Monday, October 3, 2016

Public Service Reminders v. 6.0

Before we left for Europe, I was struggling with inspiration. I felt tired and emotional and every time I sat down to write words that were more than a How To, I felt overwhelmed. It seemed there were too many things rather than the normal emptiness of writer's block.

I knew something had to change, that I couldn't keep on painting and working without acknowledging the feelings so I wrote them down as bullet points. Just words like this:

  • frustrated
  • tired
  • scared
  • busy
  • frantic
  • nervous
  • edgy
I wrote them down and then I spent a few days jotting down the moments when I felt those feelings the most. I felt all of them when I dealt with a single thing: my email inbox.

Not even my work email, but my personal one. I had twelve to fifteen emails each morning when I woke and each one told me how to change my process, what I needed to buy, where I could go to find more inspiration. And I felt like I wanted to read each one, but I had no time to dedicate to the task. I'd signed up for too much.

So I unsubscribed. Over and over and over again I said to remove me from this list and from that one.

This is a public service reminder: De-clutter in order to define what's important. 

Maybe it's your inbox or your closet or your paint supplies that need a good going through because the way they're overcrowded has you feeling frantic. Maybe your schedule is packed and you're not setting aside the time you need to fill your own cup, this'll leave you edgy and exhausted. So, declutter.

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Two weeks away from home was glorious. But I was so thankful for the moment we turned left onto our street and I could see our red front door. Pulling into the garage after two weeks away nearly brought me to tears.

We stayed in apartments we rented through AirBnB the entire two weeks. We stayed on a canal in Venice, in a newly constructed high rise (that had no air conditioning) in Paris, in a Pottery Barn looking loft in Florence, and in a tiny two story apartment with an even tinier shower in Rome. Each was in amazing locations in their given cities, each held a charm of it's own, but nothing -absolutely nothing- kept us from thinking of our home.

This is a public service reminder: There is no place like home. 

Everyone tells me that home is a person or choice. But my home is a building that I share with a man I love and a dog that wiggles. Home holds our King size bed and my art and a closet full of clothes. Home IS with a person and WAS a choice, but it's also a place full of beauty and joy that belongs solely to you.

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I used Pinterest to pack for Europe. I checked out a dozen packing posts and had a serious plan -wear black, white and grey with red accents. It worked perfectly and I had more outfit options than I needed (though we were thankful for the two places that had washers). 

But, in our two weeks abroad, I learned something about myself: I will never be a minimalist. 

I enjoy getting dressed. I adore shoes and jewelry. I relish the many options that I have each morning when it's time to pick out my outfit. I have a closet that is larger than bathrooms in some cities around the globe and I've nursed a pit in my stomach at my own purchase power that's wasted. I own more clothes than I'll ever need and I'm sure I'm a consumer in the most American of ways. 

This is a public service reminder: Discover your person and behold it. 

Returning home, I felt no regret about my closet and my things. I, instead, felt thankful for my place in America. I felt deeply thankful for the home, the closet, the chance to run to Target and buy two dresses I don't need but that I love. I stopped feeling bad about being a maximalist and embraced my own rhythms. 

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