There used to be a time when being “normal” seemed like the right way to go. You know… meet a guy, date the guy, marry him, buy a house, yada yada yada, and live happily ever after. Once you do all these things and follow society’s steps you’re supposed to be happy right?

Yea, well fuck that. Doing things the normal way has never been the path to happiness for me personally, nor for my family. I won’t go into too much detail, but it suffices to say that as individuals and as a family we dance to the beat of our own drum.

For years I’ve struggled with this. I wanted to be normal, damn it. I really fought with the idea that being happy might just mean not doing things the “normal” way. But recently, I’ve really opened up to the idea. In fact after I let my mind and heart relax a bit and not be so worried about how things are supposed to be happen, I found happiness.

In a year where the family moved from Denver (where our support system is) to Seattle, I completely changed roles at work, I had surgery to remove cancer from colon and I started chemotherapy treatments, you’d think I’d be one grumpy lady. But the opposite has happened because I finally realized that it’s ok to do things our own way.

For example, when Rudy first suggested that we turn our dining room into a play area for Eva, I was totally opposed to it. You see, I was holding on to the idea that some day we’d actually sit down at that damn table and have dinner together. I mean, that’s what everyone tells us right? That your family will be healthier and happier if you have dinner together at the table. But here’s the thing, we don’t EVER sit at the table to eat dinner. Ever.

Luckily Rudy could see this and he brought it up again. Once again I put up a bit of a fight but finally gave in when I let myself realize that we don’t use the dining room anyway as it’s intended. So why not give it a shot? Of course it has worked out to be great! [Yes… I’m admitting Rudy was right.] Eva gets to hang out in her play room, while we’re in the living room, and we still feel like we’re all together.

So you might be wondering where we eat our meals if we don’t use the table? Well, we use the coffee table. Or… well… we did. Until we got rid of that too. :) When we got a Kinect for ourselves for Christmas (thanks sweetie!) Rudy rearranged the living room so we’d have room to play. But what we found was that we really liked not having the big coffee table in the middle of the room all the time. It means that we have this huge open area between the living room and dining room Eva’s play room and it.is.awesome.

Plus, now at meal time we sit on the floor and Eva pretends we’re at the beach. Seriously. Who needs a table, when we have happiness instead.

Who Needs A Table? Look mom! No table!

15 thoughts on “Tables Are For Normal People”

  1. Hiya Jen. Normal is a very relative term. And what’s “normal” for Mike might be 180° different from what’s “normal” for Pat.

    What woks for and makes you and your family happy should be your “normal”. Congratulations on figuring this out so early.

    1. Is this early? It doesn’t really feel like it. :) Rudy has known for years but I always fought him on it.

  2. Ohhhmygosh! I love this!

    I feel the same way about traditions. If it doesn’t hold value for me, it’s outta here. We’ve gone out for steak on Thanksgiving, open Christmas presents at midnight Christmas morning, stopped sending out Christmas cards, etc. It’s liberating.

    So glad you beat cancer in 2010, girl!

    1. Why thank ya! Me too. hah :) Yea my mom had a hard time at our wedding when we didn’t do all the traditional things. I guess I realized even back then that we did things a little different… but it took me this long to be totally ok with that.

  3. The best realization I’ve had since becoming an “adult” is that I get to choose who and what is in my life. I’ve been debating getting rid of my kitchen table for some time now as it takes up room and I don’t use it either. You’ve inspired me Jen!! Out. It. Goes. Cheers to doing it our way!! Sending love to you and your beautiful family tonight! Happy New Year!

  4. Jen
    Welcome to a world where stress melts away simply by becoming openminded at the first sign of struggle based on mainstream or societal or “yeah but…” thinking :-)

  5. When i just read the headline my geeky mind said ‘excel tables’. When i read the first few lines….Oh hell no, it is the furniture table. I was about to leave when your writing style caught me and i ended up reading the whole story. There is no such thing as normal to be precise. What may be normal for you may be weird for me and vice versa. For e.g. sitting in front of computer the whole day is normal for me but is weird for my wife. Happy thanksgiving. Weird? no :)

    1. Hi! Glad you stuck around. :) I definitely agree that normal is what each person perceives normal to be. Have a great new year!

  6. LOL! I thought you were referring to HTML tables!

    How liberating for the whole family! I so understand your desire, yet “normal” is often a pressure we feel or a perceived lifestyle.

    We do have a table and only use it when having company, which is fairly often. But we have a formal dining area space in our living room – no table there. Walk into our house, and visitors are greeted to a weight machine, Nordic track, rowing machine and Pilates balls.

    Abnormal is the new normal! You’re not normal, and I’m glad! Your above-normal attitude and approach to life changes and kicking cancer in the butt has inspired and motivated me and many others!

    1. haha You and Himanshu are a bunch of geeks! :P

      It’s funny you say that about my attitude because I feel the same way about you. You are very motivating!!

  7. I love that there are different interpretations to the word table in your title. I think it’s such a good idea to use the dining room at a play room. It really utilizes a room that hardly gets used anyway. I would like to get rid of our coffee table too, but a certain someone isn’t on board with it. (Probably because it was his coffee table.)

    Keep exploring your abnormal self in the new year! We love your abnormal self!

    1. Well tell that certain someone to read this post… it’s liberating I tell ya! Some day we might bring the coffee table back. But for now, we’re loving the big open space. :)

      Haha if anyone knows my abnormal self it’s you. ;)

  8. haha! i just realized you had this blog and so the first title i saw was this one and i was thinking oh she’s writing about html tables. awesome. i like your blog and am having fun getting to know more about you jen!
    hope you write more again soon :)
    marianne

    p.s. did you notice i left off my site name? ;) altho i still am not sure why it’s so wrong…. :p

  9. THe only reason we kept the table in the dining room was to prevent us from hitting our heads on the “chandalier” (notice the quotes). Then we got a piano, needed room for it, so that’s no where the table was and we put the table in the living room, and it serves as the perpetual lego building station. So that’s that. What’s normal? Let me know if you find out. Because frankly who the f*ck cares.

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