Apartment Therapy on Life Change
A home is a tool that you use to live with. It is a protection and aid as you reach for your goals and avoid the “arrows and slings” of daily life. When you were a student it had one purpose, now it has another. Soon it will have even another. But at every step of the way, you want to make sure that it is supporting you and not holding you back.
Holly and Chris came to me when she was pregnant with twins. Mary came to me after her parents died….
Charles came to me when he started his own company, working from home. Nancy came to be when her daughter left home for college. These are the types of life changes that wake us up in the middle of the night and make us want a change in our home or move immediately. Not surprisingly, they coincide with different stages of human growth, all of which are loosely divided by 7 year increments.
This is quite literal. It takes 7 years for every cell in your body to have completely renewed itself – meaning your body is brand new every 7 years. In addition, you will find that every 7 years you enter a new phase of maturity and development emotionally as well. This should not be that surprising. Look at the first part of our life and how our schooling naturally reflects these turning points:
you are born and live at home
you enter school – elementary level (the end of this period often seen as coming of age time for boys and girls)
you enter high school and then college, legal adulthood begins
These divisions are not random. Since ancient Greek times, children have been seen fit to enter school only at the age of 7, while full membership into adult society continued to occur at 21.
If we keep going, we may think that the numbers of the seven times table seem somewhat random, but if you think about your life and what you were or are doing at these various ages, you will find they become very accurate:
This ends the first 1/3 of life – devoted to study
This begins the second 1/3 of your life – devoted to work and family
This begins the final 1/3 of life – devoted to spiritual development
Where are you in all of this? If you consider how old you are, what you are doing and where you live, you may begin to see that these were times when change was necessary.
Now, back to the home. Your body changes, your mind grows, and your life unfolds, but your home stays the same? This doesn’t seem right. Many people have a strong urge to move, to buy a bigger apartment, or to get closer to a park when they feel these changes overcoming them. While there is nothing wrong with moving, I have seen people move and bring the same home with them. As they say, “the first thing that gets off the plane is your baggage.”
As you change, your home should change, but it need not require moving. Holly and Chris are having twins in 6 months, and they are changing their one bedroom apartment dramatically by removing the early nineties style of Chris’s bachelor years, and giving the apartment a makeover, with a nursery installed in the living room. Nancy’s son finally moved out, and now she is turning his room into the television room/library her husband always wanted to have. All of this change is the best kind, it is happening within.
A home is a tool that you use to live with. But it is not a one bladed knife or a one sided screwdriver. It is a stage that can put on many different plays, and have many scene changes. It is mutable and changeable and limited only by your imagination. So next time you feel like moving, consider changing the scenery instead.