The great reproductive disaster of my 30s left me feeling like I was in limbo most of the time. Caught between cycles, between doctors, between losses, between jobs, and torn between my desire for a living child and my steadily increasing fear that there could easily be even bigger disasters to come if we continued to try. It was chaotic and draining and, to be honest, pretty terrifying most of the time.
I often look back and wonder how I survived it at all.
The interesting thing is, the limbo extended to my personal space too. Things were left unfinished, unpacked, unpainted, unsorted. And I desperately wanted to leave this house. If it wasn't the place where we were going to raise a family, I didn't want it anymore. We bought it for that reason, and without children to fill it, it felt like it didn't fit us anymore. And neither did the neighbourhood, with its ever-growing collection of kids spilling out of almost every door but ours.
We turned Thomas' nursery into a sitting room a few months after he died, and we used a third bedroom as a shared office. But the last room sat filled with random bits and pieces--the change table, the old corner hutch from my childhood bedroom, and a lot of junk. It was like a middle aged woman in the midst of a midlife crisis with no idea what she was doing or where the hell her life was headed. Um, yeah...
It was part storage room, part "just in case" room. I just didn't know what to do with it and couldn't commit to anything. So there it sat, along with my gnawing desire to just pack up and leave it all behind.
Luckily I'm lazy, and married to someone who hates moving. We're still here. And I'm very slowly but surely making the house into something that does fit.
That extra room is no longer idle. Far from being a dumping ground, it's now doing double duty, acting as both my office and craft room (where the aforementioned yarn closet resides). It's taken some time to settle in--and there's still plenty of organizational/storage work to be done--but today I put pictures on the wall. And that's always a sign that I'm planning to stick around for a while.
Last year My Beloved had an artist friend draw three illustrations of Dibley (fat boy cat) for my birthday. Patricia Storms captured his essence with absolute perfection.
This is my favourite:
All three Dibley illustrations are now on the wall above my desk (an old kitchen table), where I can be inspired and amused by them every time I sit down at my computer. Because inspiration is never more important than in an office or craft room.
The change table remains. The top drawer is filled with Thomas-related mementos, but the rest of the drawers are packed with art and craft supplies. On the wall above it is a cross-stitched bedtime prayer that used to hang in my nursery and was earmarked for Thomas'. My grandmother stitched it nearly 47 years ago for my sister's nursery, and it got passed down the line. I couldn't bear to put it in storage, so up it went, right next to a porcelain kitchen clock (which steadfastly refuses to keep time) that used to be in my grandparents' cottage.
I realize this room sounds like an interior design nightmare of mismatched furniture and random sentimental keepsakes--and I suppose it is--but it's a cozy and comfortable space that I am slowly falling in love with.
And that's saying a lot for a storage room that used to be stuck in limbo.
Moving forward is good.