REVIVAL: A Resolution of Restoration

In Clinton Downing, Home and Entertaining by Lola Magazine

Revival is defined as an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again. As we begin a new year, we make promises to revive ourselves from the year that has passed. Many times, we resolve to restore our lives mentally, physically and emotionally. We make lists within our minds to make ultimate transformations.

 It’s that time of year when the tradition of New Year’s resolutions manifests. We all make that promise to ourselves to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day. But as each year brings its own personal goals and associated challenges, nothing carries as much weight as the old standby, getting in shape. If we could only lose that holiday weight, which often was already there since August. It slightly makes us feel better to think we amassed those pounds during the holiday season. 

We jump into January with the thought of getting in better shape than we have been in years. We try the cabbage soup cleanse to detox our bodies. We drink the extra water to flush out our system. We count the calories and cut back our portions each meal. We turn into rabbits eating salads. We make sacrifices in order to shrink down

As aggressive as we are to take on this challenge, we quickly lose steam. We regress and the old habits take us through a series of yo-yo diets for the next twelve months. We struggle until it is summer and want that beach body. We Photoshop our social media photos so others don’t think we look like what the mirror shows us. 

We place so much pressure on ourselves that we lose sight of the big picture. We beat ourselves up for not sticking with it. We become frustrated and depressed that we failed ourselves. We worry too much about how society thinks we should be. 

Personally, we should strive to be as healthy as we possibly can be. Much of the time the physical struggle is due to an emotional and mental struggle with each of us. We are so down and out that our moods regulate the drive and desire to be our fittest. It is a struggle each of us experiences at some point on our lives. Therapy is the gym of the mind. Meditation and medications often give us the solidarity and peace of mind to step out into this world. 

A spiritual cleanse is the perfect way to focus on achieving the goals you want to set forth in this year. Hanging on to the baggage only makes for a longer journey to finding out centers of happiness. We merely exist amongst the living in a state of darkness. 

We hope to revitalize our lives. We just forget that it takes effort. We become complacent. We live our lives through others. Social media becomes our life support. We forget how to communicate and interact with others. We text and message and forget the gift of conversation. We become mutes to the world we are in. The hearing impaired no longer read our lips because they do not move. Our fingers do the talking. With every key pressed on our phones or laptops, we forget to have a voice. We forget how to communicate. We no longer make phone calls. We become intoxicated with social anxiety. We become our own worst enemies. We have nothing to say for fear that no one will want to listen or that whatever we say will sound stupid.

From the moment we come into this world, we begin to die. As we progress to our demise, we are to learn and grow in order to enrich our lives here as well as the lives of others. If we become selfish, materialistic or self-centered, we more than likely isolate ourselves. No one wants to be around us. Who could blame them? Why should we be around miserable people when they are not good company? I was once that person. Thankfully, that angst-filled human being is gone. 

Each day seems so much clearer when we renew our minds, bodies, and souls. We find purpose. We have always possessed our purpose. Some of us just get sidetracked. Sometimes horrible things happen in our lives and we regress. We either become turtles who hide in our shells or we become other than who we truly are meant to be. We wreck our lives in fear that we will crash when we reach our potential, rather than find our best lives and live them to the fullest. We weigh ourselves down with our problems and the problems of others around us. We want to be life savers to others when we cannot even save ourselves.

People are quick to point out our flaws and tell us that if we have Jesus in your lives, then it will all work out. Well, it takes more than that. Prayer can make things possible, but we must be willing to allow things to work in favor for our lives. We can be all prayed up and then go back to what brought us misery in the first place. 

As we begin 2019, it’s time to take out the garbage in your lives and put those kinds of people on the curb. They are more than likely to remain there awhile due to the trash truck’s fear of recycling them into someone else’s life.

Re- is a prefix I enjoy using. It is a prefix, occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition, or with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion:

Refocus, renew, reinvent, refurbish, restore, re-energize, repair, resolve, re-ignite, and revitalize are some of my favorite uses of this prefix. We forget to look at things again differently. 

The late Maya Angelou’s poem, “The Caged Bird Sings” states, “The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill. For the caged bird sings of freedom.” This was written in a time of trauma in her life. 

The cages we build around us only keep us from our purpose. From a prison cell to the walls of our home, we can only rise above the past and reinvent the directions of our lives. When chances are given for a new life, we must implore all the survival tactics necessary to move forward with a promising future for ourselves and anyone involved in our lives. 

Old doors close so that new ones can open. Relationships end so that a restoration can begin to bring us back to life. Friendships die so that we might have an enlightenment in our lives. New challenges form so that we might use the wisdom from past obstacles to break through the barriers. Inner peace and strength triumph over fear so that we may soar. 

For every failure, there is victory. For every sorrow, there is a happiness. For every day, there is a tomorrow. We must pick up the pieces and carry on. We must resolve to keep the resolutions we set forth for ourselves without throwing in the towel. Enjoy this ever-changing journey of life as each new day begins for your body, mind and soul. 

Just as we work on ourselves, we must dematerialize and remove the clutter in our homes. Hoarding the treasures and purchases we purchased on a whim only attract dust. Storing them in our attics and storage rooms usually devalue them with climate changes. Today’s generation is more of the “disposable generation.” They don’t appreciate antiques, heirlooms, the fine china or quality furnishings. They opt for the latest trend or furniture that needs to be assembled. They prefer an embossed Styrofoam cup over a Waterford wine glass. Often there is not a place for these great treasures to be passed along. 

In 2009, I was in a major transition and revival of sorts of my life. I was on a journey of renewal and restoration. During that time, I drew up a plan to create a unique space in downtown Monroe. It would revive a historic space and give it a new life. I’d always had his eye on the building that Revival now inhabits. 

For a decade, I held on to this vision of creating something unique for the Monroe area with hopes that one day this space would come available. I never lost sight of this dream over the years. 

In 2017, my friend and developer Jason Thomas acquired the location for future development. When we began working on other building restorations in downtown Monroe, the Wood street building was envisioned for residential and other commercial development. When I expressed my passion and desired development of the space in January 2019, the beginning of its transformation began. 

The first phase of cosmetic renovations began in February of last year and was completed this fall. Large wrought iron and crystal chandeliers and reproduction ceiling fans of the era were added. A massive restoration of the original ornate tin ceiling took place to keep in intact. While it is far from its completion with 3 more phases to go, REVIVAL CONSIGN & DESIGN opened its doors on November 1. 

Revival is more than just an upscale interior design consignment shop. It is also a concept that is working with local, regional and statewide artists to showcase their talents. 

After several years of working with physically and developmentally disabled, I have chosen to give creatives with such limitations a place to showcase their creative and artistic talents. Art, handmade jewelry and works will be housed there. It will be a space of inclusion to celebrate talents beyond those limitations. 

Revival is a very symbolic name for my shop. As my life continues to go through a daily revival, I love seeing art, lighting, antiques, home furnishings, and architectural elements get a new life in a new home. 

Revival has started out as an interior upscale shop and is looking to expand into the couture and luxury fashion in early 2020. Later into next year, Revival will transform an outdoor space for a botanical and patio furniture gallery. Revival serves clients in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi so far. Revival is located at 300 Walnut Street in historic downtown Monroe. Revival can be reached at 318-381-8191 as well as on Facebook. 

As we enter 2020, It might just be time to give your home a revival and let go of some things that are keeping this from happening. Revival is glad to assist with those needs.