As you can see in the first several photos below, our favorite green chair was what my sister would call “beat out.” Originally purchased at IKEA, we’ve had it for more than 25 years, and it has been our best family nest, our central spot, deeply embedded in our home’s identity. All three children would clamor into a lap there to hear (or read) a book, piled up hugs happened there, decades of homeschooling were administered from there, and every guest that has ever visited our home has sat there at one time or another. When you hear on my husband’s podcast him refer to his “prayer chair” this was it, harboring countless hours each day of spiritual study and prayer. You’ve seen many photos taken of many happenings, holidays, and celebrations in this chair over the course of this blog. We were loath to give it up, and not just any replacement would do.
Last September, we ordered this new “Stress-free” Scandinavian chair, and finally after a long wait, it came this week. The green leather is almost the same color, but the design is more modern. It leans back and swivels. My arms are not long enough to reach the arms of this new char; I liked the higher arms of the old chair better. In this one, I have to work harder to hold up my book, but we chose it for what best fit my husband, since these days, with the family scattered, he’s the one that uses it most.
My father-in-law used to tell a story of his church reupholstering a single chair, and how that led to feeling like it now looked so much better than the carpet, so then they upgraded the carpet, which then made them feel like they needed to repaint. What started out as just a chair turned into a thorough renovation.
I see the same happening for us. This chair was the kingpin change. We haven’t repainted the inside of the house (except the dining room) for 30 years. All of a sudden it shows. Now with the new chair there, with a base that shows more of the floor and things behind it, we’ll declutter a bunch of stuff around it, which will lead to the next thing.
Empty nesting is a funny thing. There is a transition period before we’ve felt free to take back our house and change it for the next dispensation. That time is ripe now, and we’re starting to slowly tackle that process. If my New Year’s resolution was to get more margin in my life, I can already see that I’ll be spending part of that margin getting my house in order at long last.