It’s not just a couch…

by elizabethbrantley

I was on a roll yesterday. I had a list of 35 things that needed to get done this week and I started knocking them off, indulging in the sweet feeling of putting a check mark next to each task, knowing confidently that I was moving on in the right direction for the many projects in my life right now.

Last night, I had saved the final few things I couldn’t do by myself and enlisted Drew’s help. He so lovingly dedicated hours to helping me with these things, and I felt even more overjoyed at ticking off more from this master list.

Then came the couch.

I probably know better than to start a task too late. It was around 9 o’clock when I mentioned the moving of the furniture that I was hoping he would help me with. Anticipating a delay, to my surprise he was happy to do it! He did one last thing he needed to do and then fully committed to moving these two pieces of furniture I had decided should be moved.

While the first piece, a bed, easily slid against our wooden floors into its desired location, the second piece gave us a run. This second piece, a couch that Drew has loved, wouldn’t even fit out of the door. We spent 20 minutes shimmying it through the door, to only end up in the opposing bedroom. It was caught. We were caught. And now we were knee-deep in a project that wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. For a half an hour more we tried to understand the best way, the only way, to get the couch out of this room, until finally, it happened.

But that ended up being the easy part. The couch was to go into another room, that eventually we deemed impossible to fit it into. So we spent the next five minutes moving it out into the dining room, into the center of our house, where it awkwardly remains right now.

What was so important about this couch though? Why is it worth recalling our trials of moving it? Well something happened when it was finally out, that absolutely flipped a switch in me. It was as if I had taken out an object that I didn’t care for from my sight, from my space, and suddenly I realized how I had let my standards down. While on the outside it was just a couch, a large, annoying couch, what it really is is the physical manifestation of the ugly elephant in the room. It’s the thing that I didn’t want, the thing I had to stare at every day while I worked. The thing that even with help is a pain to get out of your space and stressful on your relationship. While it might have been just a couch to Drew, to me it was more.

I realized last night, as we put the couch in the dining room, the lack of completion that I had around me. I knew as we put the thing down on the ground at 10:30, that it would be at least a week, if not three or four or five until it moved from its awkward, annoying place in our home. Why? Because that had become my pattern. This had become my situation at home. Things left undone. Consistent need to fix, yet complete lack of follow through. I couldn’t take it any more.

I took a shower to wash the moving sweat off before bed, and I completely lost it. It’s not just that the couch is there, that it is hard to move, that I need help, husbands, friends with trucks, change of habits, to get the thing out of my life, but that my biggest issue and problem in life is like that couch. I can’t move it alone. I want it out, have wanted it out for some time, but need the help. Need the focus. Need gumption.

So today, I am making peace with the couch and its slow progression out of my life, just as I try to make peace with the fact that solving my problem will take some time too. By moving this couch I had taken a step towards going for what I want, for my preferences. While the job was halted and disjointed, I looked at the truth and began to claim my own. No matter how painful that might have been, it was freeing to have begun to loosen the reigns of what is holding me back. While I hope to let it go completely (both the couch and my recurring problem), I know that this takes some time, takes some other people and takes enough focus from me to see it through until the end.