Room for Growth

Because it’s only a memory now, the reality of moving into this house and the first catawampus days—oh, let’s be honest—weeks, I can only feel grateful. The move itself involved less than two miles, but the emotional distance, immeasurable. Sometimes I think moving up the street was more difficult. This was our second move in less than two years, and there was some anxiety around it, no NIMH data necessary.

The room that would become our bedroom is what my husband tackled first. In less time than it has taken for any other paint color/carpet decision, he had begun work on our retreat from the rest of the house. Meanwhile, we put our mattress on the scrupulously vacuumed and thoroughly cleaned spare bedroom floor. The unfamiliar light from community-maintained fixtures shone through the aged blinds onto the bed during that first month. I didn’t care, truthfully; I was exhausted by a long-term substitute gig with second graders (note to self: never again!).

Each morning I’d go off to work while my husband performed his magic at the other end of the house, relieved that I could leave the it behind. I’d come home, barely keep myself awake ’til 8 when I could ease myself onto the floor once again. By the end of the month and a half it took to get everything the way he wanted it, the light outside had become friendly, predictable, my clothes in various containers, the lack of an intentional, here’s-where-I’ll-put-that space only underscored our new life of possibility.

When I look back at that transition, I smile. That room has its own personality now: shades of blue, crisp sheets, bed off the floor, favorite art, red cabinet, still spare but home. And I am grateful for it all, especially for my husband who made it happen.

(prompt inspired by THE ISOLATION JOURNALS)

6 thoughts on “Room for Growth”

  1. You really express your unsettled feelings so well, I especially noticed your feeling of not even caring about the light coming in because you were so exhausted. I can feel in your piece how anxiety transitions into optimism about new possibilities, even though your clothes were still in cartons! And the blue sheets and red cabinet really gave me a vivid visual to close on 🙂

  2. Moving is never an easy process. It always seems the the perfect house needs some little, or big, tweaks to make it more perfect. I can feel your exhaustion after putting in long days in second grade ( something I would never have the stamina to do). There is a certain joy and calmness that happens when a house becomes a home.

  3. Your mattress on the floor and this setting “The unfamiliar light from community-maintained fixtures shone through the aged blinds onto the bed during that first month” put an immediate photo into my head of when we moved into Phoenix from a quiet Michigan suburb. It was jarring and hard to sleep for us at first in our new home, which seemed scary and full of stray cats and night noises like we had never experienced before. But you being able to sleep through because of your exhaustion was telling.

    It was neat to read how the new room and your surrounding gradually became homey for you. Thank God for husbands like yours to help create the magic.

    From your post, I signed up for The Isolation Journals prompts. I need to do more writing and reflecting.

    1. Denise, Can you give me the link to your SoL blog posts? Thanks. I hope the Isolation Journals prove inspirational for you. I know that some of them just hit the spot for my writer-self.

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