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  • Writer's pictureMelina Meador

What Physical Change Do You Need to Make? Or The Chair That Changed My Life

About a year and a half ago my husband and I loaded up our two little babies in the double stroller and walked to an estate sale about 2 miles away from our home. It was a lovely B & B whose owners were closing it down and there were antiques for sale: bed frames, armoires, side tables, those kinds of things. We had mainly walked to see the owners who were friends of ours and to cheer them on in their hopes of selling items but we found ourselves gazing at two armchairs with longing. They didn’t match, they were actually kind of hum drum boring beige-ish (I am so a velvet, purple chair-person) but somehow…well, this was a classic case of Mama Bear wanting a softer, plusher chair and Daddy Bear looking at the firmer chair with much admiration. We didn’t purchase them then but later in the day, when we found out they hadn’t sold, we decided that it was a sign from heaven: the chairs came to our house in the back of my husband’s pick-up. Yes!

Specifically, they came to our bedroom. We had had one chair in there already which was ok but we needed another. We moved that out and set up these two chairs with a side table between. It sounds simple and it was. (Dale did all the lifting.)

I see now, 18 months later, that this changed my life. No, really. Here’s how:

First, I started keeping my books and journals in one place (on said table) rather than scattered around everywhere. This made it so easy to know where my stuff was! Just that change was such a timesaver.

Second, when I got up early, which I was starting to do so that I could have time to think before the children woke up, I had a cozy place right across from my bed to sit down. I got a cup of coffee and peacefully dug into my day’s reading before I was really even awake. What a lovely way to start each day. I believe in “easing” into the morning. (My friend Katey used this word when she was at our house last month and I was just like, “Yes, yes that is the perfect word for what I want in the morning!”)

All this brings me ask the question: What else needs to move around in my house or car or yard? And what would happen if I just made some changes? A small change – like last week I moved our kitchen table, where we eat most of our meals, on the diagonal instead of straight on. It’s moved just inches but it somehow makes it seem bigger in there. It has made me smile more times than I can believe. Or perhaps a large one? Is it time to move? Switch rooms between family members? You see what I’m saying.

I heard an amazing story about how the government conducted a study during the Vietnam war on U.S. soldiers. It found that around 60-70% were using illegal drugs consistently. When the soldiers moved back to the states another study of the same group found that that number had dropped to less than 15% (I kind of forget the true number, here… sorry. Lame. But the point of the story rings true anyhow) and the main difference was the switch in physical location – and certainly less stress and less ease of access Stateside compared to Vietnam at the time though those things are tangential to the physical location. The point I take to heart here is that in order to kick even a strong bad habit - like a heroin addiction - a physical move is a strong start.

The moving of physical objects around us or moving ourselves into a new setting really comes down to showcase the power of habit. It’s such a cliché but we do just go on along with our routines and if we can switch it up in order to read more or exercise longer or spend more time playing games with our children or our friends, ya… that’s what I’m talking about. Do you have a story of how something silly changed your life for the better? Or how about for the worse? Yikes. It could work that way, too. (That’s why I hate TV’s…it’s just so easy to turn it on and before you know it, it’s always on, sucking up limited mental attention. Or maybe that's just me.) Anyway. Do tell!

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