It usually takes me about six months of living in a new place before I really figure out where the furniture should go. The day you move in, you think you know how to arrange the room, but you’re so tired from all the moving that even if you don’t love it, you decide that it’s probably good enough. It takes a while, figuring out the exact configuration of your life. Settling into the routine of putting things where they work best instead of being okay with just okay. I have literally done this “six-month-stretch” the past five or six moves at least.
It’s a pattern I recognize fairly well.
So when I decided recently to rearrange my living room, I was sliding furniture around as the thought hit me, “Oh my gosh, has it been six months already?” I didn’t even have to look at a calendar. Of course it had.
My body’s clock knew it like it was time to go bury my eggs in the sand and hope for the best.
So here I am, sitting on my same old couch in my newly arranged life. I like this configuration. I do. Turns out the reason it wasn’t working before is that I had too much furniture. I have this enormous blue chair with a big matching ottoman. I couldn’t bear to part with the chair itself, so I just put the ottoman in the guest room.
It opened things up nicely.
The funny part about that is, the chair that I had to “split up” was my writing chair. Some of you may have heard me refer to this chair before. It’s been a pretty important fixture in my life for the last several years.
I actually built a house around that chair.
Or rather, bought a house around that chair. It just so happens that I fell in love with the chair first, while we were living in a small apartment with no hope of fitting that chair anywhere. I bought it anyway and put it in our storage unit, knowing that some day we would have a house again and I would have that chair to go in it. It symbolized the hope of a settled life when at the time there had been an enormous amount of change.
Here’s something else that’s interesting.
I bought that chair while I was married, and now the “other half” of that chair is no longer a part of my living room. It’s part of the guest room. That may not mean a lot to anyone but me, but metaphorically it feels huge when I’m sitting in that chair that used to hold all of me, and is now noticeably missing a rather large foot rest. Not that anyone new to the room would know that. They think it’s just a nice big comfortable chair sitting over there in the corner. Which it is.
Anyway, I digress.
The point is, sometimes we have to live with something for a while before we realize it needs to change. Sometimes the changes need to happen but they still feel strange and lonely. I have learned that without the ottoman that chair is still really comfortable to sit on, and I can still write from that place. But I’ve learned something else that’s pretty important too:
Sometimes good enough… just isn’t.