Home / Blog Posts / Fatigue and the Black Dog / Diary of a Chronically Exhausted Vicar. Episode 13

In which I get moving on my house furnishing project, think about how to get me moving again, and then take it a little bit too far.

Diary of a chronically exhausted vicar image

I decided it was time to plot the next stages of project house furnishing, which was put on hold for the world tour interlude.

The next room I’ve been wanting to furnish is the family room, but I was also stalled with progress on this one because I couldn’t decide what exactly I wanted to do with it. I have been intentional with each room, giving it a colour scheme, and specific purpose. I had started off with the idea that the dining / lounge area would be more formal, for entertaining, more poised, for reading and quiet, with the family room for the tv and every day living. Off the family room is a multi purpose room with an entry way but no doors. This is the music room, and apart from a lamp and a fancy music stand, it’s pretty much finished (the only other one I can say that about is the library; yes, I insist on calling the ‘study’ my library, because that’s much more fun).

So, the music room opens onto the family room. There’s also a funny little nook created by a room dividing half dozen wooden slats to try to make a support beam look slightly less awkward, between kitchen and family room. I finally decided against a small table and chairs, and instead have moved the papasan chair, foot stool, and a lamp table I covered with a collage of Monet prints years ago, into the nook. The morning sun falls through the window there, making it a delightful place for breakfast and reading a poem, which is a great start to the day.

One decision made. But for the rest. Well, if I was moving the chair there, which was one of two in a very sparsely furnished family room, why not move the other one and create some space for imagining? I moved the tv and cabinet to the lounge, where all the seats are, and pushed the big wicker chest into a different corner.

Empty space. Large empty space. What to do with it?

Once I moved the tv into the lounge area, it actually made sense there, it’s size (smaller than most people are opting for these days) suits that room much better than the family room, and the addition of an armchair helps fill out the room so that the whole thing is starting to make more sense. A couple of coffee and side tables, a few more pictures (which I mostly have, just waiting for frames), and I’ll have another completed room. Eventually I’ll change the cabinet under the tv, because it’s the wrong colour and I am being fussy now that for the first time in my life I have the capacity to do so.

And it’s a really lovely room, so I’ve been enjoying being in it more over the past few days.

But what to do with that lovely large space. You know, I said to myself, you have always wanted a pool table. I’ve never been very good at it, but I enjoy it, and having one I can use any time is a good way to improve.

And in this season of recovery from glandular fever, some impetus to get moving, gently, strikes me as quite a good idea.

Which reminded me of another idea I’d had for furnishing the house with an impetus for some gentle movement. Indoor plants, which need watering and feeding and general tending to.

I’ve made myself pause on the pool table idea, because they are outrageously expensive if you opt for a good one, and still not cheap if you go for the non-slate ones, and I’ve a couple of other large expenses to keep in mind.

I did go and get some plants today, and a trestle table I can use for craft, sewing, potting, and then put away, and while I was there, a shelving unit for the cupboard in the sewing room, which would just about finish that one off, too.

Enthused when I got home, I potted my plants, using my new trestle table.

Then cracked on with putting the shelves together. I had energy, so why not.

But the cough I wrote about in the previous episode of this diary of chronic exhaustion lingers on, wearing me out while it also restricts my voice. And the physical exertion of assembling the small shelving unit aggravated the cough and I sit here now rueing the burst of energy for deceiving me that it would endure.

I was being so disciplined the past few days, resting, with small interludes for pastoral conversations, conference paper ruminations, and presence at a colleague’s special church service yesterday.

I know I need to get moving again, after the glandular fever. I suspect hands in life-producing earth, and more opportunities for play and joy will be helpful, gentle, movements towards health.

The lesson to learn from today, however, is pace, and patience. One active thing a day, for now. Or at least, not all of the things all at once.