Small Changes, Big Difference

This has been a busy spring for me, personally and professionally.  Now that our unusually cold (for Florida, anyway) winter has ended, the weather has been so breathtakingly gorgeous, it’s been difficult to plunk myself down in front of the computer.  I just want to be outside! 

Spring is a time of renewal, rebirth, rejuvenation, activity, energy, goal-setting, and cleaning out the closets.  I also discovered (or perhaps, rediscovered is a better word) something else, about myself, my home, and houseplants.

I rearranged the furniture in my Family Room.  I’m not normally prone to doing that unless there’s a good reason, and my good reason this time was my sister’s bridal shower which I hosted in March.  Is your Family Room like mine?  The television is the great big warm sun, and all the furniture in the room are subordinate little satellites, bowing to the TV gods and thanking them for their mere existence.

I also bought some flowering houseplants to use as party décor.  This was after spending two hours roaming the aisles of the local party superstore in complete disgust.  Did they have cute, pretty, colorful decorations?  Yes, they did.  However, all I could think about was, what am I going to do with all that plastic, non-compostable, non-biodegradable junk after the party is over?  Store it forever in my already overfilled closets and/or garage?  Throw it out?  Most of that stuff is not even recyclable.  So, I bought simple white, eco-friendly paper plates and napkins and made the decision that I would decorate with plants. 

With the bridal shower about to begin, I realized that TV-watching was not the priority for the room, so I angled my sofa and angled the lounge chair and ottoman directly opposite the sofa.  It worked great for the shower, because everyone was able to converse and interact in an all-inclusive manner.  It wasn’t until a few days later that something amazing happened.

Now that the TV isn’t the main focal point of the room, the energy moving through the space has completely changed- for the better!  It’s a palpable, positive flow.  The Family Room feels bigger, and more inviting.   Everyone can still watch TV comfortably, but I swear: my kids are fighting less.  Seriously.  Weird, but true.  And bringing plants back into my house, after many years of self-imposed exile, has heightened this sense of living, dynamic energy as well.  When my children were toddlers I was petrified they would nibble on the houseplants and poison themselves, so I got rid of them.  Thankfully, they are past that stage, and I’ve eagerly summoned my inner gardener once again.  I’m babying the plants like newborn puppies; checking that they have enough water, moving them around to catch the right amount of sunlight.  What a welcome and unexpected transformation.

What have I learned from this series of small changes?

  • There is always more than one way to arrange a room
  • A simple change of direction can dramatically change the ambience and feel of a space, even if you don’t buy anything new
  • It took an outside force ~ the catalyst of a party ~ to realize I was in a rut with my furniture layout.  I’ve been looking at my house with new eyes and eager dreams ever since.
  • It’s time to stop creating shrines to the television.
  • Houseplants are awesome.  I didn’t realize how much I missed them. (Though I will say that azaleas seem to need an awful lot of water or they get droopy really quick.  I don’t think they’re hardy enough to handle the climate I’m in, so the azalea will have to stay in a pot in my house.  But peace lilies and orchids seem to be pretty carefree.)
  • And lastly, small changes can make a big difference- to not only your house, but your health, your attitude, and your family vibes.

Try something new that’s been nudging you for a while and leave a comment.  How did it go?  What did you notice?