Have you ever experienced a time when everything seems to be coming apart? I have been frustrated lately because every room in my house seems to be in a state of transition. I have to remind myself that when things come undone, it is often a good thing.
My brother is building new shelves for my office. They are up, but not yet attached to the walls. I need to paint the trim, which then needs to be attached. In the same week, my ancient office chair broke. I found a beautiful new one, but while I wait for it to come, I am sitting in an old rocking chair, which is the only one that fits the height of my desk. My office is a mess, and I am anxiously awaiting the day when my new chair comes and I can bring boxes and crates of books upstairs to join the living. I know that things have to be a mess before they can be wonderful.
My August home improvement frenzy has also resulted in finding and restoring our home’s original antique dining room light fixture. We restrung the chains and cleaned the crystals, but it can’t go up until it gets rewired. A ceiling fan in our bedroom stopped working. We took the old fan down but the new one is not yet up. Last week I bought curtains for the living room. My husband’s drill died in the middle of installation. We now have one wall with new curtains and one wall of old curtains. There is a pile of new curtains on the floor…waiting.
It goes on and on… in anticipation of a new sofa and chairs, I moved a chair upstairs. I added another chair to the living room temporarily; the chairs don’t match, but at least we have a place to sit. I have to keep reminding myself that the end result will be beautiful. I have to live in a state of transition for awhile.
Transition phases are difficult. If you watch home remodeling shows on HGTV, you will see that homeowners are often nervous during the demolition phase; ripping out all of the old walls and fixtures makes everything look worse. Everything has to come undone before the rebuilding can begin. The same is true with moving. You will have to pack up everything- dismantling your entire world, before you can move into the new place.
When things fall apart at a job, it often leads to a different job, or even a different career. In order to get a new job, you have to leave the old one- often an unsettling experience. There are moments of self doubt, “What have I done?” In my experience, though the transition is often difficult, people are happier after they have made the move. The time of uneasiness is rewarded with new challenges and the invigoration that comes with new enterprises.
Things must come apart before they can be put back together. It is the act of putting things back together that holds the promise of new life, new energy, new vision, and new creativity. If you can get through the dismantling, the re-creation will be worth it.
I am unsettled right now, but a few days or a week from now things will look better. In a couple of months my new furniture will be in place, my antique fixture will be glowing in my dining room, and my books will be on the shelves in my office. I will sit back in my new office chair and admire my home, which will finally look the way I dreamed it would look.
What about you? Have you experienced something wonderful after things come apart? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.