Yesterday, after a long day at work, I found myself on my 14-foot ladder, sanding and priming siding. For the first time all day, I was thinking about nothing but smooth, even strokes.
This morning, I climbed back on that ladder before the sun, painting by the light of my neighbors' security light. I wanted to take advantage of the weather. I also wanted all my siding to match.
My handyman yesterday replaced a section of siding after taking out the window in my shower. (Which reminds me, I need to write a post about why a do-it-yourselfer should occasionally hire a professional.) I told him I'd paint it to match the rest of my house's painted siding.
I assumed I'd be busy and the paint might have to wait a few weeks. But when I got home from work yesterday, after a somewhat-hairy Monday (I love my job, by the way, but it does include occasional stress), I just wanted to work on my house.
It made me feel relaxed, accomplished and in control. Those are feelings that sometimes elude me at work, or when I'm dealing with personal relationships. They can also be absent during home-improvement projects, like when I found a hole in my kitchen floor. 
I wrote a story for Saturday's At Home section about Annalea Hart , whose Champaign home features beautiful, handmade accessories. Both her mom and grandma were house people, she told me. And after what I saw at her home, so are she and her husband, Jesse.
I guess I now qualify as a house person – my sister says I'm like an extrovert at a party. As I work on my house, I just feel more energized.
After working with Habitat for Humanity, I know the value of sweat equity. I want to make sure I'm being the best steward possible for the place that shelters me. And of course, any homeowner keeps the phrase “resale value” tucked in the back of his or her mind.
But honestly, the reason I work on my house is because I enjoy it.
What about you? Are you a house person, or does home improvement drain you?
Photo from this website.  I look much less professional while painting.