Early last month I wrote about the flood we had when the hose to the ice maker went on a walk-about that resulted an inch of water seeping in and under the hardwood floors on the main level of the house. At this point we are still living in our ark, which seems to get smaller and smellier with each passing day. The work is progressing below, the new floor is installed, the cabinets will soon be in place and then the floors can be finished. I’m counting the days.
On Saturday, my husband commented that it was like we were moving into our house all over again. This led to a conversation about how we used our space on the main floor, particularly the front room which has been a formal(ish) living room, a dumping ground for my husband’s stuff he couldn’t fit into the garage, a playroom for our daughter, a dumping ground part II, and most recently, a nearly empty room with a beautiful Christmas tree that our cat cried and cried over when it was time to take it down.
After much discussion between Mike, Willow, and I, we decided to make some major changes to the layout and usage of that room as well as the current living room and the entryway. This means more painting, rewiring, furniture changes, and added chaos. We are great at starting remodeling projects but not finishing them. I was already anxious about completing the remodel of the kitchen but with these additional projects my stress level has gone through the roof. Yet onward we go.
Despite my concerns, the discussions have been enlightening and liberating. When we finish moving back into our old house, the spaces will be better utilized and more functional to our current lives. The rooms will all have a fresh coat of paint at the same time and chips, stains, cracks, and other glitches large and small will have been addressed. We’ll have the same furniture, appliances, and structures but the overall main floor will be more engaging and livable. This transformation is something I don’t think we could have fully envisioned if we hadn’t had to move all of our stuff out and live with empty rooms for almost two months.
I’ve begun to wonder what would happen if I “moved back into my life all over again” (keeping my family of course). What would I change and what would I keep? I’ve started looking at my commitments, routines, and habits to see if they continue to fulfill and enrich my life. Most of them do, but not all and do I keep those less fulfilling ones out of a sense of obligation or find a way to let them go? What about the people I spend time with and the ones I don’t? Do I need to make changes there? Then there are clothes, shoes, nick knacks, stuff, books, and more books – do I serve them or do they serve me?
I find that it is easier to take an objective viewpoint with the house but not so much with myself. With our house I can’t change the basic floor plan, square footage, etc. but when I look at myself it is easy to slip into fantasy or goal setting. Eat healthier, lose weight, go to the gym more often, etc. have begun to creep into my thinking and what started as a constructive review has slipped into New Year’s Resolution territory.
While I am still in the midst of this process, both with the house and myself, I realize I need to accept where I am, physically, mentally and emotionally, for that is what I bring when I move back into my life. If I can reorganize my life to better meet my needs and support my well-being, I suspect the other objectives will fall into place. As I make these changes, my life, as with my house, will be more engaging and “livable,” a benefit not only to myself but to my family as well.
As I write this I wonder if it will make sense to anyone but me or if the sawdust fumes have addled my brain. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
But it does raise the question: If you could “move back into your life” would you change anything?
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