Can't, can't, can't. Moan, moan, moan.
Things came to a head yesterday when I was faced with this as my job for the afternoon.
I battled on for a while, complaining all the time, even my new wallpaper scraper not really helping. Eventually I got to the point where I'd done all I could reach, and needed to break out the ladders.
Moan, moan, moan.
Eventually Peter suggested I might want to do something different for a while, and I reluctantly conceded (little inside-head voices saying 'but this will NEVER be finished if I abandon it now!') and went out into the garden to gather stuff for the tip.
While in the garden I pondered. I've always enjoyed doing things for myself. I like feeling strong and capable. I like saving money, and being able to say 'I mended that!'
But somewhere in the last few months I'd forgotten about all that, and started seeing the work we're doing on the house as endless, imagining it stretching on for the next forty years and us never being able to move.
I took a bit of a break, and went back to the Down to Earth blog, which I've read for a long time, and which I enjoy very much. Rhonda encouraged me when I first started blogging, and I've been an avid follower ever since. But somewhere along the way I stopped listening. I've been so caught up in work-and-decorating-and-fitting-things-in that I'd forgotten about the whole 'simple living' thing.
Or rather, I hadn't forgotten - I'd been thinking 'I can't wait to move house, then I'll be able to make the bed every day/ keep chickens/ make jam. Right now I'm too busy'. Well, clearly there are priorities, and the time I spend making jam is time I could be spending stripping wallpaper, but that doesn't mean I have to abandon the whole idea of simple living altogether.
For me, simple living isn't just a tick list of make your own bread, make jam, knit socks, sew cushions, although I've done all of those things and enjoyed them very much. For me, it's more about general things of being thrifty, not living above your means, not being wasteful, learning new skills, being self reliant.
And while I'm not prioritising making jam right now, I am doing those other things.
We're doing most of the work on the house ourselves, and Peter is great at sourcing free or very cheap materials (doors from Freegle, floorboards from a neighbour having a loft conversion, wood from a skip). We have no mortgage here, and so the longer we stay, the more we save. We're learning new skills, and when we do eventually find our new home, we'll be confident that we'll be able to fix most things that go wrong with it ourselves.
Last night I sat down with our budget, and after a lot of pondering and a bit of tweaking, found a couple of ways we could save some more, and set myself a challenge for next month (and it is a challenge for me - Peter is far more thrifty and barely spends anything).
We are getting closer. Sometimes it's just a matter of changing your attitude.