When we lived in our rental house, I used to spend a significant amount of time on the weekends writing at the Starbucks down the street. I would settle in to a seat, latte on the left, notepad on the right and laptop at center stage. I had an office space at the house complete with a door that sort-of closed and a desk by a window. But, for some reason, the space never felt welcoming. Perhaps because I knew it was a temporary home, a not-so-brief stop on the way to establishing roots. Or maybe there really is something to the energy of a house being “off.” The woman that cleans for us once a month said about the rental, “No matter how much I clean, it always looks dirty.” She’s right.
Regardless of the reasons, I didn’t feel welcomed by the space. It felt almost like sitting a middle school lunch table with a group that is giving you the cold shoulder.
So I chose to sit somewhere else.
We’ve now been in the new place for seven months. My office set-up is very similar. And yet the energy is completely different. The room calls to me, invites me in with open arms. For the past seven months, I have not carried my laptop to the coffee shop. Even after being snowed in for a week, I still wanted to be in my space.
The coffee shop is now unneeded. An extraneous solution.
And so I let it go.
I uncovered another extraneous solution recently as well. In my old life, I had a garden that nurtured my soul as I tended its blooms. When I had to walk away, I mourned the loss of my plants. I missed my daily walks to talk to them and tend to them. My soul felt like the hole left when a root ball is yanked from the soil.
So I found a solution. I purchased an annual pass to the botanical gardens and replaced my daily walks in my own garden with weekly walks within the public space. And even though I was not the one to nurture them, the plants were kind enough to nurture me.
Yesterday, I received my annual renewal notice for the gardens. And I realized that I have been a stranger to them, that I have not visited in many months. I now have my own yard, not yet a garden but a still a space with possibility. And I would rather spend my time tending to it than on regular visits to the public space.
The membership renewal went into the garbage. It has become extraneous.
Life is always in flux. The needs of today may not be the needs of tomorrow. It’s all too easy to allow extraneous solutions to clutter our lives. To keep doing something because we’ve done something. But that answer may no longer fit your current circumstances. Make the effort to find the solutions that address your current problems, not the problems of your past. Make sure that your time, money and energy is going towards the needs of now rather than the problems of yesterday.
If there is a need, fill it. If it’s extraneous, eliminate it.