I Need Space. (From the “It’s Not You, It’s Me” files)

So. Yeah. I’ve been thinking. And I’ve got to tell you, I really do need some space.

And I’m not the only one.

This weekend I heard someone speak about space. More specifically how we should all create it…create a personal, spiritual place for ourselves…in our homes. Sacred space. A place where we can connect with ourselves, our thoughts, our dreams, our God, etc. A place where we should deliberately spend some time to re-know ourselves, or recognize ourselves. He spoke about this in an incredibly lengthy and fantastic way, but that was the basic gist.

But this is nothing new.

Virginia Woolf wrote about it, um, 78 years ago.

Hemingway expressed the same thing in his own way almost 74 years ago. Although, obviously, his clean well-lighted place would also double as a stocked bar.

And, frankly, I like the sound of that.

The Queso has been a great space for me. But like a greedy child, when I get a little bit of something, I want more. I want some real-life space. And I’ve decided I need a sacred space of my own.

The thing is, we live a house that was built just a few years before Hemingway’s writing. Back in a time before houses had extra rooms, guest rooms, room-sized closets, and frankly, any room in general.

So, I really don’t have the room.

The guy I heard speak this weekend said…”If you feel you don’t have any room for it, well, there’s a metaphor you can work with.”

Hm. Right. But even if I did find any space to squat and claim, it would take a lot of time, energy, creativity, and potentially some serious muscles to make it my own.

The guy said…”If you feel you don’t have time to create it, well, there’s a metaphor you can work with.”

Okay. Yeah. I get it. But, if I did take this space, I’d be the only adult in the house with any room of my own. The HcQ and I share every single bit of air allowed in our “quaint cottage” (sometimes I chose to use Realtor terms). There is no extra space for anything. We. Are. Streamlined. People. Everything has a purpose and a place. Frankly, it would be selfish to take any space and use it for something not extremely pragmatic.

But the guy said…”If you feel like you don’t deserve it, or you feel ashamed or wrong to have it, well, there’s a metaphor you can work with.”

Right. And I guess it is somewhat practical to foster sanity. In theory.

So, I talked to the HcQ about it. And he essentially grunted that whatever I decide is fine with him. Basically, he couldn’t care less.

So, to review: I’m over my guilt, I’m over my laziness, and I’ve overcome our lack of space. I found a room. One room, the only space we have, that doesn’t get used (except to store junk)…right…you guessed it, the dining room.

So I’m taking it over. I’ll keep you posted.

But more importantly, and back to you, do you have a space of your own? If so, what does it look like? What do you use it for? Etc. Or. Do you wish you had a space of your own? And if you could have one, what would your dream space be?

Just curious. Because I need ideas. I mean, since it will be my very own space, I’m thinking I could move in a trampoline. Or a Ms. Pac Man machine. Or a pink pony. Really, the options are endless.

*My smart friend Melaney gave me the above book years ago, and I’m just now taking it seriously. It’s good. You can pick it up in a variety of places, including here.

The Details

0 Responses to I Need Space. (From the “It’s Not You, It’s Me” files)

  1. theflyingmum says:

    Yes, I MUST HAVE that space of my own. I like crafty projects, but the only space to do that is right next to the computer I am currently typing on, which is in the TV room, which is currently showing "All Dogs Go to Heaven," which my 5 year old son is currently watching and for some reason needs to ask me "Why did Charlie put crabs in there?!", "Will Charlie get his collar back?" AAAARGH "DON"T ASK ME QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MOVIE!!! I DON"T KNOW, OKAY?!"There's always the potting shed – oh wait, no the roof blew off last month and the interior is currently completely filled with sheet of new roofing…*sigh*

  2. Becky says:

    I have a closet. Next to the closet, which is in our oddly oversized master bedroom, is a row of furniture: a sickly-old lamp that I picked up at a garage sale for $0.50 to add extra light, a 40-year-old sewing machine embedded in it's 40-year-old sewing machine table, my grandfather's desk that I refinished and a baker's table of equal height that I thrifted for $20 and refinished to match. The latter are covered with scrapbooking supplies and things that I am supposed to put on a shelves I started making 5 months ago that go above the desk and table, once they get finished and hung.This is my space, but is precariously close to the space I share with my hubby when we're sleeping, so really, the closet is the only space that really just belongs to me.

  3. Melanie Hess says:

    I had a whole house before I got married. 1300 glorious square feet. And while I very seldom resent having to share that space, occasionally I'd like to leave my current craft project out on the table and not worry whose way it would get in. I think a space of one's own is crucial. Take over that dining room! Make it yours! The work it takes to transform it will have a goal to it, making it SO much less tedious.And show us what it looks like when you're done!

  4. kim says:

    I have a living room, but it is open. I need steel doors and sound proof walls. I have a bumper sticker in our mud room that says "I've child-proofed the house and they still keep getting in". That pretty much sums up my attempts at creating space (mental or physical)of my own.

  5. Julie Pippert says:

    I have an office. And a book reading love seat in my bedroom.I have not managed to communicate the sacredness of this space to anyone in my family, all of whom must be closet extroverts.I have managed to convey it about the dining room…the only nicely done up and decked out grown-up room in the house. I like to stand in the doorway and gaze at that room, and I do it a lot. It's neat. It's clean. It's updated and in our style. I'm proud of that room. It reminds me that there can be calm. And order. And adult-space.GL with your dining room!

  6. Nate says:

    Our house is wonderful – it came with a lovely bedroom up a half flight of stairs, with closets – I got the big one – and a den, which is where my version of HcQ keeps all his music-listening-to-stuff and his really expensive bourbon.So, I took the other spare bedroom. I threw together some wonderful clapboard Ikea shelves, moved in my tons and tons of books, my workout equipment – which I keep stylishly hidden by a quilt from India – and there was much rejoicing. I'd make a huge mess in there while writing/grading/reading/thinking, but on the whole it was wonderful.Then we got a dog.I love the dog; I wasn't sure it was possible to love a dog this much. But he's taken over my room. And then we got a new couch, and the old couch had to go in my office. And then – for some reason – my bike had to move into my office, instead of its home in the dining room, WHERE IT WAS BOTHERING NO ONE. Now, I don't have a room. And the room that I do have smells like dog, and it wasn't until I wrote this comment that I realized how frustrating the whole situation is. Oh, we're having a talk at my house tonight. ::walks away muttering incoherently to self::

  7. luckyzmom says:

    Several years ago a close friend suggested I stop calling it a junkroom and call it my "Studio". I have had my own space since 1986 and I am just now understanding how lucky I have been.It is now very cluttered and full of too much unclassified (what should I do with this) stuff. I seldom do anything but toss more unclassified in there. It is intended to be my "Studio" for real now because I am really an amazing painter. When I paint. Which I haven't been. You have inspired me.

  8. citymama1 says:

    We live in 600 sq ft. New York apartment, so I know the value of space. Unfortunatly, I have none of my own, but I'm optimistic about the future and one day having a room or corner I can call mine. And when that day comes it will be filled with books and pretty things, comfy chairs and pillows, a large desk with my own computer and plenty of storage and work space for my new scrapbooking hobby, or whatever new venture I choose. It'll be lovely. Can't wait for that day! And of course I will have fresh flowers everyday.

  9. Lisa says:

    I am a big believer in this. A follower of Virginia Woolf's philosophy. Mine's just a desk in the corner of my bedroom, but it's something. I'm working on a storage room-turned-art studio. . . I also believe that this much needed "space" is "time of one's own" as well.

  10. mark says:

    Good luck with your conquest of the dining room. I think a Ms. PacMan arcade machine is a must. That game nearly ruined my life… okay, not really, but she may be my one true love. I have lots of spaces that are my own. It's not fair, I'm sorry, but that's the trade off – be a single (maybe lonely) guy and not share anything, or be in love, get married and share everything. Happy Valentine's Day to the whole house con Queso!

  11. shopper says:

    Kidlet moved into a new room over the summer, and then I took over her old room. I painted it and did a total re-do. It is MY room. My clothes, jewelry etc. are in there and I love it. The only problem is they follow me there. ;) Our house is cottage style. In that room I have an antique bed and tons of my vintage stuff in it. It's very girly and very comfy. Good luck in making your space you. :)

  12. fiz says:

    Yeah, I guess I have space. I haven't yet roped off any particular five feet of space for "creative/fun zone" but when it's yours, you're free to do what you will in your dining room, living area, sleeping quarters.You're welcome to an LA "working" 100 square feet of my loft, just so you know.

  13. Lady M says:

    Taking over the dining room is a great idea! When we moved into this house, we put all our unopened boxes in the dining room instead of the garage. The cars could go into the garage, but we'd never had a dining room before anyway, so we wouldn't miss it.It later became our project space. Big sewing projects could be tackled for weeks at a time. I miss sewing and the time to do it. Now that the little one is underfoot, I can't risk losing stray pins on the ground. Oh well, in a couple of years he'll be old enough to start helping. ;)

  14. Bek says:

    The kitchen is my space. The kids are not allowed in unless I say so (that is only kind of kidding). I have baby gates on the doors and I can escape in here and chill out (I even put a big comfy chair in it…and it is a small space…priorities..). I feel like it is the only place in the house that is mine. We never use out dining room as a dining room. We have always used it as a play room/toy room, etc. Works for us. I think we should all turn our (usually) underused dining rooms into something we really need. I love this concept.

  15. LaLa says:

    My bedroom. But then I am single so I get it ALL to myself. :)

  16. Super Zoe says:

    My whole apartment is my space! I love it. But, if I have to choose one room for my sacred-space making peacefulness…I have always been a living room girl. That formal living room with fancy furniture and dusty books that no one goes into but me. But again…I think I am a space-seizer. If I want a space for my own it becomes mine!

  17. Bones says:

    Guys have always been good about having guy space. Well, I should probably say that women were always good about letting guys have guy space. Woman space is sort of a new phenomenon, and a very good one, indeed. There are lots of different ways to have space, though. I don’t really have a room, so much. I have (had) a boat that was my castle for a while, but it sunk. Now I have my motorcycle and my blog. They kind of fill the space need pretty well. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have, but if you’ve read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, you know that the author talks about space quite a bit, and how its critical for men and women to each have their own space. He chalks it up to primal instinct, and refers to time in your space as “cave time.”

  18. JJordan says:

    We are in the process of renovating a house right now that we can hopefully move into in a month or so…soon after the arrival of our first little one. So space has been on my mind too for a few reasons.Fortunately, we are each able to create our own space in this new house. My husband will have a perch on the 2nd floor and I will have a large santuary in the basement. I know that doesn't sound so appealing, having the space that is below ground, but it was the larger of the two, the more private and it's going to be cool. I lived in the tiniest of basements on Capitol Hill for 6 years so I suppose I'm comfortable looking up a bit to see the dirt and trees and sky. One way I'm making it my own is with colors that I love – colors with names like chamomile, fetish, new leaf and sweet potato! I'm using Black and Cream Marmoleum Click tiles for the flooring in a checkerboard pattern- natural linoleum type of product with a cork backing that should provide some warmth and softness in a basement…and a big fuzzy rug on top. I want it to be a happy place and one that gives me energy when I need to be productive and solitude when I don't. I'm going to buy the book you recommended…especially because it has Melaney's stamp of approval too!!

  19. Jenny says:

    Hey, did you notice that the people pushing having a room of your own both killed themselves. Not sure if that's a sign or not but I think I'm going to use it to justify having a little space of my own too. Our first house was tiny and the only space I had for me was an old-fashioned lion-footed bathtub I filled with pillows. I'd sink into it and read in my cocoon. I got rid of it when I was feeling "to mature to have a bathtub in the living room anymore".Damn. I miss that tub.

  20. Sabrina says:

    My ideal space would be in our bed. We are currently in a double–yes, double–bed because, well, that's what our landlord bought for us and furniture in Ireland is astronomically expensive and we won't live here long enough to make the purchase worthwhile. As my pregnant body expands, I long for more and more space to spread out. Then I could actually get some sleep. . .At this point, I don't know if even a California king would do. I want to be able to fit myself, the HCQ and two larger Dogs con Queso as well as the KidZilla when he or she arrives. But said bed would cover the entire second storey of the house. If I could sleep, then at least I could dream about my dream space. . .

  21. nikki says:

    4 of us live in a 2 bedroom, 1100 square foot cape cod that doesn't have a finished basement or a dishwasher. more than once i've thought about moving into our garage. the chipmunks and raccoons that sometimes live there might make for some interesting company.

  22. Jennifer says:

    Oh would I love an entire room! A room with a door. And a lock. ;) But nope, I have a desk with a computer sitting on it. MY desk. It's techncially my "office" (I work from home) but then there's that no door thing… So it's just a desk. But it's mine, all mine. Every once in a while I let the kids sit and play here, but they have to ask first…bwa-ha-ha!

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