Over the past nine months we have been intentionally creating a place that feels like home. Not just to us, but also to those that visit. In one of my earlier articles I talked about how stability was one of our core values. It's one of the reasons we chose to buy, rather than continue renting. We have definitely felt more settled this year. Having our own home is definitely the main reason for that.
I have always been an organised person. While I do come from a long line of organised women, some of it also comes from my time as a gymnast. I trained five days a week, after school and on weekends. I would get home from school and train from 4.30 to 8.00pm. Once home I would have dinner and then fit in homework or study before I went to bed. I was good at school and quite contentious. So I was determined my schoolwork wouldn’t suffer. Looking back I’m not sure how I fitted it all in, but I did.
My Mum sent me a text earlier this week. She said she had been thinking about the posts I write. And thought it was interesting how they fitted in with a series they'd been listening to at the church they attend. Their minister has been talking about the Sabbath and what it means in todays world. The Sunday before he had talked about how sad it is that many of us wear being a workaholic as a badge of honour. How being busy become the new black. He believes we all need Sabbath moments within our week. By that he means moments of space just to be. And this got me thinking.
As I write this it’s my birthday tomorrow. I’ve taken a couple of days off work to potter about and relax. I’m sitting in my study upstairs, the sun streaming through the window. The fire is warming the house below. The dogs are happily chomping on bones, tired from a weekend of good runs in the forest. The boy has just sent me a photo of our boat, which finally made it to Tasmania today. Two and a half years after we did. It’s been a mission getting it here. But we are now ready to dust off the fishing rods and clean the BBQ ready for summer. It’s amazing how life can change in a year.
Over the past few weeks I’ve heard the phrase ‘balance doesn’t exist’ written or talked about five times. All five who claimed balance doesn’t exist were women. One was the CEO of a large company with four children at home. One was a blogger with an online business, who also runs workshops and is the mother of two young children. Two were bloggers building an online business and working full-time in a regular job. And the last was a mother of three toddlers under the age of five. In these instances I agree. Balance doesn’t exist. Or rather it can’t exist.
I’ve been thinking this week about how our days are like a dinner plate. A balanced dayis filledwith healthy portions. By the end of itwe feelsatisfied. An overwhelming day is like attending a buffet, where we fill our plates so full we can’t eat everything. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. And rather than feeling satisfied, we have this uncomfortable feeling of fullness.
As I write this it’s late Sunday morning. It’s one of those non-descript winter days. Overcast, grey and cold. The boy is in the shed pottering about. The dogs are lying beside the fire in there with him. I’vejusthad a hot shower to warm me up after taking them for a long walk this morning. There’s a chicken cooking in the oven, and Meg is lying beside the fire in the lounge keeping me company.
When I talk about living a quiet life, I’m talking about a life that feels slow. A life that is simple, has space for the things I enjoy doing and is free of clutter - both physical and mental. But the more I talk about my personal journey, the more I find the same type of resistance comes up from other people.