By Tanya Ruckstuhl LICSW
There must be some term for that point in a project when you have all of your crap stuff out from whereever it normally lives and it looks like a bomb has gone off in your house and you feel completely overwhelmed by the chaos and think my home will forever look like it’s been ransacked by the Gestapo.
I was there. This week I decided to rearrange a room. Out came the tools to disassemble a large piece of furniture. They were the wrong tools. Out came clothes, suitcases, décor, art, shoes, random stuff from the corners, etc. etc. I looked around and wondered what the heck I was thinking. I was surrounded by piles of things, all out of place. It was the visual equivalent of an emergency vehicle with siren wailing. I felt paralyzed. I know from experience that when I feel paralyzed I need to ask for help.
I asked my boyfriend to help me. He has a stronger back and a better tool collection and is generally a pretty dauntless fellow. Within an hour we had the furniture disassembled, moved and reassembled. The majority of things were rearranged. The room looked much better than before the project started, never mind midstream. Embarking on this ambitious task was rewarded by a room with improved flow and less clutter.
This sense of success in turn gave me the courage to edit one of my collections down to favorite pieces and get rid of the rest. Or at least, stick them into my trunk where they are currently awaiting donation.
Change is hard. Change is necessary. The Buddhists say the only constant in life in change. If you are going through change and are facing that point where chaos overwhelms you, there are two things you can do:
- ask for help and
- keep on going.
We are not meant to do the hard parts of life alone. We all deserve to experience the delight of being needed (the helper) as well as the delight of being helped (the recipient). Just be willing to play both parts when your time comes.