1. I admit that I am powerless over my addiction to home improvement projects. My life has become unmanageable and obsessed to such an extent that performing even simple tasks (removing a fork from the cutlery drawer, for example) result in me thinking of new home improvement projects (buying a belt sander to re-finish the cabinets, grease the drawer rails, and seal the shelves against humidity).
2. I believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. Consequently, I have consulted a home color consultant, watched HGTV, and prayed to St. Thomas the Apostle (patron saint of builders). My prayers range from wishing for a perfect home to a prayer for more money to remodel this house into the perfect home.
3. I am making a conscious decision to turn my life and my will over to God as I understand Him. In this case, God is not Lowe's, Home Depot, the local remodeling company, or any of the other temptations that litter my path.
4. I have made a searching and fearless inventory of myself, which has resulted in me recognizing that no home can ever be perfect because a home is a reflection of ourselves and we are imperfect beings.
4a. Recognizing that I am an imperfect being, I'm considering turning my home improvement efforts into self-improvement efforts. Look for me in the self-help aisle of the bookstore reading, "Shaping the Perfect Toenail: You Can Do It Too!" and "Afraid No More: Overcoming Your Fear of Dogs to Become a Mail Delivery Person".
5. I have admitted to God, myself, and to other people (via this blog) the exact nature of my wrongs. My wrongs include choosing the wrong color of paint for our kitchen (the first time), not painting the ceiling in the utility room when we painted the walls, and buying an insufficient amount of bark and top soil resulting in me having to place a second order and not benefiting from any economy of scale.
6. I am entirely ready for God to remove all defects in character. If God could please help me have better color and design sense, I would be much obliged.
7. I humbly ask God to remove all of my shortcomings. Those shortcomings include my apparent laziness which is the only reason I can think of for the hallway being unpainted after more than a year.
8. I have made a list of all those people I have harmed and am ready to make amends to them all. To my children, I'm sorry you ingested all those paint fumes in utero. To the former owners of this house, I'm sorry I cursed you for being raving incompetents and idiots of the greatest exponential. I'm further sorry I alleged that anyone with a hammer and a piece of drywall considers himself to be a builder, although I still suspect that to be true. To my family, I'm sorry for all of the calls at all hours when an answer was "absolutely needed" that "very minute" because I was at the home improvement store and wanted to make a decision. To my husband, I feel that I should apologize to you for something but really, since we're married for "an eternity", I feel that you're to blame by half for everything we've done so...next time you're awake until 3am working on tiling, it's up to you to stand up to me and say "no more!" (and then deal with the resulting consequences which will be severe). To my son, I'm sorry I told you that paint would make your brain rot and your toes fall off which is why you couldn't help me paint any more.
9. I'm supposed to make direct amends to all I've harmed except when to do so will injure them or others. So...let's just say I did this and call it good.
10. I will continue to take personal inventory and admit any wrong-doing promptly (unless it's really not my fault because it "needed" to be done to the house).
11. I will seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God as I understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for me and the power to carry that out. Consequently, I ask for the spirit of St. Martha (Stewart) and the producers of HGTV to descend upon my tortured soul, salve it with the unguent of frugal inspiration.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I will try to carry this message to other home improvement addicts through copious forwarding of this link. I furthermore promise that I will stop remodeling my home before it resembles the Winchester Mansion and I develop an unsettling resemblance to Sarah.
In summary, please join me in prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (like supporting beams, massive structural changes, and highly costly kitchen remodels),
the courage to change the things I can (like painting, decorating, and landscaping),
and the wisdom to know the difference (generally indicated by price tag).