Your room: what does it say about you?

The other day I was cleaning and reorganizing the master bedroom, that haven that my wife and I retreat to when we need quiet, peace, sleep — our escape route, safe room, sanctuary for when the kids become too much.

We’d let it get out of hand and felt that, maybe just maybe, it was setting a bad example for the kids, whose rooms are at least, if not beyond, the typical horror movie sets lived in by most teens in America — clothes everywhere, candy and wrappers under furniture, unemptied and overflowing garbage cans, last month’s missing homework crumpled in a corner, beds unmade. I think you get the idea. Then remember we have two teen girls in one room and two teen boys in the other, so multiply it by a factor of 10. At least. I’m fairly certain George Lucas was copying the girls’ room when he envisioned the Death Star trash compactor in “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

OK, so … I got into this mindset about setting an example for the kids while I was cleaning. The more I thought about it, the more my mind and my eyes came back to my stuff. What does the stuff I choose to hold onto and display say about me? What does it tell my kids is important?

The first thing to come to mind: reading. I have tons of books. I was glad to clean and organize just so I could get my books out where I could see them better. Not just reading, either, but education. There’s a good line-up of school books there, too.

Technology. There is a lot of computer stuff in our room. I’m a computer guy — I like to fix them, play with them and try them out, so having all this around makes sense. I wonder if my kids see that or if they just see “toys,” though?

Movies. I have a shelf with about 40 movies of all sorts on it. I wonder what those movies say about me? I could try to rationalize it, but I think a few probably don’t say much good about me.

Pictures. There are pictures of the kids around the room. They’re old, out of date and seem to fit in more with my history books than with my family life. We do plan to take new photos of them all and put those up, as well, this summer, though. So there’s that …

Books. Yeah, I’ve covered this already, but there sure are a lot of them, including several Bibles. Multiple series on King Arthur. Some sci-fi. Some fantasy. Lots of “Christian Living” stuff. They see the sci-fi and fantasy there, but it’s the other stuff they typically catch me reading. They ask me why and I share my love of the material — whether it’s the idea of Arthur or the attempts at catching who he may have been, or the works of contemporary Christian thinkers helping me to understand my walk with God and enabling me to make more sense out of his Word.

I’ve made conscious choices about what to keep and display the past few years. I’ve had to let some stuff go. I can’t even trust to hiding it in a box in the garage. No, seriously. They go through EVERYTHING. So, I’ve had to grow up, let go and mature. It’s a painful process, but it shows my kids an action that goes with my words and that makes it worthwhile.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on what my room says about me. What, though, do you have in your room and what do you think it says to visitors about you?


3 thoughts on “Your room: what does it say about you?

  1. I think about this frequently, not just with my room but with the apartment in general. (Both my husband’s and my work areas are out in the open, along with all our bookshelves.) I think our place says that our home is child-centered, that art and music is important to us, that we both have significant pastimes of our own (music for him, sewing and painting for me), that fitness is central, and that you can never have too many books. Oh, and that we really do use our kitchen and we eat together. When I look at it that way, it’s a lot easier to overlook (or not get upset about) the dust and the dirty windows.

    • Dust?! Shhh. My wife might read this and start on about dusting and cleaning the windows. Like I don’t have enough to do around here. If I catch her reading your comment, I’m going for a run before she finishes it.

  2. I guess what you can call my “room” would be the office/computer room/general storage area. Currently it’s a disaster, remnants of a room move that happened almost a decade ago now (Heh), but it remains one of the few areas that I mainly have the major say-so on what goes where in the house.

    I have a HUGE assortment of technology just laying around. Most of it is older computer gear that for some reason or another I refuse to part with. Hey, sometimes having fifty USB cables comes in handy, you know? Still, I know most of it can (and should) go to the garbage. I’m assuming that that’ll come the day that I finally get fed up and just do it.

    I also have a TON of books all over, mainly in boxes. Tons and tons of it are just straight up sci-fi, some classics, most related to Star Wars or BattleTech. Lots of Tom Clancy and the like as well. Lots of computer/technology books.

    The dominating theme, though (Besides the Star Wars Lego models, which are off-limits from the boys until they’re old enough to appreciate them for the models that they are, not toys) is the increasing amount of paints and the like for my BattleTech miniatures. I rather like this. This is one thing that I do that is so purely artistic that I’m starting to get good at that it’s quite satisfying in a way that nothing else can do for me. I think I’m even going to really enjoy the process of starting to make my own terrain boards for the miniatures, and that in itself is a great hobby, something that you create with your own hands and imagination.

    The only bit of artwork I have is the family crest hanging from the wall, but that’s mainly because I haven’t taken the time out to put other artwork up.

    Wonder what that says about me. =)

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