Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

When my mother tripped recently, she dropped to her knees. Literally. Fracturing the left one.


Instantly, she kicked into a different mode. She changed her plans for the rest of the day. She altered her schedule for the unforeseen future. Putting a hold on whatever couldn’t be handled from her loveseat, desk chair, or bed. Then, she set up her “spaces” to tackle other projects. Her modes operandi: one minute-at-a-time. Flexibility-in-action!


A hotel/facility painter must be very flexible. Every day. Ready to change course. Ready to identify and use a better method, product, and/or tool. Ready to follow a different order, from a different boss.


I lucked out in that trait. Somewhere, in my genetic pool, formed the ability to “turn-on-a-dime.” A remarkable skill that my grandfather taught his driving school students to do. Literally! To turn a car’s tire on a dime, placed on the pavement underneath.


Flexibility is one trait that goes much deeper than a skill. At least in some painters’ lives. In a way, it boils down to an acceptance of what is, and whatever will come along next. Or, instead. It’s all sort of philosophical. Aristotle talk.


By the way, flexibility cannot be learned that easily.


* Yes, if you’re the “impatient” type. You can learn to take a few deep breaths, and slow down your jerky reaction to whatever comes along.

* Yes, if you’re the “stuck-to-it” type. You can be ordered or pushed to use a better method, product or tool. By a boss, foreman, apprenticeship instructor, etc.

* Yes, if you’re the “self-security-deficient” type. You can find an astute, understanding mentor to take you under wing. And, gradually, teach you to feel secure enough that you make a little change, here or there, in your own modes operandi.


Changing your inflexibility trait into a flexibility trait can be a hard sell to your genes.


It’s worth the effort. During my mother’s “functional brace” phase, I’ve seen how high flexibility can empower a person. And, how powerful flexibility can become.


Just think about it!


* Able to change plans without notice.

* Able to adapt with little or no prep time.

* Able to rethink, refocus, redirect.

* Able to self-motivate and self-charge.

* Able to try new ways to do old tasks.

* Able to draw on old strengths and channel in new directions.

* Able to work with, and around, temporary setbacks, handicaps, and glitches.

* Able to team up weaknesses and strengths to get necessary tasks done.

* Able to collaborate under stress, and duress.

* Able to seek advice and help with a “will-do” spirit.


Two-and-a-half weeks after getting outfitted with the “functional brace”– and getting the doctor’s orders, my mother hit the pavement. Coming up with flexible strategies to (1) protect her healing patella, and (2) get moving more. And, a lot better.


See “Painting with Flexibility – Part II: If that didn’t work, try this:”


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“It’s called flexibility; if we’re blessed, we learn it easily…” Philip Gulley

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Thank you, Central Florida painters, for the info. I owe you one.

And, thanks to everyone for visiting “Painting with Bob.” You’re all great!

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.


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