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The painters in the body shop where I work have agreed to give my Festiva a fresh coat of paint during the week I will be in Grand Rapids and beyond this week. I tried to get off the stickers on my hatch that I wanted to keep with a razorblade in an effort to help them out.

I know what a free paint job may look like. Tape marks on anything black like my handles, mirrors and trim. They also agreed to take care of the two dents on both quarter panels sustained from the rear impact that totaled the car in the first place.

It will be red, as it is now, only all the same color red. Now, the sides have faded into a candy apple pinkish red, which the hood and roof are more orange-red. It will look, likely a bit darker.

This minor exterior overhaul is not unlike my own life. It will be easy to tell that it's been painted over, but not so much that you can't appreciate the new paint job, that you can't be thankful for a new layer of skin, a second chance to be proud of yourself.

I mean, it's a Festiva. As self esteem goes, the only way to go is up.