The days are getting warmer for some of us and what a pleasure to get out in the sunshine each morning and water the new garden or hang clothes out on the line and hear nature enjoy the day as well. The birds are busy with nesting and we are busy with our nesting and filling our yard with plants, flowers, and food for us and the birds and bees (and various rodents).
I’ve been on a sabbatical for a few months. I still film for YouTube, but the hours I put into the channel are few and far between. I am not writing books at this time, just reading stacks of delightful fiction and trying to keep up with the voracious readers on Goodreads.
I’m nestled deep into the home and many projects that would seem utterly boring to many, however, for me it has been the best therapy ever. I have tasks and chores that, when I delve into with absolute focus, I find such a peace of mind.
In the world today there are so many issues and troubles. Such division and aggression. It seems that, with the help of social media, everyone has a strong opinion about everything. People are unhappy and stressed and the drama is pretty high out there. There don’t seem to be boundaries anymore.
But at home, life is sweet and calm. I’m taking care of myself, both mental well being and physical health. The family is being nurtured. The house is so darn clean these days and I enjoy all the work. I am filled with gratitude that we have a home to shelter us and that the house and land is ours to decorate and build up as we please. Just with the home and land we have daily opportunities to express our creativity and love.
Yesterday I spent well over an hour cleaning the kitchen, organizing it, replenishing the pantry jars with dried beans and polenta, sweeping and steaming the floors, and cleaning my little shrines. It was pure meditation. I focus on thoughts of what is good in our personal lives. Thoughts on how I love this home and how much I adore playing and decorating it over and over, just as I used to love playing with a doll house every day. This is my grown up lady doll house.
And all the projects! I have a book by Wayne Dyer that I’m working on daily with my highlighters and cups of hearty coffee. There are drawers to clear out and purging the last of the dusty and unused items and opening up more space through out the home. I focus solely on cooking and cleaning, organizing and clearing out and repeat and repeat…and repeat. I don’t think about much while working. I observe, my mind goes over things and I enjoy my thoughts.
I keep it simple. I will be honest, between over working and beginning the journey into menopause, I turned into a gremlin. What a lack of self love, but I awoke one day with a clear vision and I withdrew from all my hustles. I withdrew into my own self created world. I went completely back to the old days when it was all about the family and homemaking.
I had read an article from Connie Hultquist in Dear Kitchen Saints, where she talks of her friend that would always ask her, “Are you getting into your homemaking?” when signs of trouble approached. Or if Connie was upset. At first this question would really bother her. “Of course I was into my homemaking” she would think, but later she understood what her friend meant. I also understood. Housework and gardening and serving a family is healing and uplifting in so many ways. So, when I was losing my joie de vivre I went back to my homemaking embracing it fully.
And how my homemaking has changed! A combo of watching Gypsy housewives with their cleaning ways and being obsessed with Zen monks for a year, has changed the way I go about cleaning the house. I’m deep and thorough, taking my time moving through task meticulously.
My days are slow and full of routine. I think we all take comfort in this routine. We take comfort in being home where we can control our atmosphere and moods. There is always good food cooking in the kitchen and uplifting music in the background.
I am grateful for a home that is snug, dry, and charming. I’m grateful for the big garden plot outside the kitchen door. I’m grateful that we live in thick forest and the air is clean, my neighbors pleasant, and we can walk to town and admire it or do a little shopping anytime because it’s so close. I’m grateful we have money to pay bills with out a thought or having to play with the accounts. We have all been there. I’m grateful we can choose wholesome, organic foods and I can easily get all sorts of ingredients to make new dishes.
Right now I’m loving this weather and leaving my doors open during the day to get a clean cross breeze and the house is filled with light various times of the day.
We make sure the boys have a social life at the park, playdates, walks and bike rides. Until school co op opens for them again, I am the social coordinator. Other than that, I don’t venture far outside the home and yard. I have grown fond of being alone with my family and being uninterrupted each day. I don’t have much to say or that I feel necessary to say to others. I wake up in good spirits and find that less interaction with the world keeps that pleasant mood steady.
With some natural hormone creams, vitamins, and a fantastically healthy change in diet, along with lots of forest wanderings, I’m not bothered by the menopause like before. The minute I let go of all the extra work and business, I started to relax, take good care of myself and find my old calm. I share all this because I want to share my experience of slowing down and getting out of the race. I want to share my feelings about getting back into my homemaking to find peace and healing there.
I’m slowing down in a modern world that values speed and multi tasking. I used to think fast and efficient was the cool thing too. I now move about like a tortoise. I hum and space out. I drink more coffee because I want to and give things away because it is my new thing. I’m finding out who Kate is today. The other day I learned that I like berry pies over chocolate cake. Not sure when that happened. I find my taste for things are different. I find that I prefer to be alone with the boys to the company of most people, just because I prefer child like energy that is still positive and pure and fun, over adult energy that is bogged down with worries and false fears. Thank you Facebook and Twitter and main stream news for that.
I love to water my garden by hand with the spray nozzle. I love the very beginning when the tiny green starts of future vegetables pop out of the earth. I love the first part of my morning when I pad through the house opening curtains and the house fills with the smell of a really good, fresh coffee brewing. I turn on some coffee house jazz on YouTube and pour that first cup. It is the beginning of a new day and I know what kind of day it will be because most of them are the same and they are all lovely and nurturing. The days are all filled with chores that feel more like rituals of gratitude and pockets of time working on fun projects or learning something new.
I have always loved being home, but now, more than ever do I value home. Home should be safe and have a warm soul. I have created a home for all of us that is the kind of home I wanted as a child. I get to enjoy it now.