In a perfect world I would have had a cool exciting career for a number of years, married, had kids and then recreated myself with a new fabulous career that would allow me to be creative, work from home and set my own hours. Sounds pretty sweet doesn’t it? My friend Lisa has done just that. Not sure if I should hate her or be ridiculously inspired? Maybe both? Oh, and did I mention she’s a super nice person? Kind of makes it hard to hate her.
When I first met her, Lisa and I both worked for a local sports and entertainment company. She did public relations for the hockey team that the company owned and I worked in the finance department. Looking back, her job was way cooler than mine. The building we worked in was brand new and they had just acquired an NBA team. Concerts, hockey games, basketball games. Lots of young, single people working in a dynamic environment. Any job there was fun really, but Lisa’s job involved dealing with the team, players and the media. Hard work but really cool.
So fast forward a few years and we end up living in the same neighborhood. Married to men we met while working for the sports company and with kids fairly close in age. We would run into each other at the skating rink, swimming pool and local parks fairly regularly. A couple of years ago it came up in conversation that Lisa and her husband had built a new house and that Lisa had designed it herself. Top to bottom. Yes, they are still happily married.
After her kids were both in school she looked at going back to work but her field had changed so much it would have meant practically starting over. Public relation no longer involved typing up media releases and booking pressers. Social media had revolutionized the way her former job was done. So she figured that if she was going to go back to school, she may as well do something she loved. She started taking course in Interior Design. I was really impressed that she had gone back to school and was pursuing her passion. Yes, impressed and jealous too.
So a few months ago. when I decided to renovate my kids bathroom she was the first person I called.
Being a complete renovation rookie I decided to start small and have Lisa help me find my style. I went into the process not really knowing what to expect from her or myself. Would we butt heads? Would she laugh at my choices in lighting? Would my kids bathroom end up looking like a mix of Disney and video game design? You just never know these things until you get right into it.
All I can say is, thank god for her. There were so many little things that I never would have thought of and so many poor decision I would have made it if weren’t for her. The shape of the toilet, the shade of paint for the walls, towel hooks instead of a towel rod. The list goes on. Although the overall look came from me, Lisa took the time to help me with details that made such a big difference. I believe that is the mark of good designer. Somebody who can take your vision and make it a reality without over stepping. Oh, and somebody who knows how to deal with contractors and suppliers in a no bullshit kind of way.
It was a great way to get introduced to home renovations. My kids have a fabulous new bathroom and now I am ready to tackle my master bathroom.
But really, it has shown me much more than how to create a beautiful space and spend thousands of dollars. It’s shown me that you can teach an old dog new tricks. (Lisa, this on no way implies that you, or I, are old dogs). It’s shown me that some of the Best Things in Life can come out of following your passion at any point in your life.