The door to our sunroom, now Bea’s playroom, is at the back of the house, between the kitchen and backyard. It was an addition at some point, long before we owned this house. It’s gone through many incarnations over the years: It started as a junk-room, then it was where all of my living room furniture was stored, set up as a breezeway. Then we had an actual tiled floor put in and moved in Frank’s weight set but the room slowly became storage again.
Last year for Mother’s Day, as Bea moved from infant floor gyms to actual, space-taking-up toys, we decided to try yet another purpose for the space. With the help of my parents, we put up curtains, put down a foam puzzle mat, and made the room kid-friendly. As the weather has gotten colder, we found a child-safe space heater and now have a 3-and-a-half season room. Even in the past six months, Bea’s toys have grown in size and space and this room has been perfect to help keep the rest of our house tidy.
Now, Frank will get up in the morning, turn the chair toward the sunrise for his quiet time and enjoy the peace. It feels, after so many different tries, that we have finally found a purpose for this room that works with the house. I can work in the kitchen while Bea cooks in hers. When the weather was warmer, I would leave the door to the backyard open and Bea and Daisy would come and go as they pleased.
As I’ve reflected on all the incarnations of our sunroom, I began thinking of other “rooms” in my life that seem to not fit. Often, my first reaction is to think that just because my church or my friends or my job isn’t meeting my immediate needs, it must be a bad fit. Maybe I should find a new church or focus on other friends or start searching for a different job. Or, maybe it just takes time and new circumstances for those old rooms to suddenly fit. Maybe a new perspective or a new coworker or a new conversation is what it takes to make an awkward “room” into a place of peace. In our case, it took four years of moving furniture until our sunroom became a useable space. I wonder how often I give up on something when really, I just need to rearrange the furniture or rethink the purpose of that room.
What are some rooms in your life that could be repurposed to a place of peace?