Space of your own
April 21, 2021
Four weeks ago I embarked on what I thought was a simple task. Rip up the old vinyl floor in my office and replace it with new flooring. The simple, estimated week long project ended up taking four weeks. Each time we took something apart, we found something else that needed fixed first. At the end of four weeks, I had a new office top to bottom – new floors, new furniture, new paint, new murals new windows. In short, everything old went out and all new went in.
But this is not a story about construction and the challenges it brings. Nor is it a story about new beginnings although this certainly was one for me.
This is a story about space – about having a place of your own. And learning how important that is.
I grew up in a military family who moved constantly. Home was wherever we were. Military housing is very – utilitarian. Black tile floors and simple eggshell white walls. For interior design, you get to pick your own furniture and you can hang pictures. That’s it. It really did not matter what state we were in, our home always looked pretty much the same because what I was used to looking at was furniture and pictures. What encircled it was always different yet always the same.
But 14 years ago we move to the poodle farm. It was not hard to leave my home in Spartanburg because so much was ahead of us. I was beyond excited to have a farm and a place for the rescue to grow. It was my new space and place and I embraced it fully and completely. Finally, I had a home of my own.
14 years later, and it is no longer my own. It belongs to all of you and to all of them – those dogs who call Dreamweaver Farm home. That is okay for this is how it was meant to be. But I did not realize what safe haven my office had become for me until it was no longer there. Working temporarily out of Wellborn Manor, a perfectly serviceable arrangement, was immensely unsatisfying. The walls were different. The windows were different. The doors were different. Sunlight did not come in the same way. Air did not move the same way. In short, it was not a Donna shaped space and my productivity suffered because of it. What an eye opener!
I felt out of sync. I was out of rhythm. The world was spinning around me and going on and on but I had no roots and nothing to hold on to. The longer it went on, the more despondent I felt. Would I ever feel whole again?
Monday, I moved in and even though I still have boxes to go through and pictures to hang, the difference and the relief was immediate. I was back home. I was in my safe and connected space.
Through it, I realized how very disconnected our canine friends must feel when they are ripped from their homes and deposited down here at the farm. Sights, smells, routines, food, water, people, dogs….it is all far, far different from what they have known. I at least know the why behind my feelings of dislocation. I knew the end was in sight and the day would come when I could return to my space, find my place and begin again to live my life fully in charge. They do not know this. Is it any wonder shelter dogs and dogs new in homes sometimes act out, act up or go quiet and uncertain in the first week in a new home? They are trying to absorb it. To figure out what, if anything about this new space, can become to feel like home.
I am going to try harder to make sure they feel that connection to this place – quickly.