Moving Into Your Life by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1Early 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 startedMinolta DSC 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 tmove_cartoonhat 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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21 thoughts on “Moving Into Your Life by Erin Farwell

  1. Good questions Erin. I have pondered those myself then continue in my usual ways of committing to things I don’t really want to do but feel obligated, skipping the things I do want to spend time on and thinking “some day” only to remember that choice may be taken away from me “some day.”
    Sounds like you have a great way to make a fresh start however with a “new” environment (somewhat anyway)! Good luck on your renovations, how fun (yet stressful).


  2. Interesting post Erin. Along with the major incident that started all the house renovation, making changes to accommodate your family’s lifestyle is such a wise use of time used while waiting. Most people wouldn’t think of that and would have the problems restored and move back in just the way it was. I think we each know “who” we are even if we don’t realize it. I just read something on being “quiet” and letting your mind have a rest. When you do that oftentimes a sense of what you really want out of life appears. When we wade through the daily muck of appointments and things to be accomplished it’s hard to be introspective. You definitely sound like you’re on the right path!


    1. Thanks, Linda. While I wish we hadn’t started our project this way in the end it will take us to a better place than we could have otherwise gotten to. I need to remember this in other aspects of my life. Thanks for the support,


  3. Great post, Erin. I remember your FB posting about the flood, and it’s nice to learn the follow-up. Also, since I write a mystery series that features an organization expert who subscribes to the theory that the best way to organize space is to unload EVERYTHING out of the room and then only return what truly should be there, nice to see your experiences supporting her beliefs 🙂 But truly, I love the way you took that one step further and asked, “What if…” when it came to doing the rest to Life. I’m going to be thinking about this post for days. Thank you!


    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. And yes, if we hadn’t pulled everything out, we wouldn’t have considered the types of changes we’re now making. Moving back in definitely has some advantages.


  4. Erin, what an insightful post. At times, it seems that a crisis can be turned into a new beginning. Last year, I fell and broke my left wrist and right upper arm. I felt doomed, I felt defeated, I felt down right pissy about my bad luck. After two surgeries, I told my husband that we needed help with cleaning the rental cabins. I had, up until that time, taken on all the cleaning of the cabins and our home. I was always tired and couldn’t seem to find time to do the things I wanted to do, such as writing. As luck would have it, we found a great gal right around the corner from us who now helps with the cabins. I feel so blessed, because if I hadn’t broken my arms, I never would have accepted the idea of getting outside help. AND, it seems that your crisis will be turned into a blessing, too. Ah, if we can only see the reasons and blessings beyond the chaos in our lives. Good post, Erin, Enjoyed.


    1. Thanks, Sherry, and yes – we have gotten to a place we never could have found without our disaster. I just need to remember this when the next one strikes, because it is life and there is always something. 🙂 thanks for your support.


  5. What a great question. In some ways we ‘move back’ each day, but maybe aren’t aware of the options for we bring the baggage from previous days with us. I think you have written a brilliant and relevant piece that gives all of us a chance to really look and evaluate our lives.It is not an easy answer, and yet once answered….Doris


    1. Thanks, Doris. This question has lived with me for almost a week now and am finding ways large and small that it has effected how I look at the world as well as changes I am now making. Nothing like moving to India or anything, just what really works and what doesn’t. Thanks for the support.


  6. I love your reflections as well as thinking forward, and the statement “do I serve them or do they serve me?” offers great opportunity for ponder. If I could “move back into my life,” yes, there would be changes, things I’d do differently. But, since I cannot change the past, I have to make changes today and for the future, and as I lay in a sick bed with my laptop in my lap today, I am pondering some changes to the future as well. Thought-provoking post, Erin — thank you! And, best to you in your remodel of house and of life, if that turns out to be the case for you.


    1. Thanks Gayle, and feel better. You’re right this isn’t about changing the past but what is currently in your life that isn’t helping or serving anything and what could be there instead. A challenge, but a good one, I think. Thanks for the support.


  7. Excellent and insightful post, Erin. I like the idea of “moving back into my life.” As I’m working on my writing, still doing the day job (but at reduced hours), and trying to fit in all the other things I want to fit in, I find myself saying to myself things like, “This is not about x (e.g., selling a million copies or whatever). It’s about creating a life I love.” I think that’s my version of moving back in–learning to be myself, to speak my truth, and to have a good time doing it. Good luck with the “moving” in house and life, my friend.


  8. Thanks, Steph. For some reason I thought of you often as I was writing this. You guided my hand and heart here and there and helped me get to this place. 🙂 Thank you for being in my life, then and now.


  9. Glad to see the house repairs are coming along. Your question … if you could vacate yourself and then jump back into yourself, would you make any changes? Life’s like a pool table. The cue ball gets smacked hard, and it goes roaring forward where it smacks all the other balls, and life spins its web in myriad ways (hey, nothing like mixing metaphors). Change the angle of the cue ball just a bit, and life goes in new directions. So make changes at your own risk. Lol.


  10. I need to step out of my life and then back in. Wonderful blog. I wrote a really long response, but it got lost in cyberspace. Hope your house and your life both get rejuvenated quickly. Cher’ley


  11. You’re so smart to take this opportunity to make improvements on your house instead of just returning to space that didn’t work so well the first time. If I could move out of my life…well, there are several things I’d like to leave behind when I move back in.


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