22nd September 2018
So. I've arrived home. And it's nice to be home. But I already feel... overwhelmed (apparently this is a normal feeling, as a parent). I feel like I'm surrounded by stuff again. I am surrounded by stuff again! After feeling so inspired, staying in our little cabin in the woods, at the idea of continuing to declutter and to create simplicity... Reality has hit me, as I return and just see so many things.
What to do with all these things? They are just everywhere. The feeling they give me is a kind of heaviness. I hadn't quite realised before; I thought they just got on my nerves a bit, all the things which I need to either organise, give away or clear space for. But when I was away last week I noticed a certain lightness (as I wrote about) at having so much less around me and thus having more time to DO things. I'd recommend that lightness to anyone. I really do think that having a decluttered life makes you feel spiritually and emotionally better.
I don't want to bemoan my home. I like it, really. Nay, love it. And when I walked in it felt good to be in the familiar spaces again, with all the colour (something missing at the white-painted walls in the 'cabinet') and the cosy things. I love cosiness; I'm like a hobbit. And I don't want my house to look like one from Home and Garden (fat chance), where there's a glass table in the centre of a room, with two carefully-placed magazines and an exotic cactus. I do want it to feel lived in. It's just that when you're in a space every day you don't fully see the stuff take on a life of its own and multiply. You sense that you have too much, but it's only when you come back from being away, and look with fresh eyes, that you see the massive Jumparoo and the two baby chairs and the bags of stuff and the ridiculousness of it all. Sigh. It's going to be a daily battle, for the next ten years, as a parent, I'm sure, to keep trimming this down. Maybe I'll never get to the top of the mountain. But I want to try.
So for example, I've come home and been faced with the question 'where do I put Isaac's swimming nappies'? We never go swimming at home. I've tried two drawers and they're both bursting. Where do I put the large inflatable aeroplane that Michael bought for Subtropical Swimming Paradise? Another item that Michael has bought in a fit of spontaneity with no thought to where it goes once home.
For every parent out there who feels overwhelmed by bursting drawers and vac-pack bags (where the air keeps coming out), with swinging chairs, a hundred pieces of Lego, a thousand books, and a heavy heart, I feel your pain. Together, we can do this.
Gracie's phrase for the day: 'Mummy I can do stickers while you destroy Isaac with a board book?'
Me: 'Do you mean distract, Gracie?'