In a few weeks, our recently moved-into home will undergo a process of deconstruction. Demolition of the old kitchen walls, a steel beam put in place to support upstairs and hopefully, a bright, shiny new kitchen and dining area will evolve in the large new space.
It’s quite a daunting project for me, but I keep telling myself this is the last time we’re doing anything like this; I’m visualising the end result. We were originally looking for a much more sensible home; no restoration or nasty surprises. But…we found the home where we had to be; it ticked nearly all of our boxes and so a compromise was made.
There will be lots of noise, dust and rubble ahead as the builders knock down all the old walls and remove the tired old kitchen units. That’s the tough bit – a few weeks of camping out and disruption of the daily flow. I’m taking the first noisy week off and then after that, viewing my new office at the other end of the house as a retreat.
As I write this, I can feel how calm it is in here. It’s a large room, a converted part of a barn, so it has vast sloping ceilings and is difficult to heat through this unusually cold winter out here. However, the room is filled with my beloved books, plants and a couple of comfy sofas, and I love it.
It’s taken four years to reach this place. I’d had to work out of our old living room in our first French home before this; it’s only now that I can see how ‘blocked’ I’d become by not creating that separate space to work and write in. I hadn’t set a clear goal; just assuming that my office would somehow take shape one day. It didn’t.
I’ve learned that it really is important to separate home and work in some meaningful way; make a boundary, even if it can only be a mental one, especially for those of us who work from home. In the UK, I was lucky enough to have an office at the end of the garden, so that short walk there was the separation and I didn’t ‘come home’ until I’d finished work.
Sometimes we find that, through circumstance or choice, our walls come tumbling down around us and we have to rebuild our lives or some part of our life. To reconstruct effectively, it’s a very good idea to plan ahead and set our goals, once we’re ready to do that. The planning stage always seems to take much longer than the actual build, and there are alterations along the way as we find out what will work best, for us. Only doing what other people suggest, if we consciously choose that for ourselves as a good thing to do.
Finally, if we didn’t make mistakes, have the odd tumble, we’d never really learn very much at all. It’s easy to forget that the most successful people have failed many times before they reached their goal. What does success really mean to you, anyway? It doesn’t have to be traditional. That’s another topic though…