January 2, 2019
The 1st Day.
So far, so good. We've survived the 1st day of 2019 and it's been good, so far! Our New Years was nice. A bit of celebration and lots of coolers and fireworks. It was quite noisy for awhile out here in the quiet country. But I love that we don't have to go into town to see the lights and hear the noise. Right out our front (and back) door and through all the windows. Can't beat that, especially no with crowds.
On our 1st day of 2019, we slept in until 10ish. And then slowly got up, with no great plans for the day. A late breakfast of leftovers, nice warm showers and then we just puttered about, working in the art studio, hanging a shelf, finishing the last 2 curtain panels for the dining room. I hung up my Susan Branch calendar for 2019 (pictures later) and cleaned out the fridge. We ventured outside and cleared where we want to have our ice rink. This is a collaborative project with our neighbors down the lane. Tomorrow, I need to call the water truck to see if they can bring us a load of water. Draining our well holding tank would not be smart. So the water truck it is! Can't wait to have a skating rink.
At night, we cuddled up to watch Coronation Street and then a few funny shows before heading to bed a bit early. I did answer some emails, after 10 days of not opening them. And surprisely, all was well and no issues to start off the year. We watched another show before finally closing out eyes, happy that the 1st day of 2019 was so far, so good.
I'm not a resolution maker. When I was young, I witnessed many adults make promises on New Year's Eve (or day) and then watched as those resolutions never happened or did, but just for a short time. Rather than set myself up to follow in the same footsteps, I instead adopted a process of reflecting on what was good, what didn't quite work and what I'd like to see for the year in terms of goals for growth and for challenge. I'm kind in this department, knowing I will never be perfect but to do my best and go to bed each night knowing I tried, even if I failed, gives me great satisfaction.
On that note, let's chat about being perfect .... or in my experience (and life) .... not being perfect. This will look like something for each of us. For me, one of the things I could control when my family was created and growing was the status of our home. I was lucky to have easy going, sleep loving babies, so I did have some time on my hands each day and used that time to tidy, organize, purge as often as I could. We've always had homes that thankfully had separate living and family rooms and in our last house, a dining room, complete with french doors, across the hall from the living room, also with french doors. This gave us the opportunity when the kids were little to have a lovely and pulled together space that we used for guests, or a quite spot to read, or celebrations. And a dining room that was ready for Sunday Dinner or celebrations or an impromptu drop in for lunch or tea kind of day. Always tidy, neat and toy free. Our family room would be where we'd live, when we weren't outside. This room was still tidy but definitely kid lived in with bins of toys and stuffies and books. The place where they could play and I could be right there or see them from the kitchen as I made meals or the laundry room as put clothes in to wash. In our last house, where we lived for 24 years, most of our kids lives, we also put in a big playroom in the basement. When they were old enough and didn't need to be in my eyesight the entire time, we set up a spot that they could play and not have to put everything away. So much freedom to create and build, with no technology. Completely a kid zone. Then our family room became more of a place to meet at the end of the day for a tv show or reading, play or family meetings. Great space that we used all the time, creating great memories.
I felt a lot of pressure the more kids we had to be organized, tidy and have a pulled together house. I feel like I achieved that to a point, but always, there would be a spot to that was not "perfect" and I learned early on that a spot out of control at least show some signs of real life. In this house, we've had so much space to spread out, plus most of the kid stuff is gone now, so extra space for our pursuits, like having a theatre room or our art studio. Such bliss that without much work, it truly stays looking great all the time. However, because we live a real life, there is still always a spot that gets messy. Case in point: the picture above. You can see how neat and tidy our great room (family room) is with everything in it's place, until you pan down to the bench in front of our couch .... yikes!! Look at that mess (a.k.a. real life). Let's just have a run down of what is out of place ....
A spider plant I grew from baby spider leaves. My Starbucks green tea with extra, extra lemon ~ a treat from my daughter today for driving her in to town to do a bit of shopping she needed to do before she heads back to work on Monday. A sweet bamboo heart shaped wooden spoon from my other dd (a Christmas gift) ~ it says "made with love" on the handle. Our Scrabble game from the other night .... I won. The loser hasn't put the game away yet! My new edition of The English Home (February 2019) and the latest Victoria Bliss (January/February 2019 edition). Haven't read either yet but will, in time. A box for a gift that has to be exchanged ~ my dh didn't know I had this one item but I'm thankful they'll let us send it back and I can pick something else ~ already have picked it out. On top of the box is a vintage hook we bought when we were in Ottawa in November. I had it out yesterday as we were going to hang it up in the kitchen to hold my aprons. But we need to find small ivory colored screws for it. The silver screws we have just looked silly. A gift card from OUR best friend who thought we'd enjoy a movie and snacks on our dates night. Smart guy! It's sitting in the box of Christmas cards I used this year for many of our family and friends. I had it out to add to a late gift for someone who came visiting. A few packs of my favorite gum that I bought at the Dollar store today. And some pencil crayons for my next art project, with 1 pack for my mom, and a set of graphite pencils (2B) for another project. They are sitting on our grandson's old iPad, which has now been replaced by a very lovely and bigger version from his mama. I shall place that on her stairs going to their apartment. A couple of pens, a receipt, a new roll of ribbon for a project, the wrapping from a gift (why is that still there?), our little Christmas Tree and a jar holding a Jade plant, a gift from one of the families in our program. My dd has entrusted me to care for this one so it lives.
After a few minutes of putting all these items away, here's what the untidy bench normally looks like:
I try and most nights am able to make sure this bench is clear before we go to bed. But the last few days, with all our holidaying, it got a bit out of hand! I'm so glad it's back to looking calm, peaceful and clutter free again.
So now I'd love to know, what does real life look like in your house? I hope you'll share so we all know that even when our pictures look perfect, there is still a spot (or 2) in our house that shows that real life still lives here! Share away ....
Happy New Year!