Sunday, October 30, 2016

Numbers and Letters

"Let's play the numbers and letters game," I would declare. Then whichever of my siblings wanted to spend an hour dreaming of a better life would pile onto the couch and the fantasy would begin.

It went like this:
  1. The person sitting in the middle would hold the J.C. Penney catalogue.
  2. We would claim a letter and a number. "A" and "1" were the best.
  3. We would then flip through nearly every page of the catalogue, identifying which outfits, toys, and home furnishings would become "ours" based on the numbers and letters we had chosen. If you picked A or 1, whichever item bore that letter or number in the catalogue would go in your fantasy home. 
We would play this invented game for hours, going through nearly the entire catalogue, skipping only the men's fashion and tools. 

Numbers and letters was complemented by other games my siblings and I played together. Games that involved creating 2D architectural renderings of our dream homes, or building elaborate homes out of wooden blocks and Fisher Price toys. We would set up our tableaus in places where they could live for days at a time (i.e., under the dining room table, in the attic), because building a home took more than one day. 

As an adult who has had more than her fair share of therapy, I know now that, at least for me, the Numbers and Letters game helped satisfy the longings I had as a poor kid living in an increasingly wealthy and materialistic world. 

This week, The 52 Lists Project asked me and BMG to make a list of things we would do to rejuvenate our space, My brain immediately keyed into my own longings about the tiny space in which I live today, particularly the cluttered office and our pantry.  

The spare bedroom, aka the office, that I share with BMG today

The pantry/cat box space/utility storage/laundry room at The Tiny Bungalow

So let's play the grown-up version of the Letters and Numbers game. And instead of using the J.C.Penney catalogue, I'm using

So, if I had all the resources in the world to rejuvenate my current space, I would:

1. Create a tidier, lighter feeling office space. Maybe something like this?

2. BMG uses the office almost entirely for storage. Which means he's ALWAYS in the living room - working, playing, relaxing, napping. If I could, I would add comfy seating to our office, so I can have a space to which I can retreat when I need some alone time or want to escape the inevitable sound of snoring on weekend afternoons. Maybe something like this?
Atlantic Archives Images

3. Moving on to the utility room, rejuvenating this room means creating a space that doesn't put food in such close proximity to cat poop, and doesn't require sweeping every day in the fight against the our cats' desire to pave the floor with cat litter. Something like this? 
Laundry Room

4. I would also like to have a utility space with exceptionally efficient storage, solid shelves, and maybe a and a tidy counter, a place that doesn't overwhelm me with the constant need to rearrange things to make it look less cluttered, to make the food being stored more accessible. Maybe something like this:

5. While I'm dreaming about rejuvenating my space, I'd also like to request a tiny meditation space, where I can go to breathe. This would be a space that is all my own, a space where I don't have to share or compromise, where I don't have to navigate my husband's clutter, where I am not confronted by housework I have to do, bills I have to pay, obligations I need to meet. Maybe something like this:
Park Hill
Photo by Sheri Kaz Designs - Search Asian home gym pictures

I know I'm solidly middle class, living a life of privilege. BMG and I have enough money to shelter, clothe, and feed ourselves without having to struggle. By all accounts, mine is a good life and is typically one without complaints.

But, I still have longings. There is still a 10-year old self inside of me, who longs to have the finest things that she can possibly imagine. 

Thanks for the dream time, 52 Lists

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