For the past week or so, I’ve been test-driving new creative space in my home. During the summer months, it’s far too hot in that room for anything, and so I close it off and ignore it. This summer in Colorado, however, has been temperate and rainy — like it used to be 30 years ago. So I’ve had the unique opportunity to explore the expansion of my space.
This house was built in 1890, a Mexican-style casita that has stood the test of time for the most part. There are things that are deteriorating, but to date, not too bad. A couple winters ago, the roof collapsed due to shoddy workmanship on roof replacement, and water seeped into the space between actual roof and inner ceiling, and a month’s worth of winter rain and snow caused it to come down on my head in my sleep. Talk about the ice-bucket challenge. Having ten gallons of winter-cold water and slush pouring onto you while lying in your bed is no picnic. Unless you’re an Eskimo, and then perhaps it is a picnic.
But I digress…
The layout of the house is a bit different than I’m used to, which is what provides its character. The exterior of the house looks like total sh*t, but the owner upgraded the interior and made it livable.
My office has been shared with my bedroom for the four years I’ve lived here, which is great, since it’s only me and the dogs. I will continue to use that space for some projects, as it’s dark and enclosed and a true man-cave. As I rarely entertain in my home, and rarely use the formal living room for anything other than a space for the pups to hang out, I decided to drag an old drafting table out of the basement and set it up in the living room, which receiving western light year-round. In the spring, fall, and winter, it’s a great space, and so I chose to take advantage of it. Before I depended on direct cable internet, but now the house is set up for wifi, so I can use my laptop in the “front office” now.
I’ve been using it for a bit, and it’s such a different creative energy there. For one thing, my desk chair is actually a small love seat that works perfectly, because it’s firm and high enough to be a good seat for the drafting table, plus I can share my chair with the dogs when they’re wanting affection, or to just be touching me in some way.
I’m also thinking of moving my bed into the actual bedroom again (it’s currently in what would’ve been the formal dining room, along with my current office), but in the winter, that room rarely gets above 50 degrees, even with the furnace trying to heat it. I can probably do without that, though it does get awesome morning sun. So I’m considering that.
There must be something happening in the cosmos that’s creating this “nesting” phase I’m experiencing currently, as I typically get things set and leave them that way, preferring to spend my creative and organizational energy on other pursuits. But sometimes it’s worth it to focus on the space in which we’re creating. It helps to redirect the flow of energy and to experience our creative process in different ways. For us writers, that manifests at times in yearning to go to the library for awhile to write, or a coffee shop, or a favorite cafe. Though there are far more distractions in external spaces, we can often enough bear down and focus on the work at hand. But having options in one’s own home is rare, and I’m grateful to be able to utilize this space for something in addition to simply existing.