Where’s Your Focus?

I’ve just completed my second day on a Habitat for Humanity build here in Louisiana.  Usually the builds are two weeks long but this one was just a week because of Mardi Gras next Tuesday.  Can I be honest?  I’m glad we chose the shorter one!

Part of this is my fault.  I had visions of an old-fashioned barn raising where we would be in on the beginning of the build, the sun would be shining, someone with a guitar would be singing country songs and beer and chips would be plentiful.  (Are you thinking I might watch too much football?)  Instead, we were more at the tail end of the build in torrential rainstorms and I’ve spent two days painting.

I know I shouldn’t whine about this. After all, I volunteered, which, I think, means I’m supposed to be good with whatever they want me to do.  The thing is… I’m not a good painter and I really, really don’t like it.

Do you think I’m being a wee bit dramatic?  Well, today the Habitat crew leader (who hadn’t said a word to me until this point) came up and criticized my painting.  I wanted to say, “Well there’s no electricity so it’s hard to see and because it has rained for two days straight I’m walking through knee deep red mud to get to my car and I’m peeing in a port-a-potty, so, of course, my painting isn’t great.”

Instead I asked him how I could do it better.  (Ten points for me!)

Bless her heart, one of the other volunteers spent the next half hour trying to talk me off the ledge by saying that it really was dark in that back bedroom and that at least I excelled at window caulking.  (Which was true.  Maybe I will just go around the country caulking windows!) 😊

Anyway, I bring this up because I keep up with another RV couple  and earlier this week they shared that they tried to launch something (not a rocket!) and the system got overloaded and crashed and their point was that you need to share your failures as well as your successes.  I was touched by their honesty and  applaud them for that.  As cool as life on the road can be, it doesn’t always meet our expectations and things like the flu or vertigo or people who make fun of your painting skills can still ruin your day if you let it.

Deep down, I know we are helping people and that comforts me.  In fact, we met the homeowner today and she was as sweet as could be and very appreciative of what we were doing. So if I focus on anything right now, I’m choosing to focus on that!

This is our team in front of one of two homes that we worked on this week.


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