Reinvention Needes Renewal

So the unloaders came and unloaded our household goods. The house is full of boxes, we can’t find the screws that hold the bed together (yes, we taped them to the bed frame and they came loose). Lots of work, many changes, floorplans that didn’t fit, things that went missing. A typical move.

Every artist, writer, coach, instructor hits that wall at some time or another. After weeks of packing a house and then an apartment, I hit the wall the day we moved into the house. But the work needs to get done, and it is. But every evening and 7 p.m. we knock of work and jump into the pool. Tonight, after the sun set, I saw a nearly full moon rise above our two palm trees. The tension of the day began to slip behind me.

Our culture doesn’t approve of having fun. We like to spend long hours at work. Work makes us feel important.Lacking friends who are not connected to work, we get validation from people who are much like us. That’s not a groove we’re in, it’s a rut.

Everyone who works hard needs to have fun. To play. To take time away from clients, memos, emails and orders. The Germans, French, Spanish and Swiss get far more vacation than we do. And before you jump up and snort, “Well, they are lazy,” now is a good time to note that our country is ranked behind all of those countries in ability to read, do math, infant mortality, successful marriages and perceived satisfaction with life.

For me, renewal is important, both for my soul and my mind. I moved West to change my life, and part of it is floating in a pool at the end of a hard day’s work. I might not be able to afford a vacation for the next few years, but I’m living it part of every day. If I notice and appreciate it.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. She recently moved to the Phoenix area and is making the most of every hot day. (c) 2008 All rights reserved.

8 thoughts on “Reinvention Needes Renewal

  1. Congratulations on surviving two moves in succession with your sanity and most of your things intact (well, there is that bed with missing screws). I hate to move and can only say “Hats off” for your stamina and organizational skills.

    As to vacations, and speaking as a naturalized Swiss, amen! The attitude here is that if you don’t take vacations, if you don’t rejuvenate your thinking and creativity by taking some time off, you are a poorer worker and slightly suspect. People who work 24/7 and brag about not taking vacations are viewed with suspicion. We need to pause to charge our batteries; we cannot re-charge them on the fly. If we neglect to give rest and care to our machines, they wear out or break; why should our bodies and minds be any different?

  2. The boxes will be gone before you know it. Note one thing: whenever we moved, my husband was always much more at ease wherever we landed than I was and I found that I was not relaxed or rested until I got everything unpacked and put away and my nest all feathered properly. Your tiredness is probably the same syndrome but get a bit of extra pool time and a little less coffee just to be on the safe side (of hydration).

    Glad you landed in one piece; I can tell you that unpacking is sometimes fun, though: our movers one time put the screws to all our furniture that came loose in with the same box as my iron (some weird logic there: Iron screws=iron) but as I don’t iron clothes all that often, it was months before I found the screws and by the time I did, we’d already done a run to a local small hardware store to replace everything. (Extras for next time? Ha!)

  3. Congrads to you and Kent! I’m glad you are together again out west now that the house here has sold. You have a new home and a pool to enjoy in a new place! How wonderful is that! Enjoy recharging at the end of the day. We don’t get enough down-time or fun especially being self-employed.

    Love to you both and pass the espresso!


    We made it, although we still have a LOT of boxes to unpack. But we have a guest room! I do feel constantly tired, though. I think I’ll be happier when the boxes are unpacked and we are “home” again. But the espresso machine is out of the box and working, and that’s always important. -Q

  4. Dear Quin: I am so very happy to know that you are safe in your new home–for moving is both an inspiration and so difficult. Just thought I’d like to tell you how much I’ve missed your voice in Soul Food for I’ve been so very quiet for the opposite reason: no travel and the walls close round with winter and old age. Shall be back and looking for your wonderful ideas soon again. Fran

    —> I’ll be back at Soul Food next week, Fran. Unpacking is taking longer than I thought it would. We had a house guest, and while he was incredibly helpful, it also involved more yakking, less working.
    The boxes aren’t up to my armpits anymore, they are about at waist level. Time to start participating again! Thanks for the kind words, Fran, one of the reasons we moved here was to keep Winter at bay.


    Then deal with everything else!

    Congrats to you both on your new home & life TOGETHER!


    —–> Espresso machine traveled in the van that was trailered behind the moving van. We have our PRIORITIES! Coffee grinder, too. I have to admit that when Kent appears, I do expect a cappuccino at breakfast! -Q

  6. You picked a great reward for your hard work during the day. A pool in a warm clime plus the full moon and palm trees. Sounds wonderfully exotic to a “Northern” girl. And, yes, it does sound like a bit of vacation everyday. Nice!

    It’s a great lesson. We can all find a bit of vacation time to put into our daily routine. Might not be a pool break. Maybe just a glass of iced tea on the porch and a big book of jokes to share or a crossword puzzle. Hey, the simple things can be the best things, right? 🙂

    So enjoy that pool. You earned it with your hard work.

  7. Good..I feel inspired again. 🙂 Some time ago a woman gave me this excellent tip namely to pack a ‘campingbox’ when it’s time to move again. A campingbox contains litterally everything, every object that you might need when arriving at the new house.
    Things like a coffeemaker, coffee,tea, sugar, cups, spoons, knives, bottleopener, toiletpaper, kitchentowel, napkins, towels, soap etc. etc. And now there is this issue with screws and screwdrivers. So I will put those in a ziplock bag, or bags with a little label on them.
    And then I must not forget where I leave those ziplock bags.

    Oh yes, moving to a far away place cracks the mind wide open 😉

    So lovely that you have a pool and such warm evenings to calm down mind and body.

    Indeed there are countries where people live to work and other countries where people work to live.

    Yesterday on television a wellknown Dutch man was asked the famous question: “what is the purpose of life?” and he answered:
    “the purpose of life is to enjoy life”.

    My husband had this big smile on his face and said: “yes that is the purpose of life !!” And part of that for him is to cook, for he loves to cook! To cook it a great relaxation time for him.

    Have a wonderful day Quinn 😀

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