I've been thinking a lot lately about curating my life - I like the term, "curated", as it gives me a sense of intention - a deliberate choosing of what to put into both my home and my days. Perhaps with all the turmoil and busyness this year has brought, it has created in me a desire for a calm, uncluttered life.
Mom has been hospitalized four times this year. Weeks in a nursing home. Lots of home care visitors. Lots of doctor appointments and tests. It's been very difficult to find a rhythm for our days, to say the least.
Jennifer's latest post, on elefantz.com, really made me think. She used the word "rhythms", which struck a chord with me. I remember reading awhile ago that someone decided to think of those never-ending chores as "cycles" - getting up in the morning and figuring out where they were in the laundry cycle, the dish cycle, etc. I tried to think of those things that way, but it didn't work for me. I'm a problem-solver - and dirty dishes in the sink? I see those as a problem, so I solve that problem and forget it. Trouble is, it's a never-ending problem. So, thinking of those chores as rhythms is easier for me. Like the ebb and flow of the tide - they're always with us, there's no end, but by changing my perception of them, it creates less stress.
Especially with mom here. This is the cleanest you'll ever see my kitchen table:
That's all mom's stuff. We have boxes of medical equipment on a stool that I can no longer use, along with the Play-Doh that she uses to help her hands be more flexible.
Nothing gets put away, because there is no place for it, and we use it every day. For an order-loving obsessive like me, what to do? It's our rhythm for now.
I do get to escape to my art room almost every day. And it calms my soul.
That's about as cluttered as I like to see ANY horizontal surface when not actually in use. That's my natural rhythm.
And now, we've made the decision that mom will stay here, we will bring some of her stuff here, furniture and paintings - don't ask me where we'll put it. This will take some serious curating for my home! And now her home as well. I want her to feel at home here, not like she's just taking up space that I'd rather use for something else.
Living with intention, making the decision to either add or remove something from your days, these are hard things - but I feel so much better for doing them. Choosing to spend my time doing not just for mom but for myself as well - reading my bible, drawing, painting, caring for my home - these are things that are not only necessary but joyful. Cluttering up my days with too much to do makes me crazy stressed. A deliberate slowing, and choosing to think in terms of rhythms instead of problems has actually solved a problem, of never enough time to take care of the daily "problems" (dishes, laundry, meds, errands) that aren't really problems, but tasks....and there is a rhythm to them, it just took a change of mind to see it.
How do you curate your time and home? I'd love to know.
Til next time;
Beautiful post Allie. We are all cluttered by different things. Since the pandemic I have found it difficult to curate. Not sure why, but I'm trying to find ways to be useful to others. You are doing a great thing, bringing your mom home. You will never regret it. My hubby and his siblings took care, first of their mother until she passed. And then their father. It was such a rewarding experience for them. Was it easy. NO! There were trials and frustrations. But are they glad they stepped up and did it. YES. Absolutely no regrets. The Lord will bless your efforts.
Blessings to you
We moved in with my Mom to care for her when she no longer could take care of herself without help--I won't say it was easy, but so worthwhile...good luck with your "curating" and your new rhythm of life...hugs, julierose
Hugh's Mum and Dad lived with us when he became ill. We were fortunate to have a bathroom for them, and a smaller lounge which we filled with " Their things" A china cabinet with cup and saucer sets , vases that had special memories, their own chairs, a small oak round table, and their own TV.Visitors had a spare chair to sit on, and our B&B guests always included them with such graciousness.After Neil died,at the end of tvhe first year, we left it for Muriel, and she knitted there in her favourite chair until her last day.Some 8 years later. It wasn't easy at times, but we had what is called " Carer relief" so we could do shopping, a doctor's visit, or other necessary appointments.Family in Australia had her stay with them,for 2 or more weeks once a year, until flying became too hard. Your own room, and some time for yourself is so important, do try and make sure this happens.Can another family member give you some time out once a fortnight on a regular basis?Ditto to Jocelyn's words .Difficult, yes, any regrets, no. I wish I had been able to do the same for my Mum.
Making time for yourself is so important and I am glad that you are able to do this Allie, even if only for a short while. Our lives these days so are full of 'stuff' both in the home and our heads - it is good to have a clear out every now and again. xx
This is a nice and thoughtful post. My dishwashing cycle never ends, lol. I hope the adjustment of Mom living with you permanently will be an easy one for all of you. You are a great daughter!
I'm caught up on your posts, Allie. My it is a journey all of it. The wedding and your Mom's health issues and now her moving in with you. Life. I do hope you really do find time for you in all of this. Your Mom is very lucky to have such a wonderful daughter but I know you are close and so enjoyed you sharing her photos over the years. Take care sincerely...
We'll, sometimes it works out well and sometimes it does not, meaning taking care of things to do when the issue rises. But I discovered that not once in my life work has run away from me. It sits there patiently until I get to it.
I do wish I could clear out my clutter and this month is the church yard sale, so that is a good way to start. I tend to do things in spurts, a bit of cleaning, a bit of crafting, a bit of outside time and on weekends, I just enjoy getting out and forgetting about problems and things that need to be done, always good to give the brain a break from stress.
I'm sure your mother will feel so warm and loved being with you full time. It is hard to combine many people's things into one living space, a reminder to me that I should be gently downsizing my things while I can. Blessings to you.
I'm so glad to read this today, how you changed your outlook and changed the last months. My MIL lived with us the last ten years of her life, but we all bought a house together and then remodeled it. We had two master suites, one at each end of the house, and a little bedroom and hall bath closer to one end. Having our own space, and having space in between, helped a lot. I know you couldn't do that, so your solution to change your attitude was amazing and exactly what was needed. You will be richly blessed for that, and probably already were.
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