One would never think that buying a new coffee table and a rug for the family room would actually be a good thing to do during a pandemic, but I have to tell you, it worked out really well for me. Maybe it is the abundance of HGTV shows I’ve been watching with my newfound down time, or the fact that I have some available moments to peruse the internet for the perfect coffee table, but I’m happy to say my vision for the family room is finally coming together. But let me back up and start at the beginning.
My family room had always been a space primarily for us to play with our kids, or for the kids to play with each other and their friends. At first we just had an old couch in there from Paul’s days of bachelorhood, and it then quickly became filled with every kind of toy one could imagine. Geotraks, Imaginext, Little People, pretend kitchens…you name it, they had it. Lucky ducks! The family room was a place for playing, but not really one for gathering.
Jump ahead more than a decade and there are no more toys, sniff, sniff. Sure the kiddos have friends over and they play video games and board games down there, but it is finally time for me to get intentional with my space. What are the things I want to do in this room and how do I want to feel? What do the other members of my family want to do here and how do they want to feel when they walk in this room? I’ll admit, I do kind of want my way and I want it to be right for me, but I live here with my family and it needs to be right for them too, and their needs and perspectives should be taken into account as well. They need to have the freedom to utilize the space and feel comfortable doing so. As much as I would like it to be, it can’t just be Jenny’s Room. (Does anyone see a she-shed in my future?) So what is the goal of the space?
My intention for this room is to bring people together, for games, movies and for entertaining friends and hosting parties. This nice new couch we bought almost a year ago can easily seat 6 or 7 people, and my round coffee table fits right in front of the curvy part of the couch. I’d like to add another chair eventually, but someone can easily pull over the ottoman to sit down as well. Ultimately we could have about ten people, gathering, laughing, talking and drinking. Ahhh, that warms my heart.
The family room is also my peaceful place. I used to always sit in the living room for my morning ritual, but this transitioning family room is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house. I now sit across from the huge, double, sliding doors and take in the bounty of nature as I read, write and meditate. It makes me super duper happy and when mama’s happy, everyone is happy. Well, that’s not true, but at least I’m spreading good juju .
When it all comes together, I will post some pics of the family room. Until then, I will think with intention for the room, consciously making choices about how I can unify the the space with the items in it, and remembering to think not only about what is right for me, but what works for others, as well.
And all these thoughts lead me to where my heart has been, as I see our society becoming ever more polarized. There is just a heavy place in my chest, as I watch the news or engage in social media.
What I notice is that we are all just lambasting each other and there’s an abundance of hateful, thoughtless conversations and comments happening. I have often cried. I don’t care what our political affiliation, race, creed, or sexual orientation is, we all need to take a deep breath. Do it with me. Ahhhhh. Take another one. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Let’s go for three. Mmmmm. Much calmer now, right?
We need to design our inner spaces and create our energy with the same care we use for our outer environment. Before we speak or post, how about we ask ourselves, what is my intention here? Do I want to bring people together or split our communities apart even further? Is it my goal to mock another person or group? How do I want other people to feel after I comment? Am I looking for people to validate my point of view, forgetting there are other perspectives out there I can explore? Do I want to yell at you through my computer and show you how right I am? Just like my family room, what is right for me might not be right for those around me. Can I consider others? Can I think about things from another perspective, so that perhaps more needs can be met, and not just my own?
My kids are growing up and evolving, as well as my hubby and I, and the spaces in our house are changing with us. What we really need in our home right now is a place for us gather, to come together and have the freedom to be ourselves and do the things we love to do in a beautiful, peaceful place. Ultimately, isn’t that what we want for our society? Let’s all, each and every one of us, take the time to be a little more intentional and a little kinder. It’s time for us to come together.