One of the realities of living through a year long renovation is that you begin to appreciate small comforts and live with discomforts you cannot change. Our 1955 home is on top of a slight hill, about six miles from the urban life we lived a year ago. It’s presence found after looking much further and more rural than we found her. Sometimes what you dream of is really different than what fits in daily living when its said and done. In our heart of hearts, perhaps our dream had looked more like an Abe Lincoln styled simple log home, but in our reality, proximity to Dh’s work, a home that was already in space needing love was more in line with what we were prepared to engage. There is a joy about a home built by hand over 65 years ago, and each layer revealed fine craftsmanship beneath dawdy dressings. I find that most days there’s a correlation on how #thetackybrownhouse, now called The Perch, looked when we found her and how she’s coming along with a little care. Aren’t we all better when we let go of what doesn’t work for us? Change happens the instant we are willing to look at issues from a different perspective.
What discomforts do you have in your life. Personally, at the moment it’s a master bedroom that looks like a tornado hit it. We’re building the master suite as we live in it, not exactly material for the pages of Southern Living. On the good days, the bed is made, the bare floor swept and a few choice knick knacks on the dresser. On the difficult ones…like the last say 17 or so…there’s a band saw providing that industrial look, a layer of protective sawdust on the floor, and as the closets are not installed or built yet, a continual feast of how to handle the clothes until… Now some of those discomforts are worthwhile on the path to progress, but the comforts denied, well, there’s a story there.
We have two closets in another bedroom, empty, workable, and yet, we’ll willingly deny ourselves the convenience of hanging our clothes in a sawdust free zone, orderly, in a room that would at the least give us a breather…why you ask? Because we forgot they existed. We were so busy thinking inside the box “room must be miserable while renovating” that we stopped thinking through the options.
What options are you overlooking? For me that’s a focused question this season. The children going to their Grandparent’s home for Christmas, then the option for our family dinner is Sunday before or … Need a break from the rush rush here rush rush there mentality? Then the option to greet my family with hot cocoa when they arrive home and usher them to a couple of movies on the DVR complete with grilled cheese and soup for dinner on trays changes the tone of the night. Need a bit of a breather from a seemingly endless bathroom renovation? Then use a pressure rod to hang pretty curtains over the “not yet installed” doors to the room and washroom and pull that dad gummed thing closed during the day and at night so you can see pretty (not to mention contain sawdust) while they work. Who cares if it has to be shaken out later then run through the wash…it works!
Small comforts I have found bring life to the living. Some of mine this year have been:
Choosing a soap I truly enjoy the scent and texture of on my skin
Setting aside a bonified set time to do self care, to facilitate solitude in my day.
Choosing to fill my work space pencil cup with only a certain pencil and pen that I love using that happen to be pretty too.
Keeping epsom salts near the tub with essential oils for the rescue (from stress of course!) I can wash that problem right out of my day 🙂
Releasing clothes from my closet every month until I have pretty much what I feel great in left..and discovering that my style has changed and that alone energizes my day.
Taking our “available to use” dishes count down to 4 place settings for 3 people and storing the rest so the dirty dish pile always fits in the washer or can be done by hand in 10 minutes. (huge help)
Getting in the habit of keeping two of our favorite things on hand…such as coffee creamers or hand lotions. We keep a pantry for food that way, but had not thought to do so on comfort items such as lotions, essential oils. I always made sure they didn’t run out of their things but had not protected the items that support ME! Shift that thinking girl, you can do it!
Buying a certain number of specific hangers for my closet, then realizing as the hangers are full that that is the goal for total number of clothes and having a visual identifier to help declutter. (first you fold and put away things you may not use, then it becomes easier to let go as you realize you didn’t go to that shelf or tub for them after a few weeks) Viola…wardrobe now fits in a wardrobe literally!
Buying a phone charger for every car, truck, suitcase, and bedroom so that we stop carting them to the next place. THAT was a wonderful investment, we have many fewer days of “My Phone’s not charged” conversations when out traveling.
This is the season of giving. Personally I’m rethinking whose on the list. If we spend our time always focused on giving to others without building in the support systems for ourselves, well, creature comforts are a luxury, they are a support system. When we’re supported, we are better able to support others. Whether its time away for a few moments, a quick planned nap, a dabble with a brush on canvas, we each have creature comforts we deny ourselves…and there is no reason to! Like our closets unused, many options are around us if we’ll look with new eyes past our troubles and discomforts and ask “what is it that would make this better”…for me that phrasing helps me get to the meat of the matter…and very often, more often than I’d like to admit, the answer was before me, free for the taking, if I simply allow for comfort to be a concern. Too often in fifteen minutes or less an answer that beyond brought comfort was found when I was willing to let go of the discomfort.
How about you? What comforts in your daily life and home are you seeking this season?