Have you had one of those days when you wonder what the point of it all is? I went through a particularly severe bout of it recently where I sat paralyzed by the thought- what now?? I wasn’t depressed, not in any sense of the word, just completely lost. A need to move in some direction but a sense of being hopelessly stuck in a spot. I wanted to do grand things with my life, make big differences. There must be some reason for my existence other than the usual cycle of life. I went through a mental list. If I was a cartoon character (and there are some in my family who will say I am, but let’s ignore my sister) I would have those thought bubbles over my head which pop up and explode, options considered and discarded. If only I had a cape, a wand and Bill Gate’s bank account.
So there I sat on my couch facing into the room staring at the sleek black blankness of a tv that was switched off. Restless, defeated and glum. I had been staring into the same room from that same couch for many years. The ‘Family Room’. Always wanted to ask the builder WHY. In my house and for our lifestyle, every room is family room. We don’t get company who needed to be seated far removed from the ‘action’, and the hearth of our home.Yet there was one with the label ‘Family room’ and another deemed the ‘Living Room’. A sad proud room that, in its capacity as a formal space, had been used all of twice in the 16 yrs of our acquaintance. Two separate rooms supposed to serve pretty much the same purpose where one room gets used and one sits collecting dust.
Which is when my cartoon persona has the hands clapping, excited shrieking, big lightbulb moment- and I, right along with her- REPURPOSE!! Why was I letting a builder dictate how to create a home?! He created the house, his job was done!
I must have looked all sorts of crazy because the dog jumped five feet up in the air- well, the cartoon one would have. Mine being of rather chunky proportions, yawned, shot me a look of mild alarm and mighty annoyance before ambling off to a safe corner. She proceeded to watch me suspiciously while I got off the couch and ran from room to room seeing the house and its possibilities with brand new eyes. A reading room HERE and a Sitting room THERE. A Great room off the kitchen which would be bright and breezy. I saw warmth and color and happy laughing faces. I saw family, friends, loved ones in every one of these rooms. I sat back down on the couch and I saw purpose. Cartoon M looked the builder square in the eye and challenged- NO sir, this is not ‘Family Room’, this in fact, is my dining room!!’ At which he slinks away kind of like the dog but less chunky.
Visualizing a change is one thing, convincing the rest of the family to see it too, a whole different devil. That big question hanging in the air- why fix something that isn’t broken?! One wept at the possibility that life as she had known it would be altered forever, another hinted at packing her bags. The man sighed a lot and listened to music. On his headphones.The dog just ate and burped. It took two weeks, many wails, protests and one displaced dog for the visual in my head to become reality. It also took a lot of hard work from the brood who ultimately gave my idea a chance. As with any sort of realignment, things got a lot worse before they got better. Strange ‘treasures’ under the couches and dust everywhere, the dilemma of which furniture went where.
It’s now a week later and everything has found a perfect place. Cozy evenings, happy faces and every space that serves a purpose. I sit writing at my dining table, bathed in the sunlight streaming in through the open windows this gorgeous day. It is the same room I had spent years on a couch that faced in. A different angle, a different perspective and a whole new purpose. Life can be a kaleidoscope, turn it, twist it, shake it up a bit and a completely new pattern is revealed. I am not yet sure if life has, in fact, big grand designs in store for me. But facing out now, the world looks beautiful and in its little patterns, I see a purpose. I think the Builder approves.