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