'tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
It will be in the valley of love and delight.
From the Shaker song Simple Gifts,
written by Joseph Brackett, Jr. in 1848
My daughter left her bed but took her linens with her when she moved, so I needed to start from scratch setting up the guest room. The photo above is the chenille bedspread I ordered. The room looks nothing like the one pictured, but you get the idea. The bedspread is soft and plain and simple. My plan is to finish off one of the many UFO (unfinished objects, otherwise known as quilts!) I have going and lay it at the foot of the bed, with a matching pillow at the head of the bed. I've moved my office into the guest room, too - and organized shelves within the closet to keep all my records and files.
There's a lot of talk these days about finding balance in our lives. I know it's certainly something I'm always after... a way to be healthy yet enjoy good food; finding time for myself vs. time for community involvement... slowing down to smell the roses yet getting everything done I want to do in a day.
I know you understand exactly what I'm talking about.
I can get distracted and off balance from seeing something in my house that I should take care of, or something I want to do. So as I'm doing one thing, I stop and do another thing, then forget what the first thing was as I begin to do yet a third thing.
Again, I bet that sounds familiar to many of you.
For me, finding balance in my life involves two things: slowing down enough to plan my day, and simplifying my life enough to focus on what's really most important. I don't know about you, but I can SO easily get pulled in twenty different directions (I can even do it to myself!) unless I know what I want to accomplish, and follow the plan. And the plan comes out of knowing what matters most to me.
We've known for many months that our oldest would be moving out at some point this year. I knew that when she left, I wanted to make her room into a guest room. When she was here, my sewing room served also as a guest room/home office/library/mess. I let the room get out of control with too much stuff stacked here and there. It's amazing how much stress that kind of chaos causes for me!
So I've finally taken the time to get things organized once again. And I decided it would be a great time to de-clutter and simplify. I donated three huge boxes of books to our local library; I sent another three boxes of miscellaneous stuff to Goodwill. These are all things I've thought I HAD to have around me. But in the end, it was just stuff taking up space in my house and weighing down my spirit. I simplified it down to the things that matter most to me, and I let the rest of it go.
The sewing room has been organized as well, with labeled bins for fabrics, notions, and those aforementioned UFO's. I moved my sewing machine under the window for more light, and so I can look outside as I work. Hubby put together a small bookcase in there so I have a spot for my quilting books now. There's even room to add a plant, to bring some greenery into the room.
I'm truly breathing much easier today, now that so much stuff has gone away, and my home is organized. I posted last week about cleaning the garbage foods out of my kitchen. That's made a huge impact on my ability to eat healthy this past week. I'm not fooling myself: I've lived long enough to know that I'll have to do this again in a year or so: being a pack-rat is part of my personality (especially when it comes to books!)
But I've made a vow to work toward balance in my life -- my health, my family, my creativity and volunteer work -- and much of that begins by simplifying my environment.
How about you?
Until next time...