I moved into a new (1930’s) cottage almost a month ago.
As I type this, I am looking at the rosewood desk, covered with a thin layer of dust courtesy of the painters who are prepping the walls, filling holes, sanding and perfecting the surfaces before they paint. Two rooms are totally uninhabitable…my bedroom and the den…due to remodeling. All the furniture and things (clothes!) that belong in those rooms are in the other rooms of the house or in boxes (clothes!) until they can be moved to their perfect place. Stuff is either covered with plastic or needs to be. The kitchen is almost workable. I still only have the one fork I purposely didn’t pack, having not found the box with the rest of the every day utensils. There are boxes I can’t unpack. They are holding up my king-size mattress against a dining room wall which can’t be relocated until my bedroom is completed.
It will get worse before it gets better!
The new hardwood floors have to be sanded, stained and left to “dry” before those same two rooms can be moved into. The floors can’t happen until the rooms are painted. It all takes time, but I had to move in or move into a temporary residence, store furniture, yada yada. So here I am, almost a month later.
What have I learned?
I have learned that I really don’t need much to be happy. My life used to be filled with acquisition: things, parties, trips, things, gifts for others, things…trappings of a certain kind of life. I didn’t have to be dragged kicking and screaming into that life! I was actually quite good at that life. I wasn’t always happy in that life.
Things don’t make happiness permanent. They are transitory bits of enjoyment with no lasting ability to create joy. Happiness is an inside job…the best things in life aren’t things…if you rely upon a people or things for your happiness, you are in a heap of trouble.
I’ve learned that having a vision makes a temporary inconvenience just that. I have a vision of how this home will be in another month. I feel so at home even in the chaos that I am confidant this move was right for me and I can’t wait until I am settled. I felt this space was perfect when I first saw it, red room (red is my least favorite color), stuffed with antiques, with the funky smell of months of vacancy, all. Knowing what you want and being patient while you create your vision creates peace in your mind and body in what might otherwise be an extremely unsettling situation. This is what goal setting and planning create: peace from a sense of direction.
I’ve learned that I still want and need a coach. During the last two months of the moving process, I put other things before my time for myself in the performance and wellness department. Even doing what I do as a profession, I love having a coach, a mentor. I want the schedule of training workouts. I love the ‘in the room’ talk, even when it is disconcerting or brings me face to face with the things I still need to sort out and work out. I’m no different in many ways from the clients that come to our Center. This helps me better serve those clients, by understanding the value of what we offer and how crucial it is for many to have a coach or mentor as they work to create the life they desire, how easy it is for people to let ‘clutter’ sidetrack them from a goal.
I have also learned how far I have come from the Claudia of just 6 years ago. I ran into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in perhaps a decade. She remarked on my appearance and asked what I was doing. After I told her the Cliff Notes version, she said, “You have always been great at re-inventing yourself.” I thought about this and she is right. Though I have no idea whether she meant that as a compliment or not, I believe that to be one of my many strengths: I have never stopped changing. Embracing change is the beauty of creating (re-creating) your life.
This is the first home that is truly mine…not my parents, not transitory college with a roommate digs, not a home shared with a spouse and child. This is the first home that is truly mine.