JOY – EMPTY NESTS – AND THE NEXT SEASON

Hello friends.

 

When I started blogging I wanted to be so light and airy and positive and uplifting, and hopefully I’m achieving that.  But also there’s real life.  Homes aren’t perfect, rooms aren’t perfectly decorated or clean and organized all the time.

I know this sounds negative, but I don’t want it to be, I want it to be thought provoking.  I’m at that next season, where for the most part the kids have scooted out and it’s just me, hubby and the pets, (2 dogs and 2 goats!).

Every day is new, full of possibilities, and adventures, but slowly and insidiously lately my days have been wrapped in emotions, a roller coaster of highs and lows.

Joy - Empty Nest

Do you have days like this?  If you do, then can I give you a cyber-hug.

We get up in the morning because … we have to go to work, eat, clean house, etc.

We do all these things all our lives because we have a need to feed and clothe and house ourselves.  But what are we doing for ourselves. Just us.  Things that bring us joy?

Joy Empty Nests Next Season

Do you know what brings you joy?

Joy.  Happiness.  A contentment on doing a particular task.

Joy, Empty Nests, The next season
Photo – Ancientbests.co.nz

Usually we’d say something like our family, friends, home etc., But what about just for you?

It’s all so confusing.  What will make the next years fulfilling, exciting, joy-filled and worthy of me.  Because it’s time to think ABOUT ME.

What do I like to do?

No idea – and that is scary.

Besides I realize (sadly) that some of the things I might have liked to try my now 60-year-old body is no longer capable of.  Mentally, too I’m finding that I can no longer multitask like before. Days where I juggled many balls seem to have evaporated.

So what does that leave me with?

Growing old in a rocking chair.

Hibernating?

Giving up?

That would be so easy and in truth the reality of that is tempting.  But it is also so sad.  Life doesn’t need to be sad.  For most of us life is a series of ups and downs and sometimes debilitating, and it would be easy to focus on the bad.

Joy empty nest the next season
Photo – pinterest.com

At this stage in my life when I’ve sort of left a major career, hubby is now retired too, it’s kinda scary and the thoughts of what next keep nagging at me. What do I want to do? What will fulfil me for the next 20-30 years?

For most women we put ourselves last for a majority of years.  Our children/families/work and home lives come first, our thoughts and needs come in a low pecking order on our lists of must dos.

We’ve hardly stopped all these years to actually consider that.  School runs, jobs, home, elderly parents, there was no time for us and if there was, guilt struck at the time we were taking away from our family and everyone else.  They all came first.  Now don’t get me wrong. I believe that to be absolutely true.  They should come first, especially your children.  You’ve brought them into this world, and it’s our responsibility to guide them until they leave the nest. Mind you being a parent never ends, the role of guide and listener is still happening even now they’re in their 20s.  Maybe that’s a time when we’re needed more so.

Photo – Pinterest.com

 

However, physically and spatially we now have time, and sometimes if we’re lucky a little bit extra dollars to go round.  It’s like moving house to a new neighborhood.  The people around us have all changed.  We’re used to our fellow co-workers, etc, now they aren’t a part of our everyday lives, so what will fill that gap?

So what if you now, for the first time have to think what you’d like to do – and shock horror, scary stuff – you can’t think of anything.  It’s like… so what am I/who am I/ what makes me happy?

Take time to list things you thought you might like to try.  Even if it was waaaay back.

Mine was:

Floral art

Growing herbs

Painting furniture

Joining a women’s group of some sort

(Thinking about) Getting fit!

Trying new recipes

Travel if I can.

See more of my own country

Learn to crochet

 

Do I want to start a business?  And why would I?  I’m 60 years old, it’s kinda time to rest surely?

But does that mean I’m not valuable, not capable of trying.  Of course not, but the commitment, the challenge, the effort, time etc, is that what I want now in my life?

When I read blog posts and see the lovely homes and everything just so, that little green devil in me gets loud!  I love the rooms, admire the talent, but I am a little bit envious too.  I see these vital women working hard to create beautiful homes, lives so full and active and I wonder where my life is taking me and why and how and oh so many questions.

Do you have those too?

As a semi empty nester you think you have so much time, but after years of raising a family and now not needed so much, it’s more about what’s next.  What do I fill my life with now?

One thing I think we must be thankful for as we age is that we are able to actually do that.  So many can’t Some also don’t have the good health to be able to be as vital as they once were or want to be.  Today give those around you who are not as fortunate in this vitality, a hug and compassion and encouragement.

Photo- Pinterest

Something I read recently about smiling, inspired me, and made me stop and …well, smile, and be grateful.  I also remembered that advert on TV where a person smiles as she passes another in the street, then that person smiles at another going passed in a bus and so on?  The smile is contagious.  This simple advert makes me smile and I think the knowledge that my smile could benefit someone else’s day, is awesome.

I’m out to find my pot of gold …. My joy, my reason, my fun. And smile!

Photo – askideas.com

It may be a business, it may be going to floral art classes or creating a myriad of life experiences and adventures, but it will be mine.

So I choose to turn today’s sense of overwhelm into a positive (hence this post) and smile at everyone from the lady at the bakery as we chuckled about giving in to the chocolate cake and the shop assistant who recognised me at Bed bath and Beyond (oops obviously I’ve been shopping too much).

So stop and smile and be grateful for today. And yep, smile and smile and smile.

And because you can’t stop smiling at this little girl, my first grandchild.

 

Happy days

Jane

 

 

Just Some Pretty Stuff

Hello everyone,

It’s been a frantic week this end of the world.  On Monday i drove about 4 hours north to visit my eldest sister who has chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.  It is so hard seeing her struggle and the limitations these horrible illnesses put on her, especially when she’s such a vital person and still wants to lead that vital life with her family.

That said, age is really enduring as was a testament when i went to Rotorua on Saturday to my mother’s sister’s 90th birthday.  It was a lovely occassion with family from Australia and the USA coming in to celebrate those 90 glorious years.  Saturday too was the start of clocks going forward for daylight saving and New Zealand’s government elections, so three momentous things on one day.  That, unfortunately meant that i was dead toast on Sunday.  We had to leave Rotorua early as our daughter was going to Hawaii and we had to do the airport drop off.

So finally home, catching up on the laundry and real life in full bloom as I juggle getting it all done.  Or at least attempt to.

But rather than focus on what has to be done, and my growing list, i thought i would post a few pics of little bits and pieces i have gotten done lately.

 

My little corner of my garden

First was a few pots getting ready for spring.  My green thumb has turned more black these days and don’t ask me to grow parsley – for some reason I seem to kill all parsley plants.

Cooking up ham and sun dried tomato pinwheel scones, great for Saturday/Sunday lunch was a weekend task

Ham and Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Pinwheel Scones

 

Next on the agenda was play around with some old front door wreaths I made.  I’m a complete novice at this and am hoping to do a new one in a few days, so check back and see.  I adore seeing ones others have done, but i’m not very up on the technical skills of it, but it is fun to do and that’s the most important thing.

I also wanted to add some interest to the smallest room in the house (yes the toilet!)  Ideally i’d love to paint the walls a dark color, but that’s not happening yet (have to convince hubby).  He thinks it would be too dark, because a small room, but it’s small, nothing is going to change that LOL.  I had the vintage gold mirror that is all curves and scrolls – it was my mothers, so i gathered up some old picture frames, painted them with a gray chalk paint, then i had a can of gold spray paint, dabbed a bit on an old cloth and sort of sponged it on the frames.

I don’t the room is finished yet.  It needs that color.  What do you think?  Any suggestions.

So that’s me lately, doing a few fluffy things, and enjoying the creativity.

A bit of this and a bit of that, a good way to recharge the body, mind and soul.

What have you done lately that helps you recharge.  Do comment below and let me know.

 

Happy days

Jane xxx

DO YOU THINK YOU COULD BE A MINIMALIST?

Hello friends,

It’s another day, another week, and my list of things to do is a mile long.  One of which is considering if think I could be a minimalist.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

What about you?  Could you be a minimalist?

But wait, you might already be living the minimalist life already and not know it.

I know that sounds weird, but minimalism for one person could be cluttered for another.

Are you this?

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Or this?

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Neither image is correct, because what is minimal to one is not to another.

So what is Minimalism?  With reference to our environment the dictionary explains it as –

noun: minimalism

deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design.

“his living room was a testament to minimalism”

 

For example, let’s look at these pictures of flowers.

Do you think you could be a minimalist   Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you think you could be a minimalist

 

They’re all beautiful in their own way. Colorful, simple, rich in design.  But is one more beautiful than the other to you?  Why is that?  How does it appeal to your soul, your imagery, and what about it brings you joy?

It could be that it’s a simple style – all one type of bloom, or simply one bloom.  It could be that it’s a riot of color and creativity, a wild scattering of nature, or that it simply appeals to you, deep down.

So look at them, which one tugs at your heart strings the most?  And why?

Because of that simplicity. Because of that riot of color, or because it’s a vibrant mass and you could imagine having vases just like this all around your house, not just in one place. The analogy of ‘how much’ one vase of flower/s appeals to you than another, is the key to what your ‘level’ of minimalism is.  And hey presto, you’re already a minimalist.

Perhaps you decide you like a one color effect, not necessarily a single bloom, but all the same color – monochromatic.

In design that could look like this.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

It’s not bland, not merely black and white, it’s vibrant, but it’s still minimal in that it’s based on one color – blue.  So that’s your vase of tulips above.

Then you might prefer a more boho or eclectic look

Do you think you could be a minimalist

With the orange and blues, and the wood tones, this room is more vital. It’s still minimal, but has that cozy feeling and not bland or sterile that often is associated with minimalism.  This is your posy of lillies, roses and gerberas.

So what does minimalism mean to you, and how does it look and feel?

First, let’s work out your reasons – your want and why?

Why is the need to minimalize suddenly rearing its head in your life?

There could be a multitude of reasons such as – Life is busy and you just want to calm it down visually

You can’t find stuff – you simply have TOO MUCH STUFF

You can make money from selling your stuff.  Not a bad way to downsize and minimalize

You can’t stop buying STUFF. How much stuff do you actually need?  If you love decorating your home, it’s hard not to buy the next best thing in décor, a tray, an orb, faux plants.  But at worst they are dust collectors and gobble your money up because let’s face it there’s always the next best thing around the corner.  Besides if you’re always buying stuff, how do you really get to know what your décor style really is.  This of course could attest to the clothes in our wardrobes too.

Surrounding ourselves with STUFF is often overwhelming.  Now I’m not necessarily talking about hoarder type accumulation, but if you can’t see a clear surface anywhere how can your brain/your visual sight ever get a chance to rest. There’s no visual blank space, (that’s not to say my brain doesn’t have blank spaces at times LOL)

Or at different seasons in our lives we inherit ‘stuff’ from family members, sometimes we can’t say no without offending them and so hold on to that ugly hutch we really have no place for, or it really is an inheritance when a family member passes away and you just don’t know where to put everything…until finally IT ALL GETS TOOOOOO MUCH.

So…okay, you want to get rid of stuff.  You want to try that minimalism thing.

 

But how do I know what my minimal level is?  How much is too much?  How much is too little?

Here are some ways to find out.

  • You could remove everything from the room, only putting back in things you love – slowly – a sofa/chair, a cabinet, a piece of art work. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

  • Remove all the accessories and let the room breathe for a while. See if you like the ‘empty’ space, and only bring back a few things.
  • Rotate your accessories either seasonally or on a whim.

By removing everything and only putting in what you love, this process allows you time to appreciate what you have, and need, ONLY!

Another simple way of working out what you want to keep is to ask yourself some questions.

Do I like it?  

         Does it work?

Does it fit my style?

Does it fit my bank account?

Does it fit the life season I’m at right now?

 

If you like it, then it’s an obvious keeper

If it works and is necessary, again a keeper, but if it doesn’t fit your style – then donate/toss/give away/sell.

But wait, what if I don’t know my style!  Then I say refer back to the above, and empty that room and try and see if it goes with how you want your room to look.

And again if you have no idea about what you want a room/your home too look like, then hit Pinterest and start saving anything that appeals to you, that makes you say WOW. Slowly, over time you’ll get a clearer picture of what appeals to you.  It may be color, form, function, wood, metals, or a particular décor style, shabby chic, farmhouse, modern.  This knowledge will assist you in deciding what stays and what doesn’t.

Then there are the seasons of life.

At different stages in our lives, we have different needs.  20s/30s/ or so we have need for children’s toys, paraphernalia, which take up lots of room in the house.

As we age and our children too, it may be more like sports gear, camping equipment etc. and the soft toys are side-lined.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you have to keep them all?  I say no!

But they’re my children’s precious things, my memories are tied up with that cute rabbit with one ear, so you keep the rabbit and everything else because they remind you of those wonderful days.  Those days, however, are stored in your memory, you don’t need the stuff to make you remember those precious moments.  How about you put half a dozen away in labelled storage and the rest you donate to a family refuge or other charity.  Or perhaps you keep a few for future grandchildren, but that’s all.  A few, not the mound that’s taking over the spare room right now.  You know it does.  You can’t ignore it, the room is bursting, and shutting the door on it doesn’t make it go away –  even though you wish it would.  Who hasn’t thought that a time or too (I see you nod your head) and I agree, been there, done that!

In our later years (okay so I’m saying kinda 60 upwards) you find that all of a sudden you want to get rid of the very things that ten years ago you thought you had to have.  Those cooking books you never look at, instead you go online, the boxes and boxes of crafts you don’t have time for, or all the books you’ve read, but kept, thinking you might read them again, but never have.

Time to get real with yourself.  Do you really want all this clutter?

You have to be honest with yourself, and unfortunately sometimes being honest like this is a tad painful and scary.  But this is how you get to decide what your ‘minimalism’ looks like.  It’s your choice.

You may decide to keep all those cushions whereas someone else can’t stand having anything on the sofa.  I’m a cushion gal, but Hubby just tosses them on the floor.  Sacrilege, I know.

You may get rid of all the vases or other ornaments in the china cabinet, and just use it to display a few artful pieces that speak joy to you.

So…what is your level of minimalism? Do you think you could be a minimalist?

Give it some time to percolate, and if uncertain, store an item, for a few weeks or months.  Do let me know in the comments below what your level of minimalism.  What can you toss, what can’t you give away ever?

Happy days

Jane

Subscribe to My Home My Sanctuary

WHY I WANT TO BLOG

Life Seasons, Blog Journey

Hello there,   

 

 

 

 

I’m so pleased you joined me today, a rather auspicious day as it’s my first blog post.  As a wife, mother, employee (I work night shifts), homemaker and general try-to-do-it-all gal, you’re probably wondering why I want to blog.

Life Seasons, Blog Journey

Well, I could say it’s just because… because it’s a creative outlet.  I was a fiction author for nearly 20 years, but as the years crept by and particularly as life threw hard stuff at me, the death of my mother, realizing I’m getting older (okay, so I know that’s inevitable but you get it.) it also made me think about what I wanted to achieve over the next 20-30 years or so that I have left, or how I wanted to live my life.  With fiction writing and publishing there are deadlines, stress, always the thought of the next book etc., and I decided I didn’t want that stress any more. Oh, I still plod along and write a bit, but my butt no longer sits at the computer from 9-3 daily plodding away.  I started thinking about life’s seasons and this particular season – empty nest – well for about six months only – till a daughter moved back home.  Along with my eldest moving back home, I’ve a husband who has just retired, another daughter who has made us grandparents and all that involves, plus I want to get out and about, do things, see things.  So this is my next season in life.

One of the things I absolutely love is decorating, and not with tons of dollars, but simply pottering about tweaking things, moving them around (cue family rolling their eyes at me – SHE’S AT IT AGAIN!).  I love to try and organize and always say I’m a would be perfectionist who doesn’t quite get it right.

And that of course brings me to that other realisation.  Okay, I turned 60 this year.

A rather daunting celebration as I wonder where the years have gone, but it also made me question things.  As I said to my sister ‘you’d think at this age, we’d have our stuff (or crap) together by now.

Like weight wouldn’t bother me.

Like I’d be better organized, budgeter, fitter, healthier, dress better, and all those things that go through my mind as I look at my most recent wrinkle in the mirror.

But no it seems life is playing a trick on me, it doesn’t happen like that, or please don’t tell me I’m wrong and it’s only me that feels like the roller coaster is still full throttle.

But one thing that age does give us, is the understanding that ‘’so what?”  So what if we’re a bit overweight, so what if we’re not very organized, so what if we went out with a hem held up by staples or cellotape, so darn what!  It doesn’t matter.

Life Seasons, Adventures,

What matters is that we enjoy life.  That life has seasons and we realize we can make those things better – if we want to, and only if we want to.  We should be happy being who we are, how we are.  I’m not saying there’s always room for improvement, but what I am saying is that we don’t need to be perfect, because we ARE PERFECT just the way we are.  Right now.  Not when we’ve lost 20lbs, or colored all the gray in our hair.  And speaking of which I’m letting all the color grow out, so right now I’m a motley red and gray combo.  I’ve even had a compliment on it LOL.

So whatever your season of life, whether it’s in your 20s and starting out on your career, or in your 30s and playing wife, mom, single parent, along with the hectic career, or the kids have grown a bit – more independent now and then there’s the empty nest (a whole other blog post), right now, today is perfect, you are perfect. I am perfect – well mostly LOL.  We may want change, and that’s okay, good even, but don’t think we’re any less than we are because we NEED to FIX SOMETHING.

I’ve decided to choose things that I’d like to change.  To pick one at a time, but not put extra stress on myself. And to be kind. Love myself.  You should too.  We should all give ourselves a hug every day.  Say kind words to ourselves, not belittling ones, and then embark on the journey WE want, doing the things WE WANT TO DO.

And that’s what this blog is going to be all about.

HOME, FAMILY, DECORATING, ORGANIZING, INTERESTING INTERVIEWS WITH WOMEN FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, AND JUST GOOD OLD LIFE STUFF.

Join me on the journey and subscribe to my email list, you’ll get a blog post twice a week, it’ll be a fun and adventurous ride .

 

Happy days

Jane

Subscribe to My Home My Sanctuary