Office Remodel: the original, the plan, and the ingredients

The future home of The Good Life – Life Coaching, as I found her:

IMG_7493A 6×13 building.

IMG_7494Vandalized over two years ago.

IMG_7484Asphalt in need of repair.

IMG_7497Under a metal canopy. She used to be a carwash.

IMG_7498But thanks to the generosity of the owner. The price is right. I know I can make her work. This is that opportunity I’ve been longing for to use all the knowledge I gained after we wasted all that newlywed money at Bed Bath and Beyond.

The office has a bathroom with an outside entrance. The recycling company used it for storage.

White with lots of dark spots, a filthy floor and toilet…

IMG_7485A really gross toilet buried under all that.

IMG_7486And a sink that is falling off and also just really needed to be removed.

IMG_7487The rusted white electrical box stands out as the primary visual of the space.

IMG_7488The office itself is a sort of robin’s egg blue, but much darker, reminding me of Miss Mustard Seed’s Kitchen Scale, which is a lovely color, but not for this space.IMG_7492Previous tenants cut a hole into the cement walls for the air conditioner. The back of the air conditioner goes into the bathroom. If you don’t already know, these types or air conditioners are called “window air conditioners.”

IMG_7491The trim around the exterior door is the same blue.

At the time I could not open the door because of the barrels of beer bottles (I know, they should really be on the wall).

When we cleaned it out, I was too excited to remember to take pictures.

So the plan?

  1. Paint over blue paint with Colonnade Gray, my go-to neutral.
  2. Rip out toilet and sink.
  3. Paint over white bathroom with a cedar-grassy green.
  4. Make curtains.
  5. Put in beautiful furniture in light blues with neutral rug, using sewing table as desk.
  6. Hang curtains.
  7. Install ceiling fan.
  8. Make frames for art prints.
  9. Hang art prints.
  10. Hang book shelf.
  11. Replace floor in the bathroom.
  12. Install new fixtures.
  13. Create awesome light fixture for bathroom.
  14. Begin business.

Some of the ingredients:


IMG_7396  the good life logo                 IMG_7502     IMG_7508  IMG_7511 IMG_7512


IMG_7539Conduit curtain rods…economic, modern-industrial. We were doing it before it was a thing.

A pedestal sink and toilet from Craigslist for $50.

The progress:

The painting and furniture gave the space an incredible feel. The curtains are hung in the office, but I’m a bit uncertain of their effect on the space. Naturally there is less light, and they make the room feel smaller, a dangerous thing for a 6x 13 space.

There were adventures in painting, especially since I used old paint from three years ago, improperly sealed. But it worked and the interior is nearly done.

Melaleuca’s Clean Power and a wire brush scrubbed the blue paint off the tile. She’ll carefully paint over the grout around the edges with Colonnade Gray because it is, at the moment, Kitchen Scale Blue.

Once my signs arrive I’ll apply a frosted window film to the front door to protect client confidentiality.

More photos to come…



The Good Life – Part 1

New phase of life.

We got used to the old one, adjusting to three kids, work schedules, stability, so why not venture out into new territory, the unknown, the dreamland?

I have a Masters in Clinical Psychology. It is not possible for me to attend school full time or work full time, and so I’ve felt stuck. What do I do with this incredible education I received (and am still paying for, of course)? How do I use it.

I loved working for the local non-profit agency, Center for Human Services. This is seriously, the most incredible place to work and I owe a great debt to them for making me the professional I am.

But eight hours days were difficult to do. As I’ve done for the past four or so years, I kept considering my options. I emailed a professor for ideas. He suggested I look into life coaching. And so I did…

the good life logoThis October I plan to launch my own life coaching practice. It is called The Good Life because Aristotle taught that whatever we do, we do in a way to advance ourselves towards “the good” towards happiness, towards flourishing. In my work, it is clear that even should steps be misguided or unhealthy, the individuals has a reason for taking them. In order to correct our path to move us towards happiness, excellence, therapy isn’t always necessary. Learning new skills, creating a plan, having the support to brain storm and stick to it, this is all part of life coaching.

I’m taking a virtue approach. To be virtuous is to be disposed to act in the right way at the right time. When we act, we can often go overboard, or do to little. Being virtuous is to operate at a level where there is an understanding of how to discern where the mean is, and act accordingly.

Bittersweet chocolate cake covered in homemade coffee ice cream is a definite good, I would say. If I eat it every night or eat too much, that is not good. If I never in my life enjoy the experience of eating it, I’d say, perhaps, that is not a good thing. Of if I deny it outright because I think is is wrong to eat amazingly delicious things. Can I control myself once I start eating it? Can I allow myself the pleasure of eating just a little. Learning a virtuous approach to cake or anything in our lives, means I have learned to discern for myself what is the right amount and stick to it.

It takes time to learn this. It is difficult to learn it at first, unpleasant even. But because we’re trying to ultimately learn things that are good, that will make us happy, then it eventually becomes sweet to practice virtue, to act in this way.

My practice and philosophy will align well with a Christian worldview, because I believe we have a purpose and that every person is moved by some natural law towards development, towards excellence. But the practice need not be overtly Christian is language or practice. Any client may be considered for life coaching. The client sets the agenda, not I. Other than this understanding of virtue and excellence (conceived by a pagan in pre-Christian times, no less), the floor is totally open, I will not push my beliefs or worldview on the client. The client will do the talking, not I.

More to come on this process…