This weekend just gone, I was very busy with one thing or another – picking up people from the airport, babysitting and catching up with friends. I am trying to be more social and force myself to go out at least once a week. I’ve gotten in to the habit of staying home, alone, a lot. There’s nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but I am prone to being a hermit and I don’t want to get too comfortable staying away from people. Being WITH people is hard for me. I always feel out of place and out of touch and just plain wrong, especially in groups of people. I realise this is why I find the working week very exhausting. Being around people constantly is hard. I love my friends and I am eternally grateful that I have them in my life but I am not sociable by nature. I enjoy one-on-one situations, where talking is easy and there is no competition for attention or trying to get a word in. Mostly I just feel self-conscious in a group of people and so I am getting very good at avoiding being in those situations. But I have to try and get better at being in someone’s company, other than my own. And I don’t even like myself that much so anyone’s company should really be preferable, if I think about it sensibly. And I have wonderful friends, I really do. THE BEST. I don’t know what I did to deserve such lovely people in my life, but I will never stop being very thankful for them – each and every one. And I want them around me more than ever.
My home is very important to me, and I am trying to make it a space in which I feel happy and secure, content and relaxed. I’d like it to be a place in which I am happy to entertain, instead of being an embarrassment of mess and chaos. I like having people over to share a meal or watch a movie, or just talk and chill out. But I don’t do it as often as I should because my house-keeping skills leave a lot to be desired. My house is clean – let me just assure you of that – but it is generally in a state of disorder, created by crafting and cooking and MAKING things. Which is fine, I tell myself. I am creative, I say. I would rather be drawing than ironing. I’d rather be stitching and beading than mopping, or washing or tidying. But I suppose I should learn to find a happy medium between the two. Create a little, tidy a little.
This weekend I spent some time doing just that. I finished off some jewellery for a co-worker and then did the dishes. I potted some plants and then vacuumed. I did two loads of laundry and some ironing before re-arranging some of my ornaments and other knick-knacks to better display my collections. I found that if I break up the chores I have to do, rather than attempting to do EVERYTHING all at once, making myself miserable and resentful, I got more done and at the same time felt as though I had been creative too.
I have tried to make little “pockets” of cohesiveness in my home. Making this corner have a theme, or that shelf a clear collection of things that go together, however vaguely, brings a sense of order and tidiness. Which are two words that I don’t normally associate with myself. I am not tidy nor am I orderly. But I am trying.
The problem, if it is a problem, is that I like lots of different things. I don’t like just one colour (though I am generally drawn to blue the most) and I don’t adhere to one kind of style. I have bright things and shabby chic things, cute things and grown-up things. I have dark things and magical things. I have vintage and new things. Nothing really goes together but the challenge is to make it all seem like it does.
And, at the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter anyway. I want my home to be comfortable and pleasant to be in. I don’t want visitors to feel they are in a show home. My couch is meant to have feet on it and my table shouldn’t be so perfectly arranged that people feel they can’t sit at it for a chat and a casual cuppa. So I am trying to figure out what makes my home mine. What says “I live here”.
Little by little I am figuring out who I am and what my place in the world is. Starting with one corner or shelf or bookcase at a time. As long as I don’t have to dust them, I’ll be fine.