Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Third Day of the Year

'A tranquil but determined start to the new year here.  I had a good bit of time off from work these past few weeks, and I used a lot of it to get some things organized and reorganized in this little apartment.  I have long thought of home-care and decorating and what I call puttering around--fluffing up the throw pillows, changing out the tablecloth, adding the fresh flowers to canning jars, hanging the new-old paintings and embroidered pieces sooner rather than later, refolding the granny square afghans on the backs of the chairs, taking oranges out of their mesh bag and adding them to the green stoneware bowl, even just putting the dishes back where they belong and arranging them neatly on their shelves--as hobbies or pastimes or interests, but I have realized this past month that for me, these little activities are actually a form of self-care.  Eureka!  When we see a woman who has made the extra effort to dress especially nicely, paint her nails, look out for her health and fitness, or [insert-your-own-examples], we think "There is someone who values herself and makes the time to take good care of herself," and I realize now that similarly, when my home is orderly and sweet and cheerful, I feel those things about myself.  When my home is orderly and sweet and cheerful, I feel those things about myself.  Ahhhh!  All the little "puttering around" tasks, then, aren't really chores at all, then, just as I would no longer think of them as one of my hobbies either.  I see now that they're more vital for me than that.  These are ways I take care of myself, I have just learned at 40-and-a-half-years-old:  I go for long walks, I take my vitamins, I try to eat and drink well, I use sunscreen year-round, I pray, I read, I cuddle with Stuffed, I show my love to my loves ones, I slather on lotion, I rest when needed, and I keep an organized and inviting home.  

On that front, I have tackled the bathroom cupboard--and after almost seven years of living here, have wrestled it into submission.  It is about seven feet tall and its three shelves are two feet deep but only twelve inches wide.  Without the shelves, it would be the perfectly-proportioned space to store a broom and mop, but . . .I think I've finally figured it out.  And now hanging vertically on the inside of its door are three narrow cork bulletin boards, my work-schedule, a list of that month's birthdays and other need-to-send-a-card-or-otherwise-mark-a-special-day occasions, a small pink dry-erase board I'm using as my weekly food diary, a basket for pens and dry-erase markers, Stuffed's litter-scoop, a dust pan and broom, and a six-inch-wide calendar I use to record my daily walks.  'A good use now, and better late than never, of that seven-foot tall-but-only-twelve-inch-wide door too.  Take that, Ill-Proportioned Closet.  That alone has made home and life feel so much tidier.  It's What-I-Need-to-Remember Central, and it's a breath of fresh air for this lifelong list-maker:  I have it all in one spot now but tucked away on the back of the door so it doesn't "read" as clutter.  That's been just one improvement lately.  And now that I actually like the cupboard, I want to doll it up even more by papering the small wall-spaces inside the cupboard. . .give it a little more love.  Just like that, it's become a time-saver, a better use of space, and features a door I actually enjoy opening and seeing what's behind.  I myself feel so much more on top of things even with this one project, is the point.  And now that I have a better perspective on it all, I look forward to taking on everything else that's on my around-the-apartment to-do list.  Those to-do items no longer feel like problems or chores ahead of me, but instead opportunities and possibilities.  How good this all feels after watching everything fall apart around here the first seven months with this new job and new work schedule!  Ohhhhh, I love learning.  I love figuring it out.  Life already feels so much better, and 2018 is looking so much brighter. 

9 comments:

Lisa said...

Isn't it wonderful when the penny sort of drops? And you get it. And, as for wanting to doll up the closet even more, yes, the more you improve on things, the more clearly you will see what the next good thing is to do. It's an ongoing improvement, and it's good! Everything looks so cute there, like someone cares.

Val said...

Exactly, Lisa!

Anonymous said...

Yea for time off to just putter and love our little homes...I bet it feels so happy in your home after all the attention and cuddles you are giving it...great way to start off the new year...happy and content with all your accomplishments...it all falls into place, doesn't it!!!? Bravo Val!!!diana

La Table De Nana said...

Loving our little nests is so important.♥

La Table De Nana said...

I seem to have misplaced your email:( Can you email me and send me your postal address?

Nellie said...

Hi, Val! You are off to a good start for 2018! It is a way of loving our home when we give it attention! xo Nellie

Marie Rayner said...

Wrestling your house into a semblance of order is a really great mood booster I find! I am constantly working on it. One room at a time, and then its time to start all over again for some odd reason. I make space and then I tend to fill in that space with more stuff. Maybe I have an illness, lol. Loved your thoughts on this Val! xoxo PS - Happy New Year!!

racheld said...

Hurray for Order and Reason and Tidy and Neat and Fulfillingly arranged! My own EVERYTHING is in disarray right now, with only the upstairs tidied up from most of the Christmas decorating, and a breath of pale pink and soft green in lampshades and pillows and the wee clothespins holding fans of cards and letters to the sitting-room blinds.

You're the second time in this short morning that I've seen the words "self-care," and it's struck me as a sort of sign of the day---I do the health things, the vitamins and hydration and moisturizers slathered hither-may, (three new Creedence CDs for Christmas have enhanced the atmosphere with a lot of verve and vigor, and lookin' out my OWN back AND front doors reveals a vast white-covered simplicity that belies all the needful tending below).

This may well not spring from my keyboard to your screen, for you are the ONLY one of my "dailies" that I can comment on---something amiss that I need to have fixed, and it's so trivial, I just keep letting it slide. So Good Morning to you, Sweet Miss, and I'll tell you soon of your Doppelganger who swooped in to help us navigate Pennsylvania Station, then disappeared into the mist of the patient train, with an enormous lovely doll under one arm.

Stay warm and cared for, r

a simple life said...

How good you must feel! Yay for you in figuring this out and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm liking your way of thinking...these are not chores but ways we love ourselves! Because I, too, feel so much better when my home is just so. Thanks, Val!