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a cozy livingroom
by
Julie Flynn Badal
,
December 16, 2021

Room to Grow: Making Space for a New You

In the coming year, how can we allow ourselves more room and more magic?

It's been magical to upcycle our stuffy dining room furniture and reshape the room to reflect who I am today...

One of many gifts that big life changes offer us is a chance to renegotiate our relationship with place and space. Recently, I converted my formal dining room into a cozy space for reading, writing,  movement, and other kinds of personal and artistic expression.

The dining room was once the site of so many girlie tea parties for my daughters as well as birthday celebrations and holiday dinners. These days we hardly use the space at all. The sight of the room drained me of energy. It felt like a shrine to my family's past and didn't reflect anything about our present reality after the pandemic and a divorce.

In recent years, my adolescent daughters have taken over my living room, sprawling on the sofa with their laptops and bubble teas and bowls of popcorn. In search of solitude, I found myself working in my bedroom or at the kitchen table. I needed a place to work that felt more empowering and generative. 

It's been magical to upcycle our  stuffy  dining room furniture and reshape the room to reflect who I am today... I'm no longer the doting mother at the beck and call of the constant needs of young children. My kids don't need me to make them mac and cheese, and I have my own work to do.

The refurbished space  is just what I needed to focus and further develop my voice as a writer and workshop facilitator. As Virginia Woolf wrote, a woman must have a room of one’s own in order to reach her full creative potential.  Woolf wonders what Shakespeare’s sister might have accomplished if she were allowed to take up more space. What would Shakepeare’s sister have done with her life if she had the freedom to follow an idea from its first seed to full flourishing without the constant thwarting and demands of the patriarchy?

In the coming year, how can we allow ourselves more room and more magic and even more tea parties to manifest the life we wish for ourselves?


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