During the past week, I’ve been shifting my perception a little so I spend more energy on what I want in my life than on what I don’t want in it. Sure, I’d still like less stuff. But I want to focus less on the stuff and more on what purpose I want my material possessions to serve.
I often think of our entire upstairs as unnecessary space. There are two small bedrooms upstairs. We use one bedroom for our TV and our futon and for my husband’s clothes so he doesn’t wake up me and the baby when he gets ready for work in the wee hours. The other room I called my “craft room” but that just meant I had my sewing machine in its case on a big old table I salvaged from an art school that was giving away a bunch of stuff. Other than that, the room is basically for storage.
Last week I got tired of wishing we had a smaller house and decided to start thinking of how this house can better match what I want. Around that same time, I remembered how, for many years now, I’ve wanted a little spot of my own to meditate or practice yoga or just cozy up with a book. Incredibly, my brain connected these two thoughts.
The result: Mommy’s Room.
In this first picture you see, from left to right, Ikea curtains leftover from our place in California, antique trunk my mom refinished and gave to me when I got married, yoga mat in the bag I made for it years ago, rocking chair we bought used when I was pregnant with my daughter (with the tags still on the cushions because I’m not entirely convinced it’s legal for me to remove them), little storage thing leftover from our broken Ikea desk. Inside are a bunch of sewing supplies and a drawer full of incense. On top is my little buddha/altar thing. Then there’s an empty wine rack I’ve not yet been able to bring myself to part with and the very edge of our little kitty tent that the cats sometimes actually use for its intended purpose (sleeping). On the wall above the altar is a photo we bought in Asheville, North Carolina, one of our favorite places on earth (remember, though, I’ve only left the country once and that was to visit Toronto).
Here’s the view from the other side of the room:
This includes the big salvaged table, my sewing machine with pending sewing projects stacked on top of it (my husband’s pants and a set of curtains I intend to make into two sets of curtains), my yarn stash (part of it), my little sewing/craft tackle box, my Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish and headphones (because I still think I might one day learn Spanish), my mug of chamomile tea (actually my husband’s mug. I bought it for him for Christmas, but I use it five days out of seven), the baby monitor (in case my husband needs to call me for backup), the book I’m currently reading (Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser), my journal, and my laptop.
If it had a steam shower and a kegerator full of gluten-free beer, it would be even better, but I actually like it fairly well as it is. I might try to find a different place to store my yarn and sewing projects, though. No need to stare at what I’m not doing while I try to relax.
And to think, last time I had my own room it was decorated with tapestries, a Pulp Fiction movie poster, and overflowing ashtrays. The only elements shared by both this room and my room then are incense and used furniture.