Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New Years New Motto

When we moved in two years ago, a friend gifted me her kids old fish tank. I stuck it on my bar counter top, filled it with fish....and resented looking at it ever since.

Don't get me wrong, I love having fish. And I love the tank she gave us. For Christmas this year, our dogs, Murphy and Lucy, even bought our fish, Scully, a snorkeling Santa decoration piece. We LOVE our fish.

But our 1960's kitchen already had no counter top space anyways, so this fish tank took up some valuable real estate. 

Plus, when we ate dinner at the bar, I always felt a little weird eating so close to Scully's tank. Especially if it was fish sticks.

We have a beautiful built-in leading into our hallway near the kids playroom. When we first moved in two years ago, The Hubs put an old TV in there and set it up for the kiddos. "Now they can watch shows and we can still watch what we want!" he said. I wanted to decorate it with pictures and knick-knacks, but the TV fit, so I let it go. 

They have watched TV on it exactly three time. All three of those times were when we had parties and the other TVs were used for watching football or playing music. 

This week, I took the TV down and stowed it in the hall closet. (Hopefully it will be donated soon, but one step at a time!) I moved Scully and his tank into the built-in area, cleaned off the bar completely and waited for someone to notice.

The kids came home from school. "Mom, you moved Scully's tank! I love it! Now it is like a nightlight in the hallway." said my son.  He's right. The light from Scully's tank provides a nice glow in the evening. 

I waited to hear what The Hubs thought. Would he be upset the old TV was gone?

"You moved Scully's tank," he said. "I am so glad. Now we have more room on the counter top! It looks so much better."

For two years I have wanted to move that fish tank. TWO YEARS! Why did it take me so long? First, I didn't want to upset anyone. The Hubs wanted the TV there, so why should I change what he wanted? He didn't have much of a say in most of the other decorating, so I didn't want to alter one of the only things he did do. Let's be real, though - that's really over-analyzing it! He's not that sensitive. It's more like: Me make more counter space. Me get rid of TV not using. Ok?  And it was okay. 

Second, would the kids care that Scully wasn't sitting with them at the bar? They have enjoyed talking to him while they sit and eat, or do homework. Well, now they stop in the hallway to talk to him, or hang out by his fish tank reading and watching him. He is still getting just as much love and attention as he normally did. I love watching Scully swim and hide. 

What this showed me is that I can change the way things "have always been". If, as the CEO of the household, I see a better way to do things, or a solution to a common problem, I can change it very easily. I can move the fish tank

That's my new motto this year. As I tackle the New Years resolutions like everyone else, and declutter and simplify, I also want to make our items have purpose and function. Get rid of unnecessary items and put to use items that have been neglected. I need to remember that just because we have been doing something one way doesn't mean we can't try it a different way. Instead, I will remember: I can move the fish tank.