And again

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Oops.

I kind of slipped in that writing-every-day part of 31 Days,but oh well, it is what it is!!

Truth be told, I’ve been away from the computer as I’ve been sorting – deeply sorting – some parts of my house, and that has taken up my focus and energy.  Even though I had fully intended to write every day, I’m not sorry for the break as it happened, because it’s part of the process of learning my limits, and the importance of prioritising where I spend my limited energy.  For right now, I have an innate need to press deeper into my home, which actually means doing things in my home that make life more livable for me and my family.

Much of that activity at the moment is sorting and purging, to make way for breathing and creating.  Enter exhibit B (Exhibit A was my back room from last week):

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That’s my garage, and my workspace.

Yep.

I know this is not an unusual picture, for me or anyone really, and that most of us have spaces that become dumping grounds.  I could barely even walk through here, and it had gotten to the point where I was afraid to even start, feeling frozen with not knowing where to start.  But the thought of leaving became even more frustrating and downright painful to some degree than continuing to actually ignore it, because every time I thought ‘oh, I”ll pain that/ fix that/ make that’ etc, I knew I couldn’t because I didn’t have access to the space.

So, I just started, and after a few hours spread over two days, I now have this:

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Much, much better.  Still some stuff stored that will go back into the house, but plenty of room to move, to breathe, and most importantly, to create.  Again, just like after clearing out and organising the back room last week, I felt like I could let out a breath I’d been holding for a long time.

As much as I’d love to click my fingers and have my entire house sorted right now, I know that this is a process, and one that takes time.  As I’m going through it, I can choose to put all creating and decorating and making-this-house-a-home-ing on hold until everything is purged and organised to my satisfaction, or I can start putting pictures on the walls and sewing covers for the couch and painting rooms and re-purposing sideboards at the same time as cleaning out cupboards and sorting way too much paperwork and purging the Tupperware cupboard.  Again.

I vote for the second option, because waiting for the right time means nothing will ever happen.  My life to this point is testament to that, and I’m changing my story now because I can.

How do you manage to create beauty whilst trying to keep life in order?  

 

 

Exhale

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For quite a while now, I’ve been unsettled, restless, almost irritated, and I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on the cause of it all.  My life this year has seen a lot of change and transition, which is actually pretty normal for me, but there’s been an undercurrent of something, something which identifying seems elusive and just out of my grasp.

At the centre of  it I know is stuff, the stuff we have and the time it takes to manage it all, the self-resentment I feel for feeling burdened by my choices and having to keep myself and the kids in line to not let it all get out of control.  First world problems, I know, and ones that are so common to so, so many people around me.  But it’s been even more than that, and today I had an experience that gave me a little moment of clarity and a great deal of encouragement.

I’ve been going back through the pile of e-mails in my inbox (yes, more stuff, albeit of the electronic variety), and I came across a blog post from Michael Hyatt, where he discussed Chris Guillebeau’s new book ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’ and a quote from the book stopped me in my tracks:

“Properly examined, feeling of unease can lead to a new life of purpose.”

The words resonated deep within me in relation to another area of life, but as I sat writing out my brain this morning, trying to work out the core of this discontent, I thought of this quote, and let it sit over how I was feeling about the current state of my house.

Stifled and scattered.  That’s what immediately came to mind, and initially I felt despair over trying to work out how to fix it all.  Of course, I knew I couldn’t in the space of a day, but I could start.

So, I started to make a list.  And then realised that was a really bad idea, because it would potentially be never ending and even more discouraging.  I then asked myself ‘what’s stealing my joy today?’, and I immediately knew the answer.

The back of our house is primarily made up of what we call ‘the back room (original, I know) – it was originally the back porch, and 20+ years ago was enclosed to become an extra living area.  After having floor covering put down nearly a year ago, we were finally able to start really living in this space (previously it had bare concrete, after I got rid of the old carpet squares), and it’s currently zoned into tv/gaming, my office and sewing/creating space.  As so often happens, the flat surfaces become holding areas for things that get dumped, and I was at my limit of coping with it all.

So, I just starting clearing it out and cleaning it up.  Which didn’t take that long at all, even sorting the pile of ‘to deal with’ paper that had been getting higher and higher, and eventually, I got my room back.

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Like the rest of my house, this space will never appear in a magazine or a design blog, but it works for us, and I have plans to make it even brighter and welcoming.

But the moment of clarity came for me today when I was driving around later, getting some jobs done around town, and I felt like I could take a big, deep, unrestricted breath for the first time in a long time, and I just felt peace.  Re-setting my space and getting rid of the excess had shifted something inside me and left me feeling lighter, and I just got it – the peace of not just less, but of simply having what I need.  As I prayed this morning in the early waking hours, simply speaking the words of The Lord’s Prayer to my Father, the prayer to ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ became more than just words.  It was an awakening to the fact that that is all we can truly ask for – what we need for each day as it comes, one day at a time.  And to learn to live in that, nothing more, trusting God that He knows what we need to get through the day.

By examining what it was that was making me feel uneasy today, I got something done that felt purposeful and encouraging – a very small example of what Chris Guillbeau talks about, but one that shows me that listening to this discontent might just be what I need to find where I need to go.

What is it that brings those little – or even big – ‘aha’ moments for you?

Unexpected delight

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I walked into the kitchen tonight, getting home after the biggest boy’s basketball game, and was caught by what I saw before me –

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The vignette I had originally created of bits and pieces of things I love had been added to here and there, showing more of a picture of my life. Framed words that inspire, whimsical beauty from a local artist, a creation from a girl who loves her dad fiercely, memories in a jar, sunshine in a bowl, gifts brought back from a land far away, and books overflowing. And dinosaurs, of course (doesn’t everyone use dinosaurs in their decorating?).

It’s not anything that will ever appear in a style magazine, but it’s my life today, perfectly imperfect.

Comforts

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I had plans today. Ones that involved cleaning out and sorting allthestuff in the garage, that would make space to create and work on some of the projects in my head.

Buuuut, no. I got gastro instead, and have spent the day on the couch, very close to the required amenities, with this view

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At least I can see blue skies and sunshine.

Instead of getting the job done that I’d planned and set aside the day for, I’ve read books, played games with the youngest boy, put some of the inside of my head on paper, drank cups of bone broth and peppermint tea, and counted my blessings of the comforts of home when I’m not feeling my best.

That’s the way life goes sometimes, and I love that at times like this, home wraps itself around me like a big, soft blanket.

What are your home comforts?

Thank God I’m a country girl

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I live in rural South Australia, a town of about 27,000, a city by definition, but where within 10 minutes of driving, I see this:

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Without fail, when I’m outside in the beautiful landscape that God has created here, be it farm land, the bush , the river or the ocean (all within 30 minutes from my front door), I know peace and a stilling of my soul.

I love where I live.

Where is ‘that place’ for you?

Lines and loops

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I’ve had art projects for my home captured in my head for years, and I haven’t done anything about bringing them to life.

Tonight, I put pen to paper and started working on creating one of my visions. Tucked up on the couch in between checking on the moon turning red outside with the smallest boy, I drew words that make my heart sing.

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There’s no place like home

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I didn’t post yesterday because I was absolutely exhausted from travelling and people and not enough sleep, but all day I felt wrapped in a bubble of contentment, because I was home.

And my words this morning sum it up perfectly.

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What is ‘home’ for you? A place, a time, an experience? It’s different for all of us, I’d love to hear your thoughts.