Recreate and Renew

My life has been a series of stops and restarts. (Hasn’t everyone’s?) After a very bitter divorce I really had to reinvent myself. I had no credit of my own, and I had a chronic illness that was beginning to go completely out of control due to the incredible amount of stress I was under. In addition, that chronic illness was making it very difficult for me to continue to work as a floor nurse. I knew I had to make some changes. So, I went back to school and got my Master’s degree in Nursing Education so I could teach. I am now teaching online. However, it is not paying all the bills. So, I really wanted to do something more creative.

My kids are getting ready to leave the nest and my husband and I are looking to start some new adventures of our own. I am looking to leave Virginia for the first time in 25 years in the next year. So, enter in up-cycling. I was first introduced to up-cycling from my mother. My mom and I would go to garage sales on my summers back from college. She also was notorious for picking things out of dumpsters and refinishing them. I actually have a beautiful buffet that she got for free and refinished. I always loved the transformation. That tradition continued when I remarried and my husband renewed my love of garage sales and thrift stores. He is also an amazing woodworker so many times he was able to help me transform things. He also helps me determine if I should refinish wood or just go ahead and paint it. He is a lover of all things wood so I am really not allowed to paint nice wood. For that, I am thankful.

So  I found this pine nightstand at a thrift store. The only thing I liked about it was the size and the handle on the door. When I got it home I repainted the whole thing a light blue (Schoolboy by Valspar) When I finished my husband said the door just needed to be replaced so he was able to make a new door and put screening on the door for a more country feel. (I am a country girl. I love country decor and I make no apologies for it.) I love the result. It is so sweet and versatile. Changing the door was just a minimal cost and it makes the whole piece much more functional. I see this in a bedroom, in a screened in porch or in a casual living room as a side table.

In a way, this little table is a metaphor for my life. Life can get ugly and can always be a struggle. However, I have been forced to step back and reinvent myself and my life. At this stage in my life one would think I am done reinventing and learning, however, I am doing it again. I am scared. I get frustrated and it is always a challenge but I know it will be worth it in the end. It will add years to my life. I will smile more and find a new sense of satisfaction in my life. I am not one to preach to others about how to do things, but I will say don’t be afraid of change. Change can be a very positive thing and often leads you on a path you never could have imagined. You can transform yourself and your life into something beautiful. If I can do it, you can too!



I am a nurse, wife, and mother of teenagers, pugs, one beagle, and elderly cat. I love to take old things and make them look beautiful - especially when people try to throw them away. I love to garden and read and crafting is my greatest love. Writing was my first major so I am finally getting to put that to use. I have Lupus and Fibromyalgia but it does not control me as it used to. I take life as it comes and work with what I have. Life is precious and I do appreciate the simple things in life!

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