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The necessity of a deliberate home.

A couple of days ago I hit 23 weeks pregnant with my first baby, a little girl due mid-January 2018. Every day I wake up, remembering I have this swelling belly, and think of her. Usually she starts to move around a bit in the early morning and I’ve been waking up earlier lately. I hear from friends that this is a fairly common thing, as well as bouts of insomnia and disturbed sleeping patterns and vivid dreams.

But instead of vivid dreaming cycles, which I have always had and are historically 99% violence, fear, and running away, my dreamscape has been remarkably peaceful. In its place, however, is a bit of a haunting daylight possession of the mind. Maybe it’s pregnancy induced or maybe it’s just me growing and changing but I’m increasingly frustrated with “café life”. That’s my jam, my money pools at the base of my favourite cafés’ registers and I’ve rarely minded much because it forms this huge part of my quality of life. I like the hub of strangers that talk and can be overheard but I don’t have to interact with. I like the quick delivery of hot drinks and picking out parties to keep me going for the next three hours I spend there, consumed with study, knitting, reading, writing and shameless time-draining blog trawls and pinterest searches. I’m focused there.

Lately I’ve been more conscious of the money I spend on it that could be diverted to physical goods acquired rather than consumables. I’m going to be a mother with a real “family” in a few months and I’ll need to stay home more, cook, clean, organise, provide for them. And whilst thinking this I’m suddenly impressed by bloggers discussing home things… they bake their own bread, they craft furniture, they garden, have recipes for things they love and it looks better than anything I’d buy out. It’s personal. It’s more meaningful because it’s handmade and deliberate. They’re moving to country areas, deliberately taking an off-the-beaten-track approach to life and making things themselves. They’re crafting a beautiful existence the way that suits the vision they have for their everyday life.

Being an analytical type to the core, I can pick out the flaws of this all too. Always having to hand-make things makes the everyday, repeatable elements of life tedious. So repetitive. And so time consuming. It’s one of the reasons we buy all our shit straight off shelves and why we were all so excited about it as a society in the 1950s. It meant more time for the things that matter. And that’s the crux of the scale: what really matters?

We do it all ourselves we feel crushed by mediocrity and strangled by necessity. We buy it all we feel poor and soul-barren. So the balance must be found somewhere in the middle…. somewhere only we can find for ourselves, because we’re all weighing up different desires and demands.

As for me, my mind wanders back and forth like an impatient, uncertain, creature over the same turf: moving overseas for adventure and a new start in a more picturesque (cold) place? Buying a house of my own in a pretty area where coffee is close by? Begin a revolution of home living – start cooking my own café-worthy food? Start experimenting with new work endeavours? Use the money I normally put toward eating out to fund the design of my own home instead and making it a place I want to spend my time in a lot?

This last idea – crafting your own domestic space – is particularly on my mind! I don’t really pay a lot of attention to my home overall because I spend so little time overall in it. I don’t like staying in it except by night when I hang out with my husband at the end of the day to watch TV and enjoy his company. My husband is a giant tech/gaming nerd and I’ve been frustrated to bring about domestic adornment because he thinks everything is unnecessary. A new bookshelf? We’ve already got (a hideous black) one. New lounge? But this one’s fine. Hang frames and posters on the walls? …. *blank stare* So I’m largely on my own, trying to navigate a way to invest in our home without causing him to lose his mind over “pointless purchases”. He’s fine once he sees how good things look, how much better our home looks, but only after it’s bought and sitting in view. I do wish he could be more of a teammate who, if not also endowed with enthusiasm for design, was similarly impressed by the need for it. I really like the support of shared inspiration.

I’ve been getting a bit more of a green thumb this last six months, buying and growing my own herbs mostly and a beautifully successful violet. I feel it’s part of this changing movement toward drawing inward, turning my attention to the centre of my domestic life and increasingly wishing it was a haven rather than a place I just sleep and watch TV in.

A haven…. that’s it. I want a haven of my own, a place that makes me want to stay in, that supports us and gives that feel good atmosphere that I have always gravitated to cafés for.   When I was a little girl my parents never devoted themselves to domestic design either. My father gives none of it a thought, and my mum devotes herself to cleaning everything in a control-freak type way to make up for my father’s careless approach to his home. She does this instead of decorating, and it takes her a long time to get the courage to mix it up. As for me, I’m a creative and the aesthetics of my environment are incredibly important to me. I’m one of the “Highly Sensitive People” you read about (finally…) and I’m affected by everyone and everything around me in a very immediate, emotional, and personal way. Whether you like it or not, I will absorb you into my own state and adapt to reflect back an alchemy of you mixing with how I was before I encountered you. It’s forced empathy, really. All the more reason, then, for me to give a lot of thought – and action – to what we want in a personal space. Not what everyone else is doing, not buying a daily substitute down at the local café, but figuring out and deliberately going through our own space and creating an individual expression of what it means to be happy at home.

The times are changing. A baby girl is coming soon… and I want to welcome her into a home that embodies all the love, beauty, comfort and provision that I’ve been lately imagining for her! xx

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