May 10, 2007

A rose by any other name?

I had a follow-up thought about the house-guest dilemma. What if we change the label on the second bedroom? What if, instead of thinking of it as MY office/studio, I thought of it as the Elijah room?

In the Bible there was a woman who set up a room on her roof so that the prophet Elijah could have a place to crash when he wandered through town. Also, for the Passover meal, the Seder, it's traditional to set a place at the table for Elijah. To create an awareness that an unexpected stranger might be a prophet, an angel, or a Savior in disguise.

I told this brainstorm to my husband and he laughed at me (in a very loving way). "I get what you're trying to do, shift your expectations...", he just shook his head, still laughing.

I'm laughing at myself. It's still a small apartment, but I think it might help me feel more welcoming of sojourners. I mean, what the heck, we even have lines in our wedding vows about welcoming sojourners. When we wrote it, I meant foster kids, but it's still true of house guests, right? Right?!

OK. Fine. Everybody laugh. But I'm going to make a sign for the doorway. Just to remind me to stay flexible.

Where have you shifted expectations to make things work better, even if it's just in your head?


k. said...

Where have you shifted expectations to make things work better, even if it's just in your head?

I think the real question is, where have I not shifted expectations?

Here's a good example of a shifted expectation: "No, really, honey, Brooklyn will be great! I will really like...having sidewalks! Yeah! Sidewalks! Whoo!"

(BTW, we're not ending up in Brooklyn. I'll catch you up under separate cover).

Rachel said...

On shifting expectations, I am trying to make peace with renting, by thinking about all the extra $ we have to save/ spend on things besides housing.

Snickollet said...

I love that you are calling the room the Elijah room. I think that's fantastic.

I've been wanting to comment on this post for a couple of days, but have been searching in vain for an example of when I've shifted my expectations. I can think of times I've done so, but they aren't always successful. Parenthood is full of shifted expectations. I am constantly trying to find a sunnier way to look at dealing with my in-laws. I'm afraid for now I don't have anything more concrete.

Anonymous said...

When I began working in drama with
youth, I ran into major culture shock. The first day, only two
were present.

I had them read one of my short, three-page plays. They couldn't -- or rather wouldn't do it. Their problem was not lack of literacy. They are both readers. Rather, they wouldn't read the words as written. They kept ad libbing, which is taboo in theater.

That made me angry. Then I realized -- jazz and gospel are part of their heritage. Improv --
jazz with bodies and voices -- matches their lifestyle.

Yes, it was a matter of changing a label -- and a whole outlook. But, it's working.

Mama Nabi said...

Ah... I like that you said "shifted" and not "lowered" - names/labels are more powerful than we give them credit. :-)