Toward the end of last year, I found myself craving both quiet and alone time.
I was more than ready to spread out in the comfort of a singular space where I’d have freedom to release, create, and just be without fear of interruption.
It had been an extensive number of years that my family of four was crammed into a three-bedroom home with two additional roommates. Hardly an hour passed without my envisioning a more ideal setting where we’d have the luxury of occupying our entire place.
Then, on the eve of the fourth of July, my husband and I celebrated his promotion, which signified the end of our financial sacrifice, the beginning of freedom in our home—and no more roomies.
Every evening around 8 p.m. now, I plop myself onto our grey, modern reclining sofa, which sits perfectly placed against the eastern wall of our tiny but charming family room, to happily enjoy some official me time. While I sit in (so much!) gratitude and study how to make over this perfect-sized room with its tea-green walls, French glass doors, lively plants, and cozy energy, I recognize some redecorating is necessary in order to bring more cohesiveness and ingenuity in.
A solid beige (or maybe blue) accent chair would really compliment the couch, and although lovely, the pastel turquoise(ish) TV console with its gold floral detail is too busy for the stunning Inca-inspired rug I’d happened upon while furniture shopping months ago in anticipation of reclaiming this space.
As I wandered around the store that day at a lightning pace, yawning from boredom since I’d not found any pieces of interest, I recall whispering to myself, “Janie, slow down.” You see, I’m naturally a swift walker with less than ideal eyesight. As I listened to that voice, my pace slowed, and my focus naturally increased. It was in that moment that I looked down and caught sight of a beautiful rug. I eagerly moved closer to investigate its cost, only to find a tag that read, “Not for Resale.” Rude! All good, though. At that point, nothing could stop me from finding that rug…and elsewhere I did!
Now that I can enjoy this brilliant piece laying atop our home’s original hardwood floors that my husband worked so hard to stain and refinish, it speaks to me—with its peachy and liquid blue geometrical lines that parallel and cross and move within a tribal design, reminiscent of the genius art that the natives left behind for us all to enjoy.
Distant daydreams of ancient sewing techniques fall upon me and I think of how each pattern was woven with pride, great care, and diligence to create meaningful intricacies that only one with a profound awareness could. Like the geoglyph Nazca lines of Peru or the great pyramids of ancient Kemet, it revels in uniqueness and history and wisdom and artistry.
As I dive into each squared dimension of the rug, I’m so captivated by the detail, I transcend any remnants of the day’s activities that don’t serve me.
What does each shape symbolize? How were such eccentric designs concocted? Some of the patterns take form of animals, while some resemble the Eye of Heru and other ancient symbols of protection and majesty. In an ancient era, how much time and energy would such a project have required without the convenience of a sewing machine? Or was time, back then, even worthy of measurement?
Regardless, the beauty and unbridled energy of this grounded motif in this quaint room takes me away—like Calgon. Like magic. Staring at it energizes me to stay focused on my current commitments, while celebrating personal successes and treasuring beauty the surrounds me. My “magic carpet” made its appearance in that furniture store when I was feeling encouraged because of my family’s decisions to live below our financial means in order to create more happiness for ourselves in the future.
To that end, willfully making joy a priority, along with a little optimism, is what yields more joy in our lives, I think.
So, whether contentment is found by working consistently toward some long or short-term goal, by daydreaming about the history of beautiful, artistic rug, or simply in noticing sweet little brown birds wallow in dirt to (ironically) clean their feathers outside of the kitchen window, our individual daily grinds can yield limitless nuggets of creativity, insight, and reward—if we are only open and present enough to receive them.