This is the space I inhabit most of my waking hours every day, during Covid-19. It's a comfortable sized room with a large window onto our backyard. The walls are lined with shelves of books, notebooks, art supplies, plus a desk, a couple computers, pens of various styles and colors... I have so many tools for expression, as a professional and/or as simply me, in arm's reach.
On the right side, you see my workstation. Here, I do my job from home, primarily. It's also where I journal, issue email and texts to folks I love, and write cards and letters to go out in snail mail. I increasingly appreciate the utility of this work space and the flexibility to use my tools in different ways.
On the left, under my son's painting of a planet, lays an altar. It's new. It's special. It represents my escapist dream of a solitary life in a shack by the sea. In my imaginary seaside retreat I am soothed by the sound of the waves, restored to myself by the absence of heeding and tending the needs of others. I am whole and wholly my own.
Establishing the altar was a suggestion from my new therapist. She is younger than me, vibrant and vital, creative and wise. She nudges me back to myself, a dynamic, multi-faceted me, through little activities that express my deep insides out to my open view. I see me. I know, and can be, more me.
By setting up and using both of these spaces, the workstation and the altar, I have jerry-rigged a "room of one's own" where I can think my own thoughts and act on my essential Jenni-ness. The room more functional than Romantic - I can't hear waves crashing on the shore and there's an assortment of random kid-stuff crowded under the altar table (not to mention an occasionally pungent litter box in a corner) - but that's all part of me, too. I am not a solitary life. I am whole and wholly my own, and gratefully interdependent with my partner, child, friends, and colleagues.
In this room, I am learning to restore myself where I am. It's gradual, baby-stepping work. Close the door (they can knock), pop in earplugs, light a candle, sit down... I know I have the tools I need, inside and out, and am practicing how to use them.