I never quite understood the use it or lose it expression until I went to do a cartwheel last year in the garden. Overcome by a memory of whom I used to be, and feeling the need to make use of the wonderful, green space that welcomes me home every day, I ran across the grass, leaped into the air (or so I imagined) and fell flat on my face. I thought I had a concussion and broken both my arms, so I lay there wondering whether to laugh or burst into tears.
As I imagined how I would look when the ambulance men found me, I pulled myself up and sat on the grass. I had dirt on my face, and both my wrists hurt. I had lost it. Years of neglecting to do a cartwheel meant that I had forgotten how to do it, and my body was definitely having the last laugh.
Homes are a little similar. If we don’t use a room or a thing, it starts to feel out of place, and when we eventually do want it back, it can be uncomfortable until we get past the discovery phase again.
I see this all the time in formal Living and Dining Rooms. Many people don’t use them because we have become more casual, and they feel uncomfortable and stale, when really they just need a bit of attention. They need to be used and celebrated. Dust them off and put some fresh flowers in there. Sit in it a while. Eat your breakfast at your too-fancy dining table or have a donut on your very-posh sofa. Put your feet up on it and wiggle down into the cushions. Rearrange it a bit and look up at the ceiling. Appreciate it, and apologize. Be sorry that you didn’t use it for so long. Cheer it up by opening the curtains and straightening up the pile of junk that has been lying there for six months. Think how lucky you are to have it then promise to use it more often. Let the kids do their craft projects in there. Don’t pitch a fit if the dog jumps up on your custom-made sofa. Drink a glass of wine and eat a slice of pizza in your pajamas. Put a pile of magazines on the side table. Change the photographs in your picture frames. Dust off the brown, crunchy dried flowers (or better yet, throw them away).
We are so fortunate to have these homes, and to have an extra space is a luxury. Why not live in it, use it…… and then you won’t ever have to worry about losing it.
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/