Of Metaphorical Floors and Furniture

I have a whole free day and a small apartment. Magical ingredients.

So what will my day be? How will I feel about it from under the duna tonight?

This day, this life, is exactly like the time I sanded and polished the wooden floors of my little wooden house in the forest. I crowded all the furniture from the two rooms under renovation into another three. When the operation was finished the floors gleamed. They seemed vast. I realised I wanted to keep this space, this openness, this light and lightness.

So I chose what went back into those rooms, onto those polished floors.

Some objects I discarded, some went elsewhere to better effect. It was an exercise in mindfulness. As I look at this day, I know it to be so too.

When I pondered my upcoming life away from home I pondered the space and how I would fill it. I considered the activities that were important for me to feel I had gained what I wanted from my time and also the things that are important anywhere, like relationships. Then I moved those things in. Some things, like housework, joggle their way in to any life but they can be confined to a corner, not allowed to consume the available space, as they are wont to do.

It is a luxury to choose for a whole day but even when part of my day is taken with paid work, there are spaces I can choose for. What will I do during my commute? During meal preparation will I tune to radio, tv, music, silence or thoughts? What book will I read in bed?

I see two questions for any day:

What is important for me to manage my life?

What is important for me to live my life?

Managing: Keeping the machine running. Will I work through lunchtime to reduce the amount of work I take home or will I walk or chat through lunchtime to rejuvenate myself and increase my afternoon efficiency? What is the most efficient time to do the washing, the phone calls? What is the extent of my responsibility for others and how will I meet genuine responsibilities?

Living: What are the themes or even just the threads of my life and how do they translate into daily actions? Do I want to become bi-lingual, learn chess, draw with my child, spend more time lying in the grass and watching the sky, help others? What do I see as the underlying structures of my life, fully-lived and fully me? When I’m lying under the great duna in the sky, what do I want to look back on, what do I want to have placed in the rooms and on the gleaming surfaces of my life?

So now, away from the constraints of home, I choose from my fulfilling and necessary activities and ways of being and I fill my day. Today I choose writing, a walk, maybe an art gallery visit, doing the washing and relaxing over dinner with the BB, a friend and the girl who lives in the cupboard.


One response to “Of Metaphorical Floors and Furniture

  1. So funny!
    The 2nd and 3rd paras from the end define the parameters of the two extremely serious issues – managing and living – that you wanted to work on today. (Incidentally, I have no answers to any of the specific questions you asked yourself (as do we all) and I’m still grappling with them 🙂
    But in the last para you decide to forget all that stuff and “choose writing, a walk, maybe an art gallery visit, doing the washing and relaxing over dinner with the BB, a friend and the girl who lives in the cupboard.”
    Yeah girlfriend yeah and manyana manyana, just like me. And just like pretty much anyone else I guess….Brilliant post this.

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