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I’m extremely tired this evening but feel that some words here are better than no words… and there have been too many days here already with no words at all. And even though I am tired the likelihood of me falling asleep in bed before 2am is completely ludicrous anyhow. But that’s another story.
I’ve been busy falling back in love with my house and garden. That may sound strange and a bit boring to you. In all honesty it’s been a tad strange from this side too.
You know that frustrating in-action mode that takes you over when everything seems just too much? When you are feeling completely overwhelmed by everything that needs attention inside and outside? All those things staring you in the face that you don’t have the physical or mental capacity for because all your energy is going into the everyday necessary tasks of daily functioning and there are no crumbs to spare to feed EVERYTHING that is demanding attention? So you only do what is necessary (if you are lucky) because everything else feels just too huge to tackle?
Well, I’ve been in the ‘in-action’ mode space for quite some time.
Bedroom untidy = stuff it in the walk in wardrobe.
Walk in wardrobe out of control = over flow to spare room wardrobe/bed.
Too much junk in kitchen/dining/family room = re-home on floor in hardly used lounge room.
Weeds in the garden = dark sunglasses, horse blinkers, look straight ahead.
Paper work out of control = make NEAT pile on TOP of filing cabinet.
Visitor knocks on door = have panic attack at the state of everything.
Oh please tell me you can relate and I am far from alone?
Each morning I would wake and lay there staring at the closed bedroom door as quiet and still as I could, hoping not to wake the demands of the day that lay waiting on the other side. Once I opened that door all that needed to be done would come surging at me like a squawking gaggle of geese, each task trying to honk louder than the other to be fed. I’m sure you know the feeling.
The overwhelm even got so bad that I started looking at smaller houses with smaller yards on the internet to buy. Houses closer to public transport, shopping centres, doctor’s clinics and hospitals. The further away from all those honking geese outside my bedroom door each morning the better. It would also mean I’d be closer to family.
Then one morning, as I was hiding from the gaggle of geese behind a closed door in another room, I caught sight of my husband sitting very still outside the back door in his wheelchair. He was watching a Crimson Rosella splashing about in the bird bath he had made while an array of other birds wandered around the backyard in the natural haven we had created for them to visit.
I looked at him sitting so quietly… so content… so at home. There and then I realised I couldn’t do it – I couldn’t ask him to leave what we had created together over the last seventeen years. This was home. Our home. We had to sell and move from the family farm all those years ago due to ill health and my heart hurt, really hurt at the thought of going through this emotional roller coaster again.
Even though I know in my head and my hurting heart that the practical sensible thing to do given our health situations is to downsize and be closer to family and health services, it’s just not quite time. Not yet. That time will inevitably come. But not yet, not now.
So I came to an understanding with myself.
Instead of hating everything everywhere I looked because I couldn’t keep up with it all or I didn’t have the money to ‘fix up’ seventeen years of wear and tear from living in our home, I needed to look at it all through a different filter. Then I decided that needing to look at it all through a different filter shouldn’t be a need at all – it should be a want. I surprised myself by even going a step further by taking out the should. The want then became a choice. A conscious choice to look at all I could through a different filter.
So I chose to round up those demands of the day like the squawking gaggling geese they were and ushered them out the front door and chased them down the drive, wings flapping in protest through the garden and out the gate.
I certainly don’t wake up every morning and pop on a pair of rose coloured glasses by any means… just clear ones. I don’t even look at the bedroom door. I only think as far ahead as the shower, getting dressed, helping my husband get up and making a bee line for a cup of tea.
After that I make a mental note of what I really need to tick off for the day like maybe the washing for example – clean undies really are a need and a necessity in my book. Anything else voicing an opinion for priority attention in my head that is not completely necessary for immediate daily survival (like food on the table or attending to someone who has bogged his wheelchair) is asked to sit down and shut up… not politely.
I choose when I WANT to garden, not when I feel I HAVE to garden. I choose to spend 20 minutes a day doing paper work OR I choose not to at all. I choose to clean out one wardrobe draw a week or I don’t. I choose to watch baby fairy wrens twitter around the garden. I choose spending time with a friend over cleaning the oven (okay, you got me there, who wouldn’t choose that alternative).
I’m making choices every day that are not only helping me fall back in love with my home and garden but I’ve also found that those choices are helping me fall back in love with life. I’m also starting to like me again.
Life was enormously busy for me for a long period of time; family, kids, caring roles, casual work, and running a household. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. I became really sick with treatment. Many things about life changed during and after that time. Things have been rough. Now there is only my husband, me and my mum living in our home. The four children are making their own way in the world. There is no need to now fill up every hour of every day making up for lost time of what I couldn’t do around the house and home when I was sick. I can only do what I can do. It’s well overdue but I’m kicking unrealistic self-expectation out the gate with the geese.
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of and faintly hear a goose or two calling me. I give them a dose of my meanest stink eye, turn on my heal and stride head on into my blossoming love fest… because that’s where I CHOOSE and WANT to be.
Do you have a gaggle of geese waiting for you outside your bedroom door every morning?
How do you deal with the noisy blighters?
Some pics of the front garden in Spring. I don’t know how to make them bigger. Tech savvy I am not.
A somewhat blurry photo of a Crimson Rosella in the back garden. This one was taken a while ago. Old slack arse hasn’t uploaded any knew ones to her computer because she doesn’t know how to do it with her new phone!!!
And just because I know he will be mortified here is one of my dearly beloved actually bogged in his paddock bomb in the garden (note builders bag with tools tied on the side). Yes, it’s a thing that really happens. He was weeding… with round-up!