I have always had a passion for arranging furniture. As a young 20-something living at home, my mother was subjected (almost weekly) to the thunder above her head as I moved my bed and dressers single-handedly. I’d “walk” the dressers, one end at a time, scooting them a few inches one way and then scurrying around to the other side to lift them forward another few inches. Back and forth I’d go until they were where I envisioned them. I liked mixing things up, having a new “look” to the room without having actually purchased anything. I loved chasing away the staleness simply by moving things around.
Re-arranging furniture became a passion that followed me into my own home. As husbands go, I was lucky enough to have married not one, but two, who were extremely tolerant of my obsession. My first husband, however, used to say that if ever he were to come home in the dark, he’d kill himself because nothing was where it was when he left. My current husband says nothing and lets me to my business. We have some “rules” about where his chair can and cannot be, but that aside, he lets the placement of everything else in my hands.
Physically arranging rooms gives me a sense of having some control (over what, I’m not sure)…and a nice sense of temporary satisfaction. It’s a channel for nervous energy. When the next wave hits, you can find me hip-checking a chair across the floor.
Of course, the older I get, the less I can do this. At least not alone. At 50, I’m much too tired to try out my arrangements by myself. Instead, I sit and wish for the sofas to be in a different configuration and wait for my husband to return from work. Inwardly, I cringe when I ask him to humor me, once again, and move not only the sofas but the other pieces as well. (He knows I have to move the whole thing. Move one piece and it throws everything off!)
It’s been said that our actions reveal our thoughts. If that’s true, one would think I am never satisfied for very long, that I constantly need change. But that would be a big fat negative, and I’m done with those. I would argue, rather, that my passion/habit/whatever has taught me things about myself. For instance, it has revealed…
- I like “options” and lots of them!
- Exercising is evil unless I’m nesting and then it’s actually blissful.
- This is the only time I don’t mind sweating.
- Shuffling things around is a challenge that appeals to both my task-oriented and problem-solving personalities. (Yes, just two of many.)
- Finding a new, pleasing room arrangement is like solving a large puzzle!
- I’ve finally learned how to watch my toes and not run over them with heavy objects.
- It’s a great opportunity to clean the places you don’t normally clean. (Come on! Admit you don’t vacuum underneath the couch every time!)
So great is this love, I’ve actually re-arranged the rooms of two friends’ homes. At their request, of course.
Yes, I’m slowing down a bit now. Technology has supplied compulsive personalities like mine with apps that do this very thing virtually. I haven’t tried them. It seems almost, I don’t know, sacrilegious. It doesn’t come with the same satisfactions, or the same health benefits that the real deal does. And let’s face it… someone still has to clean underneath the sofa.