I’m excited about the planting I’ll do in our newly remodeled backyard!

I can already see the cabbage-sized hydrangeas, smell the night blooming jasmine, and taste the home-grown tomatoes (on toasted white bread with mayo, cracked pepper, and bacon–like Mom used to make.

As a gardener, I love digging in the dirt. And the idea of creating a beautiful, inviting patio to enjoy with friends and family has peaked my creative juices.

My husband and I have had visions of a new garage/office in mind for a while. Our renovation will open up garden space for me on our postage stamp-sized lot, and provide a proper home office space for him.

Besides daydreaming about a lovely garden, and the cozy home office above the new garage – I’ve been thinking about remodeling in a much more expansive way.

In May’s newsletter, I wrote about how many of us are re-thinking our relationships with friends, colleagues, and family after COVID limited our contact. Not seeing people often felt hard, and occasionally like a blessing.

While many businesses struggled with lock-downs in place, the home remodeling and DIY industries boomed!

The pandemic had many of us instinctively finding ways to feather our nests.

With options for dining, events, and travel cut off, we remodeled with gusto! Comfort came in the form of new pillows to in-ground swimming pools.

Sure, we developed new routines, and, for the most part, they worked to provide us with structure and a sense of certainty.

But in the stepping back that we all had to do last year, it’s clear as a bell now that change is the one constant in life, typically the one we don’t want to face.

What if, instead of rushing back to ‘pre-pandemic normal’ we thought about ‘remodeling our lives’ in the ways we’ve been daydreaming about?

A good place to start is with a question: “How’s life really working for you these days?”

If we ever bother to ask this question, it’s usually when anticipating the New Year, or ’round late August when kids are returning to school, or when we’re in major transition . . . kind of like now.

Circumstances today call for new questions. What I’m suggesting is different. It involves a few additional steps back – think wide angle lens to survey the landscape of your life.

Below are a few of the questions I’ve been noodling on lately. Before you rush to get ‘back to normal,’ take some time to explore these questions for yourself.

  1.  What did I learn about my relationships and life under COVID – both good and bad?
  2.  What sparks joy for me these days? Can I focus more energy here?
  3.  How do I want to ‘remodel my life’ based on my experiences over the past 18 months?

You may be surprised by how easily you return to many activities and a state of ‘normal.’ Although, more than a year of fearing physical contact may have altered something fundamental. It may be a mix of both.

During times of prolonged, radical shifts, people end up changing. And your experience of ‘normal’ going forward may require some life remodeling.

May you approach it with gusto!