Life is like building ikea furniture

As we passed through the living room to get ready for bed, my dear husband noticed my piles on my desk (which is in the living room). I tried to hide my desk by putting the sofa in front of it (kind of like making my desk a sofa table–that’s a real design thing, right?). Let’s just say Brad and I have different organizational styles and mine is kind of on the messy side. I admit it–I AM kind of a pile person, and I need stuff out-in-the-open so that I will remember things. He is a putter-awayer.

It all comes down to real estate of the house. I needed a space to work that you couldn’t see right when you walk in the door. So, we came up with a great solution of putting a desk in our sunroom and i could use all the existing furniture to store all my “accessories.” So, after selling 5 bags of books to clear out one bookcase, and throwing away/keeping loads of children keepsakes, I was ready for a new desk.

Since all our other furniture in the room was Ikea-made, and I had had my eye on the Hemnes secretary desk for years, I set out to my local Ikea. I was excited! I love(d) building furniture, so I looked forward to another adventure with wood, prefab screws, and wooden dowels.

I’m not sure why inspiration hit me at this building opportunity. I have been on a “self-identification journey” for a couple of years and in the last 6 months I’ve made a lot of progress. It all started about three years ago when I started to question why I was doing what I was doing. I was in a rut at work. But I couldn’t complain (even though I did, a lot). I had my own business, I worked with great people, and I only worked like 20 hours a week. But, there was something nagging at me that felt like I was doing something wrong, like hey, I should be happy–but i’m not and I feel kind of guilty about it. The guilt! That’s maybe what that feeling was! Even when life should be good and you still feel unfulfilled.

Fast forward to this year. This year already has been pretty incredible. One kid studying half way across the world, and the other one getting ready to graduate high school! That’s enough for any mom to deal with, but it was in the angst that I really learned about life and the amazing gifts that I’ve been given.

A few of things that I learned that I kind of knew and had heard before, but that I heard now and I was ready for it:
1. Everything always works out–always, even if it’s not how we think or want it to.
2. Thoughts and speech turn into our reality.
3. I am worthy of everything that I want. Everything. It’s not greedy to want a lot and I actually deserve/came to this life to have it all.

Back to my new “office” situation…
There I sat, putting my new Hemnes desk together and lots of random thoughts start going through my mind:
…I like putting this stuff together…
…is this what everyone does? what do other people do for furniture (like my friends who wouldn’t be caught dead with a drill in their hands)
…other people order furniture and it gets delivered already put together…
…why don’t I do that??
…is it because I don’t feel worthy? and I have to put together my own furniture to punish myself?
…is it because I am a control freak and I need to do it my way?
…is it because I have no sense of delayed gratification and I need to have it NOW?

Yeah, my mind wanders and it can get ugly in this ole head of mine (like most of us I’m sure).

But, then I say, HEY, STOP! This is like your life!!! This is why you actually LIKE doing this! Roll with me on this…

When I picked out my piece of furniture, I could see what it will look like, what I will use it for, how I will feel when it’s there, etc. I felt good about the idea and my envisioned outcome. So, I trekked on over to the store, got the right boxes and headed home. I laid it all out in anticipation of my new desk. As I started putting things together, I had a sense of creating something–even though I was just following some random picture directions. I felt good because I could actually put this thing together! I could feel and see it taking shape and as crazy as it sounds, it was exciting to me to think of using this new desk that I put together with my own two hands. I will admit, there was a little rough patch where I DIDN’T understand the pictures and got a little frustrated, and started to feel kind of dumb, but instead of crying and throwing a little pity party (yes, embarrassingly, that is what I have done in the past with many DIY projects), I just moved on.

And I realized, that it’s just like my life. I know what I want, I know what I want it to look like and I want instantly. But, the fun and excitement I found was in the creating, the satisfaction of putting the pieces together and creating what I wanted–bringing it into reality. If I just bought my furniture, I might have less of an appreciation for how it got put together.

It doesn’t really matter if you like to make furniture or not. This post could just as well have been about going on a family vacation. We all have a vision for something, even if it’s just for what the next few moments bring. What we don’t always realize is this: Life is about the process of the putting together of the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. It’s important to have a vision and to know what you want, but it’s just as important to enjoy how you get there. There may be some hiccups along the way, but they are usually the things you hone in on what it is you want.

I hope you liked this. It has helped me to keep life in perspective and enjoy the journey each moment. 🙂 Elyse


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