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On Limbo: How it Sucks but Why it Might Be Important

Last night, I spent three hours or so with three crafty women, putting our needles and hot glue guns to work.

Correction: They put their needles and hot glue guns to work. I sat in a rocking chair and untangled two balls of yarn. Super crafty I am indeed!

The host of the evening and a good friend of mine is facing question marks all over her future. Chatting about it over our crafting projects got me thinking about limbo. Is it a necessary part of our lives? Do we have to experience limbo in order to find ourselves getting places? How does our experience in limbo change who we are and how we view the world?

This patch around our bedroom light switch has remained exactly like this for almost a year and a half. Our house has been in limbo for way too long. Sure, we’ve dabbled here and there, drafted some drawings for big projects, contemplated one option after another, drafted different drawings, declared ourselves house hunting, and then fell over in exhaustion from the confusion of it all.

(Well, maybe not really.)

Meanwhile, little things all over the house go unfinished. The hood above our stove still hasn’t been wired up. Patches requiring just a little lick of paint glare from the wall. The front room remains original to the house, grimy yellow paint and all. Our house is in limbo and we have no idea how to shake it.

But maybe it’s ok to be in limbo. Ours is an easy limbo, a limbo with no deadlines and no consequences, really, if we just stay in it. It’s what makes it all the harder to shake, but it’s also what allows us to sit back on our heels and study things. In our state of utter confusion about what future we should propel ourselves towards, we have a chance to really examine things and figure things out. Maybe things don’t have to fall into place all at once. Maybe we should go ahead and finish up all those little things we’ve been putting off in anticipation of the next big thing. Maybe, in order to push ourselves forward to that next big thing, we first have to spend our time in limbo, contemplating what’s actually important about our lives, where we want to be, and what we want our home to mean to us.

I am proud to report that, last weekend, we went to Home Depot and bought three little pots of patch paint. The paint guy had a little trouble with our paints – apparently, they changed the colourant they use to mix their paints since the year and a half that we bought the original cans. But, by the end of the day on Saturday, this patch was gone. We are moving forward, even if it’s not out of limbo.

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