Friday, May 8, 2015

Love where you live



I’m always daydreaming about our perfect home, and I don’t know yet if it’s a rural setting, a city apartment or a traditional brick and tile, but I imagine how it will be.  I do actually love where we live, but it isn’t perfect.  And guess what, the next place won’t be perfect either.  Even if it’s quite new there will still be things I don’t like about it, maintenance to be done and areas to improve on.

I always imagine when I have my perfect place that I will enjoy caring for it exquisitely.  I will keep it clean and tidy and it will be clutter-free because I want it to feel airy and joyful.

Again, guess what, I can do that right now where I live and enjoy living there even more.  I can make a list of the improvements and tick them off, or if there are things I cannot change or that don’t really need changing and just don’t meet my ideal aesthetic, then I can choose not to see them.

This is not new thinking at all, but sometimes I have to re-remember that I have a choice to love where I am right now and that will make everything better both now and in the future, because it will bring about good habits and ways of thinking that benefit me and those around me.

When my sister and I were single and flatted together fifteen years ago, our flatmate went out a few times with a woman who ended up moving to Australia.  He said to us of her that when she got there looking for this glittering new life, ‘she would still be there’.  It was the first time I’d been introduced to the concept that wherever we go, we take ourselves with us, and it is actually us that creates our experience, not a different backdrop.  It’s up to us to be the change we want to see, to borrow from Ghandi I think it is.   

So this takes me back to my home and how I want to feel in it.  Words that come to mind are:  happy, carefree, content and peaceful.  What are some ways I can feel happy, carefree, content and peaceful now?

Take care of all that I have, exquisitely

Appreciate my home and everything around me

Keep my life feeling free by not overloading myself with obligations and possessions

Make the decision to feel happy, carefree, content and peaceful

Focus on things that make feel me happy, carefree, content and peaceful

So today I am re-committing to living where I love by loving where I live.

I ordered the first season dvd of Cedar Cove from Amazon recently since I couldn’t buy it in New Zealand.  I have watched three episodes so far, and look forward to the next cosy viewing with my favourite Andie MacDowell.  I love Andie and I love making myself feel good with wholesome, ‘nice’ tv viewing (taking inspiration from the last point on my list above).

And to finish, here is one of my favourite motivational snippets which came from a homemaking blog many years ago.  The link to the blog that I had is no longer there, so I'm not sure who originally wrote it.  If you know, please leave a comment on this post; I'd love to attribute it.

--

Do It Anyway

We can enjoy life or we can survive life. Our daily responses to the little things determine which it will be.

If the carpet is worn, vacuum it anyway.
If the furniture is old, dust it anyway.
If the linoleum is scuffed, sweep it anyway.
If the tub is stained, scour it anyway.
If the sink is leaky, clean it anyway.
If the toilet needs fixed, scrub it anyway.
If the bedspread needs updated, make your bed anyway.
If the rug is frayed, straighten it anyway.
If the pillows are lumpy, fluff them anyway.
If the clothes are out-of-date, iron them anyway.
If the shoes are cheap, shine them anyway.
If the closet is too small, organize it anyway.
If the dishes are chipped, wash them anyway.
If the table is rickety, wipe it anyway.
If the kids are fussy, hug them anyway.
If the hubby is cranky, kiss him anyway.
If the neighbours are loud, wave at them anyway.
If the clerk is rude, smile at her anyway.

IF LIFE IS LESS THAN PERFECT... ENJOY IT ANYWAY!

We can live in Order without perfection; Peace without luxury, and Joy without convenience.

Life is what you make of it... so do it anyway.

20 comments:

  1. Fiona that's a really inspiring post! I've always enjoyed your writing, I particularly like this confident voice that is coming through here.

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  2. Why thank you Rose, that's a really lovely thing to say.

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  3. Fiona, this is so much my sea change of thinking. Our homes will never be perfect, like the magazines. It's wasted energy to always wish for more/better etc, and far better to put our energy into loving the home we have now.

    Jane.
    www.myimperfectparadise.com

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  4. Fiona, I have seen both series of Cedar Cove and loved it too. The third series is to be released in July so looking forward to that. Yes, I agree that a positive attitude makes for a happier life. Just as getting your hair done makes you feel good about yourself, so too does keeping your environment clean and bright and cheerful.Just avoid the gloomy, negative people ( it can be catching) and count your blessings - we all have them.

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  5. Fantastic post, Fiona. "Life is what you make of it" is my mantra...

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  6. Well said FIona, it's just what I needed to hear, and I suspect many others too. That's why I love your blog. It always give inspiration to others, because even though you think your life mundane, most people live the same way. Your fresh way of looking at things are uplifting.

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  7. I loved this post! I've always aspired to live the best life but my thinking was a little confused at times. I previously associated the acquisition of new shiny things to be essential in my constant quest for perfection. This changed when I watched a documentary filmed in India where a family living in abject poverty were shown lovingly caring for their home. Pristine sheets hand washed in a stream, cans used as drinking utensils gleaming from energetic polishing. My mantra is now polish & perfect & I apply that to my home, clothing & life. I lovingly cherish items that would have been simply replaced in my previous life. I also tweak my clothing goods as tastes change to avoid unnecessary purchases. Another tip is instead of poring through lifestyle photos of perfect homes etc take a photo of your home & notice how lovely it's is. Regards. Sharon

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  8. Thanks, Fiona. This is a fantastic philosophy when it comes from one's own awareness.

    If it comes from someone else (and I know a couple of people who say this all the time to justify inappropriate and even abusive behaviour), then I suggest it's worth being aware why they are so intent on controlling another person's thinking. It may be necessary to steer clear.

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  9. I just order Cedar Cove as it looks delightful and being set in a seaside town is another plus!

    I believe the more we care for something, the more we love it. It being our homes, of course. How could you not when you potter about making things as clean and as pretty as possible?

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  10. Fiona, this is a great post close to my heart. I wanted serene garden if only I had my own place in somewhere land, usually country life not in Bangkok! Well, I had my garden today! I'm loving where I'm living and make it my haven and being content. Cheers!

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  11. I haven't heard of Cedar Cove, but will look into it since I love Andie MacDowell.

    I have always loved the saying, "Bloom where you are planted." Although I would love a pied-a-terre (hope I spelled that correctly) in Boston, it is and always will be just a dream. So for the spring, I began to freshen up the little bungalow with new pillows, a thorough cleaning and a new Buddha for the deck. I love this little statue which is depicted reading a book. It is probably not supposed to be Buddha, but a young monk. I love the serenity it brings to my tiny space. Happy Weekend.

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  12. What a lovely, inspiring post. Life really is what you make of it, and gratitude can make even the imperfect things and people in it valuable and cherished. Finding contentment in current circumstances instead of always wishing for that perfect tomorrow is one of the most important lessons in life, I've found -- and one of the most challenging. Your "do it anyway" list is a wonderful place to start.

    Very glad you're blogging again. :)

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  13. I've lived all over the world and in each new place i had to make my mind up to live in the moment and find the "special" in each locale. As you have to re-remember, I do too. I'm also learning this with my things and distilling my possessions down to those I truly love and let the rest find great homes elsewhere.
    So glad you're back.

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  14. Jennifer MillerMay 9, 2015 at 6:14 AM

    "Take care of all that I have, exquisitely." To me, that says it all...even the chipped china, or the fraying carpet. Take exquisite and loving care of everything that is you! Always enjoy your inspiring posts. Jen, in NY.

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  15. This is a fantastic post and the idea of it goes along with the "bloom where you are planted" idea. I am not in what I would consider my perfect home, but it is lovely enough and I try to appreciate it, as well as my town, as much as possible. It is also about living in the moment instead of waiting for or dreaming about "one day".

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  16. Fiona, Please becareful with those lillies they are highly toxic to cats. Loved your book!

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  17. As a military wife, I couldn't agree with this post more. I have moved and lived in countless places, but in the end, they are all much the same. It's the people inside of them that makes all the difference. Wonky kitchens, less than perfect paint colors and the off-color carpets make little difference after a while. What I remember is how we lived and what we did. Thanks for the reminder.

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  18. You are absolutely right! We may not have control over our circumstances but we do have control over our attitude. It is important to live with joy, wherever we are.

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  19. Lovely post , as always !

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  20. Fiona, so glad to see you back! I've missed your gentle and insightful posts!

    Loved "Do it anyway." I'm a perfectionist -- always have been -- and for many years that made me discontented with so much that I nearly missed out on what was GOOD in my life. I've learned, and I'm learning, to be grateful everyday for the many many ways I'm blessed, and this message seems like the next step. To look at the things in my life that may be less than perfect, whether that's a frayed carpet, or a bum knee, or a troubled child, and to take those "lemons" and make "lemonade" by patience, care, creativity, a little coddling . . . you get the idea! Thanks for all you do to bring your wonderful thoughts to the blogosphere.

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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