Literally and figuratively. On purpose.
The work to replace the carpet in my house has been an on-going effort for the past six months. Sorting out the tangle of color, quality, cost, supply chain issues, and a whole host of other variables were enough of an effort. But even with this much lead time, I was dreading the actual installation. I knew it would be hugely disruptive. And it was.
I’ve lived a minimalist life style virtually all my life. Initially by fate and later by choice, having been strongly influenced by Buddhist and Stoic philosophy in my late teens. Even so, having to essentially move out of my house and back in lends a certain perspective to the areas in my life where I’m decidedly NOT minimalist. Moving clothes out of the closet and dressers was an easy half-day effort. Moving all my books and shelves took the rest of the week. And a week to move them back in. The effort wasn’t so much in the numbers and weight – although that was substantial – it was more so the consideration I gave every book as to whether to keep it or pass it on.
The purging activities weren’t the hardest part. It gets easier as I get older. The hard part was not having my books about me. Working at my computer in an empty room for a few days while I caught up on business was a decidedly exposed feeling. It turns out I often reach for a book not just for reference but for comfort, too.
As I put my home office back together, reconfigured in a different arrangement of desk, table, and bookshelves, I recognized how much my thinking has changed on various subjects as reflected in how my books were organized before the move and how they are organized (or being organized) now. The shift mandated by the carpet installation has forced me to reorganize quite a few ideas in my mind that were no longer relevant or stuck in the wrong or outdated place. Ideas and assumptions that needed to be updated or let go of completely.
All in all, I’m emotionally lighter and mentally less cluttered for having suffered through the experience. These are good things and shouldn’t wait until we have the carpet pulled out from underneath us.