I recently had new flooring installed in the upper level of my townhouse. This involved moving everything out of every room including the closets. I mean everything. Clothes, books, papers, small furnishings, the entire office setup. I was able to leave a few major pieces of furniture in place, namely the beds and one empty bookcase, which the installers were willing to maneuver around. As always, even though I had been on a weeding binge for several months leading up to the project, there was still a ton of stuff to deal with. The installers took two days for the job, but the staircase and landing were being recarpeted in a different material, which was backordered. They had to return the following week to finish the job. I couldn’t have been luckier, as they finished, literally, the day before the “stay-at-home” orders were broadcast. Now I have all the time in the world to put everything back in place. I can do it in a thoughtful, mindful way.
Having all the leisure to reassemble the rooms is like a reboot for my upstairs life. Not as much an upheaval as actually moving, it’s still an opportunity not ot be wasted. I have the time to reconsider each item. Do I really want this? Would this be better relocated to another part of the house? Can I arrange the furniture some other way? Does anything need to be mended before being put away? It was a chance to see everything in a new way.
Perhaps not unexpectedly, there was a pause in some of the mental aspects of my life as well. Having new flooring and the new “look” it created also caused a sort of reboot in my emotional life. And consequently, I felt an accompanying “reboot” of my writing life. Packing up all my chaotic “notes,” clearing off the bulletin board, seeing a completely clear desk for the first time since I brought it into the house, made me take a fresh look at my writing practice. Are these the projects I really want to pursue? Is this an opportunity to change up my writing routine–for the better? Have there been distractions in my writing space that I can now see for what they are and move to another space? Are there resources and knowledge I’ve been putting off pursuing? Is it time to ease into that super challenging major work I’ve been putting off?
It seems that a fresh look, or fresh start in one area leads to a fresh look at related or even completely unrelated areas. Like when you get a new haircut, you have the urge to buy new clothes. Or maybe it’s just all part of the same process or mindset. I think it’s always healthy to take a break now and then. These days, we can’t do it with a vacation, even a day trip. But I stumbled into this option. Maybe there’s one for you, too, during this time of “pause” in the rest of life.