Carpe diem zen, or not

The other day I completely rearranged my sitting room, then put everything back in its original carpet groove — all before my husband and daughter returned from swim practice and before my son woke up from his nap.

Our builder’s special “other living room” holds several book cases, a mismatched coffee table, an undeserving-of-its-name liquor cabinet, and a love seat — relics of pre-kids apartment days. Henry Miller is neatly stacked next to a Gary Larson. An inadvertent coin collection has set up shop under the cushions. A Chicago snow globe sports a receding water line. Lost things rival those found on Neverland’s beach.

Zen rearranging

A bit of zen rearranging was in order, and a 2-hour timeslot seemed like a golden opportunity to do so, especially since I had just finished slogging through a dense book that burned out my Kindle. So with the device charging, children swimming and napping in their respective stratospheres, and dad catching up on Y lobby circulars, I set out to make something out of nothing.

First the books. From clunky Shakespeare to Ishmael’s hefty fish tales, and I’m not speaking figuratively here, heavy lifting was required. Half a schlepping-hour later, the books were moved from one side of the room to the other. Next the oversized love seat. I shoved, pulled, and nudged. At one point, my entire face was buried in the cushion as I pushed. “Morlock tracks,” I thought as I surveyed the path on the carpet, because random thoughts usually occur under the strangest of circumstances. Only that I wasn’t pulling a time machine into a cave, just a lazy lump across the room. I guess once you muse over futuristic creatures pulling machinery and start using choice words for your furniture, you realize that you may just be rearranging chairs on the Titanic. So I stopped to admire my handiwork.   

On to coffee and liquor

On to the coffee table and antique liquor cabinet. The cabinet seemed too precarious a solitary attempt, so I settled for a nudge to the coffee table instead. 


Alas, sans zen anything. 

The love seat blocked access to the cabinet. But, since the cabinet had never lived up to its intended use, there would be no harm in blocking access, right?  



What was worse, the newly designated book case wall looked too…well…bookish. Shelves stood united on one side of the room, while the furniture huddled in the opposite corner; heaven forbid they live in harmony.

Plan B

Ugh. This wasn’t going to work.

By the time my son woke up, swim practice was over, and my husband walked through the door and griped about the hardship of moping around the Y’s lobby, I had put every last item back in its original place. Moby, Romeo, love seat, and all.

Only my hair was slightly askew. And my glasses.

Next time, I’ll make a cup of coffee instead and carpe diem the afternoon, not the love seat, while reading The Time Machine.   

Marion Kase is a Berks County, PA mom of two. This post was adopted from her blog, Helicopter-Caterpillar.

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