Friday, March 1, 2013

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.

5 comments:

  1. I think it can be so hard to finish the details because it all seems so overwhelming. You should walk around and make a list of everything that needs to be done and set aside small groups to tackle each weekend!

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  2. Too often we have also been guilty of this waiting thing: Are we going to sell the house? Renovate it to sell it? Renovate it to stay in it?
    The one thing I have found about limbo is that if you just step forward one small thing at a time, it helps to set you on the path out of limbo. Paint those spots that are patched! Address that grimy yellow room! Then, if or when a great house for you comes on the market, you won't have to rush around getting all the little things done in order to list your current house. The bonus to this is that you will also get to enjoy your home while you are living there.

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  3. Well... I'm pretty sure we won't be listing any time soon. But, we have decided to go ahead and finish up the front room! We had been leaving it for so long because, if we are going to add something to the top of our house, we'd be sending all the construction through that room. Hence... limbo! I felt so relieved last week to take the few steps we did!

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  4. Yes! The list is, surprisingly, not that long, as long as you don't think about the 'original' room. But, still, you're right - totally overwhelming.

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  5. Things always work out. Not that you shouldn't have goals and ideas and hopes and intentions. But, in our experience, the times we've tried to "push" things we just ended up feeling anxiety and mental exhaustion. It seems that just relaxing about the big picture a little bit opens us up to recognizing and accepting opportunities we may have missed otherwise. Seriously, things always work out :)

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