Did you know that “the monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind”? Albert Einstein said that, and I can attest that it’s true.

During the last three months after surgery, I spent a lot of time alone in my living room sitting on a new recliner. The longer I sat, the more I convinced myself that the room needed a change. I noted that I was sitting in a combination living room/kitchen painted a nondescript pale gray. The carpeting was the same gray. The new recliner was a similar gray. Many of my comfy clothes were shades of gray. And to complete the nondescript gray environment, the computer on my lap was silver.

Staring past the grayness into my backyard with its flowers and trees losing color by the minute forced me into a creative mode. My mind danced into thoughts of changing the color of my walls. I implored my daughter to pick up paint samples for me in shades of blue and gray that would contrast with, but still complement, the colors in the rest of my home.

I guess I asked for her help and advice one too many times. On day she announced, “I don’t want to be a part of your painting project. No. Nada. I don’t want to get one more paint sample for you; I don’t want you to ask me one more time about which one I like best; I don’t even want to hear the word paint from you.”

Well. What was I to do? Confined to my home with my grayness? It was time to ask a professional. I searched online and found an interior designer whose promo video portrayed an older woman named Lois. A sign, right?

I called. He came. And in twenty minutes he suggested a totally different color. So then I found a painter who, in five hours, transformed my living room/kitchen from the nondescript gray to Sherwin Williams Griffin, a medium griege. In other words, a rich creamy mocha.

I love it and would never have thought of it on my own. It’s soft, warm, and comforting.

But you know how projects grow. It now includes a new TV and will include new window treatments. When the TV installers came, one man asked why I was getting rid of it….it was still good. I announced, “I’m done with it.” He knew better than to ask more. He’d not sat here for three months trying to get the news with a remote with too many buttons and poor connections. My new TV has a miraculous microphone; I simply press the on button, ask the microphone for what I want to watch, and the program shows up.

This week my designer returns and I pick out window treatments. Yay! I believe my current ones are as old as the house—over 15 years.

Upshot? The entire postoperative healing time has turned out, with the help of my designer, to be a most creative time. Alas, it’s also been expensive. But my daughter is relieved that I got help! And my mantra is that I’m 80, so I can do what I want. Agree? Come over for coffee and we can talk about it in my new kitchen.