If you want to know how resilient you truly are… live through a major home renovation.
Ok, I’m kidding… sort of.
I know I’m resilient. I’ve been through a lot worse emotionally, but living at home with no kitchen and no bedroom – my mattress in the floor in another room, and my clothes scattered between a couple drawers, hangers, and bags – has been surprisingly difficult.
Before it all began, I thought “What’s the big deal?” We moved a microwave and refrigerator into the living room and bought a hot plate. I thought it would be easy. Or at least easier. First world problems, I know.
Turns out, it’s not easy for me to live without the stability of routine. And that’s what it all came down to: routine.
Without my bedroom, my entire daily routine has been non-existent. Morning alarms, 3am bathroom runs from drinking too much water too late, and simply where to put my slippers all had to be reconfigured. My routine which allowed me to move through life with some sense of flow was all but obliterated, and I had to create something new – knowing it would be temporary. Yikes!
And then there’s no kitchen. As it turns out, a hot plate is fine, if you have a working sink nearby to clean everything. Otherwise, you run the risk of clogging up the bathroom sink, which is too small and shallow to actually wash dishes. So, there have been a lot of boiled eggs.
I’m not complaining actually, even though I’ve definitely had my moments. It’s more a fascination with just how attached I had become to a certain rhythm to my day. And, interestingly, how important that rhythm is to my life.
I have friends who can pick up and travel at a moments notice with only a backpack. I’ve always admired them and wondered if I could do the same. But, secretly, I knew I could not. While I love to travel, I like to do it with a knowing of how I will be spending my nights, and moving through my days.
When I took my first river cruise a few years ago, I loved it. It’s only now that I truly realize why:
All the basic elements I need were provided for. There was stability that underscored everything. This, in turn, gave me freedom. I enjoyed wandering more, because I knew where and when I’d be returning to “home” – and more importantly, how that “home” would be when I returned.
Perhaps not everyone is like me, but this is why I feel it’s so important to know your own barometers – those measurements in life that are unique to you. For me, it’s clear that I need stability and some bit of routine in order to fly and thrive. For you, that might feel uncomfortable and limiting.
What’s great is that while it may seem easy to say that makes us less resilient, it’s simply not true. Knowing what makes you thrive is empowering, not weakening.
So, in a few weeks (hopefully) I’ll be back in my bedroom with a working kitchen. Which means, in a few weeks I’ll be even more appreciative of the stability I need to soar, and will have an opportunity to be even more deliberate about how I reinforce it.
I’d say that’s worth the sleepless nights and random discomfort. How about you?