Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Smooth Break from the Old Way


Last year's roses.

I am a follower of rules. No, really I am. Not "the" rules - maybe what I'm talking about is habits. Routines, habits, rules, whatever you want to call them, I'm more comfortable when the pattern of my day is laid out. I set up these rules and then follow them as if any other pattern of behavior is unthinkable. These routines make me feel safe, contained.

Sometimes, I strain against my own rules, feel bound by them. Many times in my life I've thrown a metaphorical malotov cocktail into my set of rules, blowing up every pattern all at once. It's an effective and dramatic technique. Kind of traumatic, though.

Sometimes there's no pushing or forcing involved. Sometimes, I just wake up one morning and live differently, as if my cherished rules had vanished, overnight, into thin air. I'm in one of those periods of time right now, breaking old habits right and left, effortlessly, seamlessly, or so it seems.

A friend tells me that anytime we bring a new room into our lives, all kinds of possibilities open up. She was referring to my new office space downtown on K Street, but what was in her mind was the metaphor of those dreams in which you discover a new room you never knew about in your house.

I like this new room in my life, I really do. I didn't have to break the door down to get in. I didn't even need a key because it wasn't locked. All I had to do was simply open the door. Presto! A new room and a fresh start. Isn't that something?


Last year's TV.

34 comments:

John Hayes said...

That observation about new rooms strikes me as deeply true-- even "re-making" a room by re-arranging etc. can have somewhat of the same effect.

The photos are both fantastic.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, John.

Interesting ... I also re-arranged the room I usually work in this week, so I guess I've brought two new rooms into my life. Wow.

Mrsupole said...

Great Photos, the TV on the sidewalk, a new room for it possibly, some say rules are made to be broken. I guess life would be boring if you never changed, when you grow, you change and then you have to make new rules. But rules are good. Without rules there would be chaos. Chaos would be bad, rules are good.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

nice metaphor....

for some reason I find the photo rose is achingly beautiful...thanks...

Michelle Stiles said...

While practicing yoga, I often get into a pose, breathe deep and "look around the room." I look inside my "inner room" trying to see what is going in that room of my body. It is great. Sometimes the room needs a little work, then I begin.
Great photos today!

Adrianne said...

Jeff and I walked by that very same little TV on the way home from dinner last night! What an oldie -- I wonder if it still works? It is probably the first discarded TV that did not get whisked away to a new home within an hour of hitting a Capitol Hill sidewalk.

Joanne said...

True metaphor, abstractly and literally; many fresh starts came when I opened new writing doors in the past year or so. Great roses, too.

Lover of Life said...

I lived in the same town for 50 years and then have moved three times in five. It upended everything I knew, and I have loved doing it. Sometimes we need to have new rooms/places/offices, etc., to give some excitement to our routines or we become entrenched and unable to change anything. It's good to shake up those patterns in our brains sometimes.

willow said...

I love the thought of making a new room! I'm very much like you, in that I feel safe and in control when I stick to my little set pattern; when I eat, when I allow myself to turn on the TV, when I do my blogging, etc. I need to be a bit more adventurous and open up to opportunity. Great post.

nessabates said...

That new room is so open and airy...lol Love the feel of it. What a cute photo. The roses are pretty :)

Peggy said...

I agree with John Haynes, Reya. My experience has been the same. When I redecorate or simply rearrange, I feel the effects.

Sandra Leigh said...

Great post, Reya. You've started me thinking about what happens to me when I travel. Whenever we move from one place to another in our RV, I get a new room, don't I? The RV is a constant, but when I open the door and step out, I step into a new room every time. Maybe that's why I'm better able to write when I'm traveling than when I'm at home. New room, new habits.

e said...

New rooms are fortuitous because they make us think in new forms, function, needs, etc. I recently had a similar experience re-arranging my largest closet. But, for all the good that can come, sometimes there is also a sadness for things passing, like the old TV, which is metaphoric for all kinds of things, really. I always like your photos, great pick up for a so-so day.

Bee said...

I hate to have my life too rule-bound. I try and avoid fixed commitments as much as possible. But on the other hand, some ritual and rules are needed for structure. All of life seems to be about getting the balance right . . . and that balancing act is so ONGOING.

You are throwing your TV out; we have decided that we need another one. (For years I have prided myself on only having one TV and rarely watching it. But the children have now colonized the one TV and it has gotten to the point where the adults NEVER watch it. Not so good either.)

That television has a wonderfully retro look to it. The photograph is mysterious and surprising in a way that I can't really pin down.

Reya Mellicker said...

Bloggers are so smart and philosophical! No wonder I love blogs and bloggers.

That TV wasn't mine. I just saw it on this morning's walk and couldn't resist taking the pic. The camera was nearly on the ground which is what gives it that strange angle.

Ya'll are making me think about traveling. Haven't gotten out of town in awhile.

runmotman said...

Speaking of travel, i am itching to get on the road as well, amybe as soon as late March, and that t.v. looks like a dinosaur...dig those dials!
I have at times tried to make use of a new room, but continually leave the door shut and forget to make use of it... it's kind of like making a resolution on the 31st and forgetting it by the 1st.

Hammer said...

"Sometimes there's no pushing or forcing involved. Sometimes, I just wake up one morning and live differently, as if my cherished rules had vanished, overnight, into thin air. I'm in one of those periods of time right now, breaking old habits right and left, effortlessly, seamlessly, or so it seems."

Reya, darlin', we have GOT to stop living parallel lives...

Reya Mellicker said...

I like our parallel lives. What's not to like?

Hammer said...

Well, for one thing, the video store's copy of Der Himmel ├╝ber Berlin is always checked out when I want to watch it again. I hold you personally responsible. (FYI: To address this matter once and for all, I just ordered my own copy on eBay. You totally owe me $5.97 now.)

Reya Mellicker said...

OK now this really is freaky because ... guess what movie arrived in the mail from Netflix today?

Reya Mellicker said...

I always liked the German name for the movie better.

Hammer said...

I was about to say that this was getting ridiculous, but then I realized no, this has been ridiculous for quite some time now.

Get out of my head, woman!!!

;-)

Delwyn said...

Virginia Satir, the wonderful therapist said,

"bless the old habit
for what it has done for you
then set it free.."

Just me said...

I love your first photo. I planted my first roses this year and, as much as I love them in bloom, I love them at the end of the bloom's life as well.

Reya Mellicker said...

Delwyn - yes, only it doesn't seem to happen on a schedule I devise. It's like I work through something and then it's over. Forever.

Just me - I love how tender roses are early in the season, how tough and intense they get later in the summer. I'm amazed these dried up old buds lasted as long as they did.

Hammer - I think you're in my head! Don't get out though ... there's plenty of unused space in my brain. Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Watch Angels over Berlin. Twice. yes? Oh yeah.

Ronda Laveen said...

Finding the unexpected in the expected is always a treat. A TV on the sidewalk is like camping in the living room.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Yes, that is something. A new room, a fresh start is also very exciting! Have fun in your new room. What rules will you make for it?

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Do you think the TV has been tossed because the country is switching to digital from analog? Hmmm.

e said...

Thanks for the invitation to send Reiki. It can't hurt. It's an energy therapy, so I always assumed the practitioner had to be in the room with the recipient...Let me know when you want to do this, and thanks again for the offer!

Poutalicious said...

I don't know why but your post and the photos made me think about the role TV plays in my life and that maybe I need to toss it out. I love how you got almost down to the ground to take the one of the TV. Excellent perspective.

Gary said...

Speaking of breaking routines...

Aren't you about due for a visit to NYC sometime soon? I want to cherish you in the big apple.

rothko said...

For some reason, this reminded me of one of my favorite Ani DiFranco songs, Dilate:

and i learn every room long enough
to make it to the door
and then i hear it click shut behind me
and every key works differently
i forget every time
and the forgetting defines me
that's what defines me

Cyndy said...

One of the things I enjoyed about being on the road with a show was sleeping in a new room each night. Each new room seemed to be a gateway into the new experiences I was about to have the next day. I miss that life, but I guess the rooms in my new house will serve the same purpose in a way.

Barbara Martin said...

The photo with the TV makes a statement, and so does the one with the roses. Well done.