There are some blog posts that come easily to me–I sit down and my fingers almost seem to type on their own.
And then there are others.
Ones like these. Ones where I sit in front of the computer, filled with emotion but few words, and stare at the screen. I hope my fingers will find the words. I wait. I sigh. I wait some more. I stare harder.
There are certain posts that just aren’t as easy to write.
You might have noticed I took a little break from blogging about the deep stuff. The truth is, I came back from New York and…my body and heart kind of crashed. I got really sick. I was really tired.
I wrote a little bit about how I’ve been trying to find my way back to center. This business has part of my heart and soul, and many of the experiences this year have been AMAZING…and yet there have been some really tough days this year, too.
Days of financial distress. Days where I have been working on very little sleep. Days where I have made bad decisions. Days where customers didn’t say nice things. Days where I wonder if I did the right thing by deciding to run a business from home with two small children. But mostly, days where I knew where I wanted to go but struggled to figure out quite how to get there.
The last 4 weeks have slowly but surely felt much better. I’ve been getting a clearer idea of our professional and personal paths, we’ve been given some amazing opportunities and some incredible new stores and websites have begun carrying our products.
But something else has been happening internally, something I couldn’t quite put a finger on until this last weekend.
You see, this last weekend, my parents came up to our house to help with a home renovation project. For about 8 months, we’ve been living without a carpet in our rather large living room. Yep–the biggest room in our house had a bare concrete floor. Tucked away behind a baby gate, it was home to dog crates, and unused desk, a dusty treadmill, and our sheet music.
Over the course of the last 6 years, a series of circumstances had slowly transformed it into an underutilized, ugly, abandoned room. And last weekend, we were going to at least try to give it a respectable pergo floor.
We didn’t really have a plan except to put in flooring so we’re not living with a concrete room when the winter snow eventually comes. We were simply going to take everything out, lay down flooring, and put everything back in. And by Friday night, we were well on our way to doing just that–my father and husband were halfway done laying down the flooring, and we were on track to finish by Saturday afternoon.
But on Saturday morning, I sat straight up on bed at 4:30am.
The question hit me like a heavy weight: Why weren’t we using that room??? I was always lamenting that the kids were cramped in their little playroom (after all, I have boys that like to do gymnastics moves and karate moves and Batman moves). I have been struggling with using the kitchen table for everything–from my work desk to the school table to the family activity table to the meal place.
And, if I was completely honest…I was embarrassed by my living room. It was my own dang fault that it had regressed to that state, and yet it felt so hard and overwhelming to do anything about it that I just let it sit there in its sad state.
But the worst part was that I was embarrassed to have friends over. Embarrassed when someone delivered packages and saw through my window. Embarrassed about what my parents and in-laws might be thinking when they visit. I knew I wanted things to be different, but I felt completely stuck as to how to change it. The change just seemed too big.
And yet there I was, wide awake at 4:30am and suddenly the answer seemed as clear as day.
This room is the biggest room in our house, I thought. Why isn’t it representing our biggest joy? Why not make this huge room our playroom–with a little corner for my work desk, and another little corner for our schoolwork? Why have I been content with letting shadows and dust take up so much of my space instead of filling our should-be living area with happy things and bright pictures and colorful rugs and beanbag chairs and books???
…so that is exactly what we did.
On Sunday morning, the children ran into the room at dawn’s first light. They got out books and jumped on the trampoline and watched as the clouds turned pink and then orange and then yellowish-white. They squealed over and over how much they loved the “new playroom.”
I felt something shift inside me that morning. All of the things necessary to make this happen had been there the whole time…but what had been lacking was my imagination. I couldn’t see past the hard to see the potential. The inertia from my embarrassment had utterly suppressed my imagination.
I had missed the potential because I was focused on what the room wasn’t.
The shift in perspective I felt that morning turned these realizations inward. What have I been missing because I have been focusing on my pain and embarrassment and hurt and fear? What potential is being missed, right this very moment, if I choose to get stuck in the “should-but-can’t” mentality? Is everything necessary for my perceived “problems” (with time, money, energy, health, etc) right here, right now, and I am just being blind to an imaginative solution?
I’ve been awakening to new possibilities over the last few weeks. Things that have only been possible because some of the shadows have been brought to light. Some of the embarrassing rooms in my heart have had the doors flung wide open and emptied. It’s been hard and painful at times…and yep, even scary.
Because even though we know it’s not true, we can often convince ourselves that it’s easier for things to stay just the way they are…especially when we know they need to change.
Now, suddenly, it’s like a little butterfly popping her head out of a cocoon. The world feels so bright and so big (and yes, sometimes a bit overwhelming and scary)…and I’m going to have to get used to a new way of seeing it. A new way of moving about in it. A new way of solving my old problems.
And I’ll learn…because butterflies always do, even though no one teaches them how to use those new things on their backs.
Transformation. It’s not the easiest thing in the world.