cleaning the basement

It’s a dreary Monday today here in Milwaukee - I hope wherever you are it’s nicer! But, I heard this quote once, I think Oprah said it: “Sunny days come with too many expectations” and I really felt that to be 100% true, which is why I really enjoy not such great days, too! We left work early today to clean out our basement. This has been a project we have been THINKING about for about 3 years now, but as always things get in the way and it’s easy to avoid it. 

When we moved into our house 10 years ago the basement was empty, of course, but within days it was filled to the brim. What started as a storage and laundry space quickly turned into the Artery Ink headquarters. We cleaned it up and set up a station for preparing prints, cards, rolling shirts (yeah we rolled them back then!), and all of the other “warehouse” type activities to keep our shows running smoothly!

When we moved out of our house into our new studio what was left down in our basement was remnants of signs and other things that we had no use for. It was in 2021 when we fell in love with biking and spent the whole summer riding our bikes all over, it was so fun. We got new bikes that season and it made ALL the difference.  As winter approached we kept thinking “how am I going to keep this up all winter long!?” This gave us the idea to turn our basement into our home gym.

Fast forward to like last week, when finally we had enough of our excuses and we hired someone to help us clean it out. Turns out we had mold down there because water was getting in (what a surprise!) The guys we hired told us that in order to stop the water from coming in, we had to tear up the concrete around our house to re-do it and seal it up really well. (The inspector actually told us this before we bought our house…oops!)

While this turned out to be a bigger project than we expected, we know it will be well worth it. This experience is a good reminder to not let these things get the best of us. I could have easily been upset at this extra step, extra cost, and extra time I will have to wait. However, what is the point in that? Is that helping anything? It’s actually just ruining my day! 

We have a phrase that we often repeat. Kind of like a mantra and it goes “things are always working out for us”. This may sound conceited and arrogant, but hear me out. Sometimes things not working out as you had hoped means that they ARE actually working out for you. It doesn’t mean everything is rainbows and sunshine (that’s too much pressure anyway), it means things are working out for you however they play out - even if it’s the last thing you expected!

One thing that I noticed since we started saying that to ourselves is that I’m so much more aware of how little things are always working out. This goes right back to “what you focus on grows” - so if I’m going to focus on things working out I’ll see more of that. Little stupid things like arriving at the emissions test location 5 minutes before it closes without even knowing the hours. Or going to our Katy Perry meet & greet and forgetting her gift!! Might seem like a bad thing, but instead we became friends with the organizer who said she would hand-deliver it to Katy if we met up with her the next day! What is better?! A gift along with a million others which was by an assistant, or a gift hand-delivered on its own!? 

So, while our basement situation might seem like it’s not going our way, it actually is because when we get the chance to exercise down there we know it’ll be SOOO well worth it, and more importantly,  we won’t be inhaling mold!!

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you what has been going on and what I’ve been thinking about. I hope these emails can help you think of things differently or encourage you to go ahead with something you’ve been putting off or are scared to go for! Or at least that they can be somewhat entertaining!




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