Recently, thankfully, I retired from public education. I will confess that long before entering the classroom as a "highly qualified professional", I wanted my space arranged and kept just so, before beginning the real work, whatever that was. I do not consider myself to be OCD, although there may be others who do (even within my family, talk about the pot calling the kettle black). I like to consider myself organized, thanks to two very organized parents, and being married to a very organized man. (I know, the kids didn't have a chance did they?) "Everything in its place, and a place for everything" just works for me.
In the summers I loved watching home decorating shows. I even tried a few ideas, much to Tom's disdain, as in "You want the kitchen painted WHAT color?" I was delighted to begin learning a bit about feng shui. Oh how did they know! That's me! You mean I'm not crazy, weird, etc. Just wait 'til I tell Tom!
So, I've watched my shows, read my magazines, which are now James's hand-me-down copies of Real Simple. Frequently, they seemed to say the same thing: carve out a special space to do that thing you do. Alright, I have permission to designate, decorate and organize, maybe not in quite that order. Since our house is not that big, Tom probably thought I'd run out of areas for the annual makeover. Unfortunately for him, Tom hadn't been watching shows, reading magazines and looking at websites. Poor guy, even though he was caught off guard, he shouldn't have been surprised.
Now all I had to do was figure out where to carve. You know that cat I wrote about, Magellan? I probably didn't mention that he and Maisie have their own bedroom. It's the enclosed back porch where I'd discovered Bobby and Bonnie Bunny frolicking in our backyard. Life became much simpler when I surrendered the room to them. For my special place, that left three occupied bedrooms, the living room, dining room, kitchen, and uninhabitable basement. Kitchen, it is! And the best part is, thanks to our bay windows, I can even look straight out through the enclosed porch to the Bunnys's playground.
Ok, let's take a little bird walk here. Like probably everyone reading this blog, I am familiar with grief. I also know that life stages can involve some of the stages of grief because they usually mean the end of something, even if it's to make way for the beginning of something wonderful. While I had retired to do what I had been looking forward to for much longer than I realized, it was also a big step with big changes. Initially, carving a space, honoring feng shui, were part of the process of change.
So, the long-suffering Tom was patient and did what he always does: he mumbles a little, then paints, builds, assembles, etc. to turn my ideas into reality. And a few of the things that make Tom so terrific is he never complains, he always does his best, and he never criticizes me for taking too long to become productive after his part is finished. (I'm sure there's some residual Boy Scout Law still driving him.)
Nearly a month after the last day of school and I still wasn't really doing much writing. Tom and I had carved out my space. I'd had lunch with my sister and girlfriends. Applied for part-time jobs and gone in for periodic doctor and dentist appointments. What was I waiting for? I had talked about, prayed about, practiced a little, prepared a lot. Why wasn't I writing? The fear of failure? Lack of time management (because sleeping in, mani-pedis, lunches with friends, etc. are all crucial to well-being, right?)? Being afraid the reality wouldn't be as great as the dream? Disobedience? What keeps us from jumping in and pursuing what we want to do, or what we know we are called to do?
What are you aching but afraid to do? What's the cost or the consequence of not starting or restarting on that personal dream? What can you do today to begin your exciting adventure?
We are to learn our duty from the Lord, and then we are to act in all diligence, never being lazy or slothful. The pattern is simple but not easy to follow. We are so easily distracted.
Henry B. Eyring