A couple of years ago I decided to paint my toddler’s room in a garden theme, complete with a little picket fence around the perimeter, and a counting adventure of creatures on the walls – four birds, ten bees, two beehives, et cetera.

I started early, first laying down the base coat and then meticulously adding the picket fence border. As I painted I described what would come next to my mother…”I guess I’ll try my hand at painting the creatures,” I said to her.

“Honey, you would be better off finding stencils or adhesives.” My mother advised, “After all, you can’t draw like Dee (my grown daughter) can.”

I agreed with her. After all, stick figures were rather challenging. What was I thinking even considering drawing and painting dragonflies and birdhouses and more on the walls? It would turn into a disaster. But somehow, the discouraging tone of her voice made my mind up for me. Out of nowhere my backbone straightened and I thought quietly, “Oh yeah? Sez who?” Suddenly I was determined to paint them all myself.

And so I did. They turned out pretty well. Especially these two strings of butterflies and bees…

When I looked at the finished project the feeling was indescribable. I had spent most of my life, nearly forty years, believing I couldn’t draw. And while I’m no Picasso, nor do I aspire to be, I was immensely pleased with my work.

Today I looked at a little rocking chair in Emily’s room and decided it needed a serious facelift. The bright red paint was peeling and it was no longer looking as pretty as it had been when it first made its way to our home. Here are the before and afters:

Bright and shiny in 2007

Tomorrow the chair will be dry enough for me to take down and put back in Emily’s room. It matches well with the garden theme and she has already grinned with delight over the flowers.

All it took for me to do this was a change in perspective. Instead of saying, “I can’t draw” I said, “I’ll go for it, the worst that can happen is that I end up painting over it.”

Life change isn’t really that much different. It is the changing of “I Wish” into “I am” or “I have” or “I’ve done”. And when you do it, when you give yourself the chance to just do it, your future opens up and all is possible.