I don’t feel obligated to point out that there’s been at most two posts in two years on this blog, and I certainly won’t apologize for it. Some bloggers do, when they’ve left their blogs for awhile, but life comes before blogging. Today I return to the craft, unapologetic.
Since buying the house two years ago, 90% of my focus in life was on work and executing our wedding. (Sidebar: Executing is such a harsh word – don’t you picture a bride in the white dress dragging a man in a tux out of a house and into the gutter of the street at dawn, and giving him a double tap? The revolution has begun! At least for him, anyway.) BUT NO, the wedding was planned and carried out, and we have emerged on the other side exactly as we were before but now with a legally enhanced commitment to one another. Also, I now own a mega-awesome princess dress that glitters so much and looks like a gauzy cloud. In sum, we checked all the important boxes. Then, two months later, everything caught up with me and I took two months off work for stress leave. I spent the first month learning to sleep again, and it was not easy. Stress leave isn’t easy – the prescription is to take a vacation and slow your roll, but I of course filled my stress leave with doctor visits and trying to sort out my life and my head. I made vacationing work, because that’s what I do. I got better, though, and I may have actually done much of the work that was needed to keep me from needing stress leave again in the future, so go me. Gold star on the fridge.
The house, though. The blog is called THE THIRTY YEAR HOUSE, what did you do to the house?
As I recall it, we moved in. I painted the master bedroom. I had a couch reupholstered. I painted part of the family room. Mark primed part of the family room and stopped short of the kitchen. Then, a long pause. Life happened.
We haven’t even unpacked, actually.
During the long slog through work and leading up to the wedding, I did manage a small job. I painted my home office twice. That involves priming the walls, priming the ceiling, then painting the ceiling (Benjamin Moore Cloud White) then taking on the walls. I had left over purple paint that no one was interested in taking for their homes, so I painted my home office with it. It was gorgeous! But… I ran out of paint. I was left with a mostly painted room that had a four inch tall band of unpainted surface around the top of the room. Then I couldn’t get a colour match!!! Jesus Christ that was depressing. That was January 2015, when that culminated in a sad disaster. I primed again, and painted the room pale pink with one black-blue feature wall. The pink is EXQUISITE. The key to a good pink? Find a pale pink with an orange undertone. The colour will embrace you quietly, and the reflected light in the room will flatter everyone’s skin tone. Everyone looks healthier in a pink room.
At some point in 2014-15, I painted another spare room. This room, next to our room, was multiple shades of blue-grey, dark blue and radiant orchid purple. With one small window that looks into the branches of a giant, mature crabapple tree, the room had no light and looked like a cage. I was compelled by forces outside myself to fix it. It was like being possessed. I ended up painting the room a beautiful shade of mint green called “Yoga Stretch”, again with a Cloud White ceiling. Interestingly, the full size can of paint just barely covered the whole room and the inside of its closet. I was scraping the bottom of the can for every last drop. This room is particularly interesting because I bought a lot of fabric to make things for the room! And what’s more, they’re all from the same fabric line. I bought a yard or two of almost every fabric in April Rhodes’ Arizona collection, and will be making a small quilt, maybe a lampshade cover, maybe a floor pouf, maybe a bed skirt for the bed. You can see the fabrics here:
Definitely google the product line and the things people have made with the fabrics, there are some gorgeous results.
That was all that happened, though. The house developed a clutter problem, and then it just became impossible to manage. It felt like nothing had a home for awhile, and I realize now that that feeling was the truth. All my money was tied up in moving between houses, cost of living and the wedding. I wasn’t able to buy any furniture, so things were just at loose ends……. no bookcases, no armoires, no dressers, nothing. We are actually kinda in trouble, a bit. We own one million small things, and no big things. A common mistake.
I began a deep clean and purge. It had to happen, so I could get down to brass tacks regarding what want to keep, and how that needs to be stored. We own books: what books do we want to keep? How many inches of book space do we actually need? How many paperbacks do we have, so how many very shallow bookcases do we need to store those paperbacks? It’s a work in progress, right now.
The books! That’s my lead in to here and now.
I changed jobs. My old job was the centre of my existence, and that just creeped up on me. I though I was on top of that, but about 20 months ago the wheels came off for me and the job got the better of me. I made it to June, I applied for some new jobs, then the sick leave, then I got a new job in November, and December was my transition to the new job.
Almost immediately, my “job” deflated to half the workload. I got room in my life for ME again, for my own life. I found my sense of calm once again, a deep calm. My new job is much safer for my sanity, and I feel that physically. I know it, I am living it. I am living that calm.
What does deep calm look like for me? I got through the first month of job transition, got through the holidays, and spend NYE painting the living room and dining room!! #worthit I got a structural engineer in to examine our floors for their security before we install bookcases. My goal was to tally up those inches of books and then get them unpacked.
Except the floors aren’t structurally sound. UHM. I kinda knew. I didn’t want to tell Mark, but I knew. I knew there was a problem. I’m happy to know that there’s a problem and that it has to get solved, and I’m happy to wait on the bookcases in order to get the structure addressed. That will be the next blog post, I promise. That’s an important story to tell.
BUT! The point is that major progress has happened. I paid off two consumer credit cards, got my life back under control, and reconnected with the house that is the subject of this blog. I got back to playing with the toys I have, instead of thinking I need to buy a new toy to be happy. Or, as it was during my stress leave, thinking I’ll never be happy and that we’re all going to die because the planet is slowly dying an environmental death, buuuuuuuut I got help with that and we’re moving on. Point is, I’m happier now and so is the house. Pictures will happen eventually. Probably sooner, rather than later.
Til the next post….