My rug is not dead yet.
In fact, I think I heard it say it might go for a walk later.
With Jesse out of town for a few days, the house is very quiet. And I’ve got nothing but time to fill the emptiness with my thoughts. Today I guess that worked out okay.
I watched a movie once (several times actually) called Life as a House. In it, a teenage boy asked his father, “How do you become something you’re not?”
The question was never really answered directly; only implied by rest of the movie. But I’ve come up with my own simplified answer, which is that you make a conscious choice. You choose to do something that’s hard for you. And then you do it. And then you choose and you do, and you choose and you do again until the thing becomes part of your character and you no longer have to think about it.
This morning as I surveyed the damage left by Annabelle the Destructor, I felt defeated. I try to make my home a comfortable place to be for others. I’m definitely not a clean freak and I certainly haven’t been able to afford to buy everything for it that I’d like to. But I like to think that others can feel at home there. And that’s what’s important. Staring at the ginormous hole she dug/ate in the middle of our new-ish rug I got in a store online, I started to think there was no point in trying. As hard as I try to make things nice, The Forces of Nature (i.e. our dogs, my husband, leaking roofs, etc.) try as hard as they can (so it seems) to un-do all the niceness.
Then I started to think of my grandmother. She never would have bought a $500 rug in the first place. But if it somehow ended up in her living room, I’m confident she never would have thrown it away because there was a hole in the middle of it. She would have tried to make it work somehow. Make due. And if it was truly unsalvageable as a rug, she’d have turned it into a puppet; or something else creative and wonderful and magical. She never cared a bit for having nice things, but this world and the world beyond is full of people that were welcomed into her home and were brighter somehow because of it.
Time to make a choice. The easy thing, the thing that comes most naturally to me, is to toss the rug, call in sick (mental breakdown) and go to Home Depot to buy another one. But I’ve made a goal to be more frugal. Want less. Be more grateful for the things that I have. And so I rearranged the furniture and rug so that the coffee table (which is also chewed to bits) sits on top of the area with the ginormous hole. This is the 4th time I’ve rearranged the furniture to cover damage to the rug by Annabelle the Destructor. Now all three of the other flaws show. Flaws that were so great at the time, I thought I would have to buy a new rug each time we found a new spot she ruined. But I stood back from the room and felt like I’d made it look as nice as possible. I ran the vacuum over the rug and straightened the pillows on the couches. I think that’s what grandma would have done.
And so it seems that the ginormous hole was really just a flesh wound. And we both feel happy.