For two weeks in the spring as the snow melts, the wind picks up and a hint of green on everything outside my door begins to show itself, I work tirelessly to prepare this vast yard that has become my sanctuary, to indeed be just that. I am often ready to give up, even though I know that it takes determination and discipline and I wonder where these attributes come from within me?
And then I remember… in the sometimes chaotic and disordered house that I was raised in, my room was always the tidiest and became the guest room for others. At 15 years of age and with my first paycheque, I bought new bedding; white eyelet with a delicate yellow flower that adorned pillow shams, a comforter and bedskirt. I needed life around me to be aesthetically pleasing so that I could breathe easier and just be.
The things that cause me stress and overwhelm me are messes. I have rarely gone to bed without folding the throws in the living room, and the evening dishes are always done, and yet my counters have stuff on them that I never put away; a mini easel with a painting that Jillian made when she was young, chrome containers with cutlery at the ready and fruits and vegetables in baskets and bowls.
Once my children became teens, I stopped interfering with how their rooms were kept or unkempt. They designed their own spaces, take care of their clothes, or not, and I notice that although I taught them to make their beds each morning, as teens those beds are rarely made. It only bothers me if it goes on for months and I see the money that I have spent in heaps on the floor.
Needs - we all have different ones and for me to have an uncluttered mind, I need my home to be uncluttered. Living with others, isn’t always conducive to this and I need to continually remind myself that my agenda is not my children’s, nor Brent’s and so be it.
And so, clad in overalls, a long-sleeved shirt, toque and gloves, I am headed out the back door to dig in yet more dirt. I will shower before the school day is over and with dinner in the oven, will enjoy sitting on our calm and tidy verandah, basking in the sound of my babies’ voices as the events of their day unfold.