It starts out innocently enough. A few friends out to dinner at a snazzy restaurant in Portland over a bottle of wine chatting about how fun it would be trade houses for a month. Maybe impractical and a bit brazen, given that winter is right around the corner — all the social events that tug on the heartstrings, not to mention just, how, well crazy it is to disorganize, disrupt and destroy certain routines we rely on to get us through task stack daily.
The thing is, my task stack had gotten way too detailed and minute. My life has been in need of a larger playground for quite some time. I had rabbits to re-home, bond, neuter (the last of a litter I rescued last summer) — I had essays to write that required the net of large high ceiling’d coffee houses. I had friends I missed with birthdays and presents I made for them. And I desperately needed to de-frumify. A haircut, mani-pedi, some new snazzy winter stockings, etc.
The next thing I know, I’m in the middle of a version of the movie “The Holiday.” While I needed my city and social hit, they needed less. Less stuff, less obligation and more creative space to think new thoughts and make new things. My home is very spacious and minimalistic. Opportunities for creative output are in every little pocket possible. While I was bouncing around the city and getting some long over due needs met, I received the random text of paintings being painted in my my studio, an offer to buy my easel and foodie photos around town. As they worked their long days, they had more spaces in between to do other things. As I worked in my own business as usual way, every ounce of time I had outside of that, I was out and about socializing, networking for business and bunny homes, writing in cafes, painting in cafes, planning my future, discussing the future with friends, engaging in friend’s creative projects and buying super snazzy socks.
And it didn’t stop there.
My friends turned off my heater, packed up my keys and came back to their home the day before Thanksgiving. We all planned to meet at a party 5 days later. I bundled up the bunnies at took them to a sitter and one to a foster home (now her new permanent home) dropped off my office computer at a friend’s for safe keeping and scooted on up to Seattle for sushi with family and friends. The next day, celebrated the holiday and then took the ferry to Whidbey for dinner with a friend, stayed at a gorgeous B&B, and back to Port Townsend on the Ferry for more shopping. Landed in Portland for a party with friends that night and then back to Ashland to resume what we usually call ‘a normal life.’
Yet, since I’ve been back, I can’t for the life of me remember all those routines that seemed so important at the time. I’m in a new space, ready for new life events and chapters, and a new year. Home base is great. But the perspective that’s fallen out of the recent delightful disruption makes me think that what is normal is really up for debate. Home base is important, particularly if you have children in school or work in a company vs. working your own business from a home office. Yet, still, there are so many budget sensitive creative adventures possible. We don’t have to wait for retirement anymore. There are summers with children. For work, sometimes it’s possible to arrange to work from other work site for from home for a month and take that with you where you go. Routines simply re-route themselves into new environments and we learn more about others and the world and have some fun. That seems a bit more normal to me. When I look back at November nothing bad happened. My life just grew an inch.
Bumper Sticker Ideas: Be Happy Not Perfect. OR: Put Normal Into a Pot, Make Stew.
Little brain burp there. Have a great Sunday, do it differently if you dare. ; )