You may want to renovate, but feel there’s just no time right now. Maybe you’re waiting patiently for an open window in your calendar. If so, is that really something that will sort itself out on its own? Here are some common things we tell ourselves when deciding to delay a home project:
These are all reasonable concerns, and, frankly, I can relate. However, I have come to believe that there will never be a point where the foreseeable future looks wide open and easy. That’s because there will always be another tough project at work, another family obligation, another holiday to get through, or just a general sense of being overwhelmed.
And not knowing how long the project will take speaks to the uncertainty we all feel when taking on a new, seemingly open-ended process. If you haven’t done anything like this before, then you will be learning as you go, and that involves falling down a bit when you encounter unfamiliar territory. But the positive outcomes will win out in the end. Additionally, a great feeling of empowerment normally results from conquering new challenges.
Time is much more adaptable than we allow ourselves to believe. Yes it is technically a finite quantity. But how we use it is not as predetermined as we think. I’ve heard it said that work is like air — it will expand to fill whatever container you put it in. If you allow it, work can fill a container so big that there is no room for other containers. If we don’t create boundaries and compartments for all the important things in our lives, then we run the risk of denying ourselves some of the best experiences life has to offer.
I bet you regularly find time in your schedule that you didn’t know was there, simply because you feel it’s necessary. If you decide something is important to you, and it has to happen, then you will likely just make it happen. You will create that container labeled, for example, “Kitchen Renovation” and it will fill with the time needed to bring that vision into being. And although that means other activities, perhaps social, perhaps professional, will necessarily have to share time with the kitchen, you will discover that it’s all possible.
More importantly, when it’s complete, you’ll be in a new place physically and psychologically, which will complement those other activities so much that you may regret having waited so long to do it. It’s amazing how much inspiration we draw from our surroundings. So designing a kitchen isn’t simply draining time away from your work or your social life. It may actually recontextualize your daily life in such a way that these activities feel different.
Leaving for work in the morning after spending time energizing in your new kitchen can make you invigorated for the day. Returning home from work to that same kitchen becomes a breath of fresh air and your home a greater zone of solace. Maybe instead of going out to socialize you start hosting friends more often.
Yes, it sounds a little like investing money. But we don’t often think of time this way. After all, no matter how nice your new kitchen is, it can’t put extra minutes on the clock … or can it? For starters, you may find your cooking and dining routine has become more efficient and orderly – more inspired. You might end up taking fewer trips to the grocery store, because you have your system down to a science now, and you always have what you need. You may actually spend more time cooking, simply because you enjoy it – quality time, rather than vegging out on your phone, which can feel like lost time.
But let’s look deeper into the concept of experiential time. We’ve all had this happen: we look at the clock and can’t believe how much or how little time has passed since we last checked. Time seems to move faster or slower depending on the situation. The good times fly by and the bad times drag, or so it appears to us. My belief is that psychologically, we experience time as a balance between quantitative and qualitative, and one reason the good times seem to go quickly is because we don’t allow ourselves enough of them.
If quality time is a rarity, of course it will go too quickly, because we know it may be a while before we get to feel that way again. Creating your dream environment will result in more quality time. You may even come to expect it as a regular part of your day, a necessity rather than a rare luxury. Your experience of time changes with each improvement you make in life.
So your newly designed home effectively can buy you more time – the time you love and need to experience personal fulfillment.