December is never an easy month for me, no matter how many preventative measures I try to take. My peak month at work coincides with the holidays, cold and flu viruses, and school vacation (= no childcare). In fact, we’ve already rung in the new month with a bad bout of food poisoning (Fred) and a cold (me).
But in the midst of all this promised craziness are a couple of new discoveries:
A cozy new cafe (not sure if you can see the photo too well) that serves organic teas and coffee and a lot of soothing ambience. Max and I went there for lunch the other day and I actually found myself breathing. It sounds like an odd thing to do but I realize that when I’m stressed I tend to intermittently hold my breath. Without doing anything except sit in my chair, I felt my body responding to my surroundings and the tightness letting go.
Which takes me to my second “discovery,” though it isn’t really a discovery as much as it is my own doing: my home.
Months ago I had bought a livingsocial deal for an interior decoration consultation. I mean, to me that’s like rehearsing a speech for my Best Actress award at the Oscars. It’s so presumptuous because what our house has always needed was a big garbage pick up. I’d bought the voucher because I thought it would give me incentive to clean up. But looking at the interior designer’s website and photos I thought we were lightyears away.
Well, a lightyear comes a lot faster than you think when there’s an expiration date involved. So on the date my voucher was expiring I made an appointment with Laura, and it took every ounce of will power in me to not reschedule. Despite a cold coming on and deadlines looming over me, I worked up to the final minutes before the doorbell rang to declutter the house. I was expecting a lot of psychological talk about what I am looking for and how I would define serenity, etc., but Laura pretty much got right down to business. We were all sitting but she jumped up and said, “Do you mind if I stand? I want to stand back here so I can get a good view…” And by the end of our one hour we’d rearranged the layout of our living room and dining room in a way my non-designer mind would never have bothered to conceive. Laura completely changed the look and feel of our space even just by shifting some of our picture frames around!
I am so happy in this new space now, even working right now on the couch instead of retreating to my bed, which is what I’d normally do if I’m under the weather. Every loose or stray item feels like fingernails on a chalkboard now and I don’t want anything tainting my space. Even Fred has been so much more focused on his homework since we got the new look. Coincidence? I am guessing not.
Mind you, we didn’t get a makeover like the ones you see on cable t.v. (Laura was only here for an hour) but I feel that we now at least have good, basic “feng shui.” Laura’s gift to us was helping us to break out of the rut of how we view our space and from here we can start thinking about our walls, windows, etc.
My cold has still left me weak and tired, but I’m also happy and not stressed. I think I’ve found my cure.
How do you find calm in the middle of craziness?