A Room of Balloons

Imagine the look on your face if you walked into a room full of balloons.

I would imagine feeling colorful and fanciful, and maybe even weightless, like I could float up to the ceiling like a balloon. Or that I’m completely cushioned on all sides – like the best kind of padded room I could imagine. I can imagine delight – and an inevitable desire to throw, kick, toss, and do anything to those balloons in a perpetual “game” of keeping them in the air.

That’s sort of a life theme, right? Keeping the aspects (balloons) of your life afloat at once?

I like that. Feeling safe and secure, and maybe a little in awe. We all just need our own room of balloons sometimes, don’t we? As long as I have a room I can go to, I am mostly always fine. It used to be more true than it is now. As I grew from childhood until adulthood, I had a personal journey of figuring out my personal space issues, and being assertively kind, or kindly assertive when I asked someone to back up. I don’t always react well when my space is threatened, with no backup.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it started, if it didn’t start at birth. My guess is that after my father passed away, many people were in and out of my life and my space, and people were playing roles for me that my mother or father previously played. My mom met my now-dad who had three young children, and we bunked altogether in smaller rooms or in hotels while our house was being renovated to comfortably hold seven people. 5 still-grieving children and 2 still-grieving parents.

All I know is that when the house was finally finished, my parents hand-picked my childhood bedroom for me. A large room at the end of the house. A separate oasis to escape to whenever I needed. My room often full of balloons. Color and softness. Familiar noises. Safety, security, and maybe a bit of awe. For years, friends and family and even my siblings asked why I got that particular room. My parents always replied something to the effect of, “We knew this was what she needed. A dreamer, a reader and a sleeper needs her space.” I ad-libbed a bit, but that was what they decided for me and that is how I lived.

They hit the nail on the head with me. They knew what I most needed.

A place I could go to self-soothe, both in my immature grief, and many years after.

In this week’s Finish the Sentence Friday, Kristi asks the question of what you do when you’re upset, with a rhyme! Are you a pacer, a retreater, or a stress-eater? I don’t get upset often, but when I do, it’s often when my space is threatened – physically, emotionally, mentally, through work, through my kids, through my loved ones – whatever it is that makes me get into defend, defend, defend mode. Not always logical, and maybe logical less than half the time! It’s having different equipment for different reactions to different scenarios. We’re all equipped differently, and sometimes in contrast to how we were a year ago. Or maybe, a day ago? I always need my space, my place, my room full of balloons. For comfort, for safety..

..for a little bit of awe. And surprise!

It’s this balloon room I have constructed, that I can take anywhere I please. I only get upset when someone threatens it. When I have to step out of it to see what’s amiss – what is threatening this safe, comfortable, awe-inspiring room? It’s this cozy unit in this cozy life – with this cozy family and this cozy job – and this pretty, pretty room. When something threatens it? Well, good. That’s how we learn to adapt and stretch, but God, I fight it tooth and nail at first. This week I got upset:

When I had too much work to do and I didn’t know how to do it all

When I had not enough work to do and was worried it meant something

When I wanted to be alone too much

When I needed people around me too much

When I had a frustrating work situation that made me feel awful

When I felt like a washed up hack with no talent

When I couldn’t turn the radiance on and off, but mostly not ON

When there were six weeks left of winter, and four years left of us all fighting on Facebook

When I have FEELINGS

When I don’t

When someone did something extraordinary for me when I felt like a waste of life

When my IUD was an a-hole, but to remove it might get me more than I bargain for

When I couldn’t/can’t choose a direction with that (above) one!

When I get upset, and when I can’t find my room, I pace, retreat and NOT-stress-eat (seriously, I lose weight when I’m upset and it sucks). When I get upset, I claw my way back to my room, or I just go and make another. Taller. Roomier. Balloonier.

I wish you all a room of balloons – always there waiting for you should you need it – but always there to remind you what you can do when you have no balloons to keep you safe, comfortable, and in awe. You blow up some more, and make a new room.

And oh, what you can do there, and beyond!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “When I’m upset, I…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

Similar Posts


  1. What a great way to look at this and I will say I am on day 2 of my kids being off for snow here and may need a whole house of balloons by the end of this long, extended weekend now. Just saying!! 😉

  2. I feel like you are a New England, not so Bible Belt, version of myself. I can just relate to so much of what you say. Plus, your memory tiles aren’t at right angles. Messy memory tiles. We are clearly kindred spirits. lol I never had my own room until I was 20, but it was a dream of mine. I shared a room with my retarded sister, not saying that mean, she literally was born with this hole in her head so that she could never develop past the age of a 16 month old, mentally. I had to keep my room clean so my sister wouldn’t eat my things. I haven’t lost a parent yet, and it scares me. I have so much respect for you.

  3. I would love a room full of balloons! I kind of feel like that in our new place. It is just waiting for furniture and then memories to start being made. I am a bit of a stress-eater and find comfort in chocolate and warm fuzzy blankets.

  4. A room full of balloons…sounds quite magical and cozy. As the pictures show, the bright colors can really do something for sadness or feeling like a hack. I feel like a hack often and wonder what the heck I’m doing. Then I wake up and start over with enthusiasm. I need a room full of balloons.

    1. Aw, none of us are hacks. When other people say they feel like one, I’m like, “No, not YOU! Not at all. Never say that!” I don’t afford myself the same luxury, though. I think to myself, “Well they’re different. I really am a hack. They’re not.”
      Not cool!

  5. I want a room full of balloons. Except I get weird about them too. The popping of them and the pieces being choking and ugh. (SORRY)
    I so hear you about the four years of fighting on Facebook. About the FEELINGS. I hope this week brings you more of people doing the extraordinary for you. xo

    PS YIKES about the IUD being an a-hole. Hope you get that figured out!! I ended up not getting one, hearing they can be a-holes, but still YIKES.

    1. Don’t be sorry. I hate the sound of balloons. Also, I’ve never blown one up in my life. The taste and smell turns me off. That said, a room full of balloons someone else blew up that can’t pop? YES.
      The IUD is mostly fine and I never think about it, but I just miss the old me that is 100% me.. if that makes sense. I’m so sensitive to my own body and it weirds me out. The alternative is a bit frightening, though.. BABIES.

  6. I’m a retreater when I get upset. Which isn’t very often, at least outwardly. I tend to hold things in until I can’t take it anymore. And then a room of balloons would be wonderful!

  7. A room full of balloons sounds magical. As I was reading this, I was thinking what a lovely thing it would be for a child to come from from a bad day at school (or even any day at school) and find their room full of balloons. It got me thinking about the bright colors too – I think I need more bright colors in my house. When I need space, I tend to hide…I love that they gave you a space in the house that was perfect for you. 🙂

    1. It happened today! Cassidy went to a business dinner last night and came home with a bunch of balloons from the centerpiece at the restaurant. The kids woke up to it and made sure to wake me up to tell me about the big room of balloons! (you can’t make this up)

  8. I love this post! I also think I will need a room full of balloons ASAP! I adore that your parents saw your distinct needs in your new home/family life and made sure to meet those needs. What a wonderful gift…and what a fantastic lesson in teaching you about yourself and your needs.

    1. I’ll never forget that. It seeps into my parenting because I do think about the whole layout of the house and how it might affect kids. It made me sensitive.

      Thank you!

  9. OMG, I love this movie, it had such a great message. Walking into a room filled with balloons would be heartwarming, I would feel weightless like I was floating. Just thinking about it makes me smile. I’m a thinker. I like to think about why I’m mad. When I’m upset, I get silent and think. Pretty sure my boyfriends hated that about me. I need a balloon room. Beautifully written Tamara

  10. Oh my god, I think I need to have a Robin Williams marathon and cry my eyes out now. He makes me feel ALL the things. Just like you do, with your writing and your pictures. I agree with you. I think we all need a room full of balloons or a kiddie pool full of spaghetti noodles!

  11. We love balloons here! My daughter especially. In fact, I’m getting her a balloon for Valentine’s Day and I know she’ll love it.

    1. Last night Cassidy was at a business dinner and the restaurant must have had Valentine’s Day centerpieces left over because they let him take one home. Well, the kids woke up to a brilliant display of red and pink balloons today. It went over really well!

  12. What is it with the awesomeness of balloons? My kids go nuts for them, they cost a million dollars at the mall and its really just latex filled with air? This was so touching the way you weaved these beautiful words.

    1. My kids too. Personally, I never cared for them! The sound of popping scared me and the latex is yucky. That said, I guess it skipped a generation!

    1. Thanks so much. I’m a huge retreater and I always think it’s getting better with age, and then I’ll do it again and be way too hard on myself. Not cool.


  13. Oh how I wish I had a room full of balloons (or maybe pillows) right now. Seems like we have a few things in common, I don’t stress eat either and lose a lot of weight, however, I totally get it. Life can totally get overwhelming but it’s all about how we deal with it.

  14. Like Sonya said, your parents knew you so well! Since my sister was born I never had my own space, but it (mostly) seemed to work for me. I think I need people around and do better when I’m around others. It explains why I focus better in noisy cafes than in my quiet home.

  15. See…and now I’m stuck trying to imagine how many balloons it would actually take to fill your living room.

    I loved that movie. And I loved him. Such a shame he left so soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.