Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Centering amid the Chaos

~Ok, the house doesn't actually look like this anymore, but it is how it feels a lot of the time still.~

The stress of remodeling is still upon us. Even though it isn't quite as messy as it was, it's still pretty cluttered and chaotic.

I haven't been talking much about the renovation and everything we're going through with Harmon because there is a lot going on that I'm not sure I really can talk about right now. Which feels like a violation of my rights. I should be able to express my own feelings, thoughts, and opinions. And shutting me up is a pretty hard-core thing (many people will attest to that), so it's been .. well, hard. I will post more when I know it is ok to though, I promise.

But among this hell, life must go on. You can't dwindle in it, you can't feel sorry for yourself. I've been following the updates from a gal I know who has cancer. She is so upbeat and positive and surrounded by love and support, that whenever I feel down I read her latest updates and feel grateful and empowered. Thank you Decca, you've always been an inspiration and you continue to amaze and inspire me.

But when the stress does get to me, I simply look at this:

I can't help but smile. I love Shannon's cocky expression, sure that all is well in life; and then there is Tristan's sweet face, but with tattoos on his arm lest you be fooled that he isn't a hellion too.

And looking at them, I know I can't let anger and frustration prevail. I must find a way to center myself and my world and be calm.

So, last night I broke down and splurged on two magazines. I did try to find their info online, but couldn't, so buying the magazines became justified. Some gals find sanctuary in Cosmo or Vogue, but I went to Lowe's and got a special publication from Better Homes & Gardens (yes, I'm obsessed with that magazine) called "Storage" ~ With promises of bright colors, not clutter, no tumbleweeds of dog hair, and lots of wicker baskets, they assure me that life will be ok.
My second splurge was for a "This Old House" magazine ~ "57 low-cost makeover ideas!" "15 paint schemes ~ 9 outdoor rooms ~ 11 kitchen upgrades ~ and more!"

Although magazines aren't usually a way to center oneself, I found these helpful. We're drowning in clutter and even some simple advice is helpful. Of course, I won't be rushing out to buy the $899 Stow & Go Hobby Cart from, but the idea of ottomans that double as storage is nice. And even those can be found for less than advertised, if not made at home. I also liked seeing different ways to store items bound for recycling. Currently we use old pickle buckets, but I feel like it looks like buckets of trash rather than "ooh, recycling!" ~ So there are lots of ideas to be gathered and time to mull them over, and this helps me re-group and find balance. To know that all is not lost, there is hope, and if you take your time you don't have to spend as much as they (those tricksy advertisers) want you to.

Other ways I've been trying to center myself involve the medicine cabinet and the kitchen. I read an interesting blog post ( the other day and have been seeking out kid-friendly, kid-approved cod liver oil supplements. We don't do flu vaccines around here, but since we do belong to the Y now I worry about the general "Y Bug" with cold season approaching.

This has taken me into re-examining our medicine cabinet. Along this path I stumbled upon another blog post: Aren't blogs awesome? Passionate Homemaking, sounds good to me!

And, looking into the kitchen, I find myself yearning to get a huge stock pot of chicken stock going. ~ This is one of my favorite things to make. There is something soul-satisfying in taking things that would normally be tossed out with the trash in our society and turning them into something that will heal and restore us. I love it.

There is lots of chaos around us, but we must not give in to it. We must look it in the eye, smile, and stay calm & grounded. Chaos feeds on chaos. Center yourself and the chaos will prove not much more trouble than a cloud in the sky.


Lisa said...

This is perfect. I love that you can find ways of centering in the middle of everything. I think magazines are a great way to get focused and inspired. I hope everything turns out great! Gosh, those boys are just the sweetest, cutest-with-the-slightest-touch-of-orneriest two I've seen since mine were that small. :)

Carole and Chewy said...

I was just thinking of you the other day and wnodering how the Remodeling adventure was going. Really hope it involves kicking someone's butt up one side the block and down the other....Hmm. Perhaps I need centering myself.
Or maybe that's me after centering...