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We lay in bed at sunrise; each contemplating the day ahead. Weekends can be like that.

‘What do you want to do darling?’ my other half inquired. ‘I think we should paint the hall’, I responded. Well, you’d have thought I’d said, ‘Are your bags packed because I’m taking you to an exotic overseas holiday destination!’ She really did want the hallway painted.

After our morning walk, we docked the iPod in the speaker system and set it to pump out random songs from our collection as we scrubbed the walls, patched the dings that the kids had made over the years and occasionally burst into song when some of our old favourites played.

It is a funny thing about working on a project like this with the one you love, not only can you stand back and see the fruits of your labour but there is an interesting interpersonal dynamic that begins to take shape.

As we worked, we were often in our own time and space, linked only by the music and the joint task at hand. Apart from the occasional sing-along, or the occasional question or short discussion, we were each able to spend hours together but yet apart in an almost contemplative meditation. We each worked on a different part of the project, and each in our own dream world.

At times, I became so lost in my thoughts that I almost forgot I wasn’t alone. Perhaps even worse, I almost forgot to stop for lunch!

We painted the entry and hallway and we rearranged all the furniture in the main living areas. Janine and I also wandered through the shops buying a bunch of picture frames and we decorated the walls with old photos from the family album.

The whole experience was quite meditative, and yet at the end of the day we could sit back and feel a great sense of satisfaction. If we had started this project thinking ‘this job that must be done’, the whole thing would have been a chore.

The attitude you start any project with will determine its outcome.