Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Personality of My Home

Merry and Marvelous May 4,2011
9:31 a.m.

It has been several days that I have not written any blogs of reflection whatsoever.
The weather has been so hot and humid that my neck is full of rashes. My cornstarch powder is not working at all.
Bathing 3x a day in really cool tap water has given me soothing relief though that staying in the shower with the water running continuously is such a welcome idea or thought.
Last Sunday, I thought I was gonna have a detour straight to the hospital as we were on our way to the shrine of the Divine Mercy for it’s feast day mass. I sneezed and it caused a severe pain in my pelvic area near the start of the thigh bones. I could not stretch very well since Marina and I were cramped in the very small quarters of a tricycle side car.
I thought I was gonna faint. To top it all the climate was really warm.
Anyway, the sharp, stabbing pain soon went away and I sighed a relief, since my hospital bag and documents are still not yet ready. That is how I am sometimes, I put off and put off for tomorrow things. Hmmmm.
The titles of the reflections of Sarah are really very interesting.
April 30. When Did You Feel Most Beautiful.
May 1. Everyday Epiphanies.
May 2. Living in the House of Spirit.
May 3. A Welcome Retreat: Home as a Haven in a Hectic Word.
May 5. The Personality of Your Home.

As I slowly read the reflections for the start of the month, I was strucked by a very nice thought: “ ...but no story is as riveting as real life.”
Sarah was referring to the lives of glorious women writers and storytellers like Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham.
They were very successful in weaving the mundane stuffs of everyday living into a magical and fruitful life pursuing great things at the same time like: hunting tigers, bewitching men, throwing elegant dinner parties, winning literary fame.
Hmmmm..quite a tall order.
My May 2 ( Monday ) begged me to stop everything and rest. I had to. My visit to the OB was the only significant thing I achieved.
My May 3 ( Tuesday) saw me bringing Marina to the ENT to check out her Tonsils. My check up of her red and swollen throat scared me out of my wits. And it is good, the Doctor assured me all was fine.
It was so nice to bump into my sister Jennie and my nieces Cheska and Nina in the Doctor’s clinic. We ended up having lunch, Marina’s pre- birthday treat at KFC. It was nice to catch up on this and that with my sister while the kids went shopping for Marina’s birthday gift request.
Marina kept on raving that she is soon turning 8. And I could not help but laugh inside at how little girls are so in a hurry to grow up...and women of a certain age like me...are wishing that the hands of time, slow down a bit more. Hahahaha.
As we came home, my BFF was waiting for me with her cute daughter Muni...everything fell into place. My home was really cluttered, but, it was quite a relief not to be so anxious with what my friend would say....that is what friends are for...they can see you in your worst state and accept and love you as you are. Although she volunteered to tidy up for me...I said, no need, let us bask in clutter and let go of our anxious need to put everything in order... for now, let us not be OC. And so we took photos of ourselves despite the background and enjoyed each other. Then by some grace, when they left, I found the extra energy to tidy up just a bit, and it was all it needed. Just a small amount of time and attention and the house was presentable.
Today’s reflection is on The Personality of Your Home.

Allow me to copy it verbatim.

“ A House is who you are, not who you ought to be.” ( Jill Robinson)

Like it or not, the personalities of our homes are accurate barometers that reflect, through our surroundings, where we have been, what’s going on in our lives, and who we are – today, this moment- though not necessarily where we are heading.

Admittedly, this is not the most reassuring thought for a meditation, especially if you could see the state of my home as I write. Nevertheless, it’s true. “ You will express yourself in your house whether you want to or not.” Said the mother of modern style, Elsie De Wolfe, who transformed the way America decorated for half a century with her book, The House in Good Taste, written in 1913.

Your response is probably: If I had the money to redecorate, you’d see the real me.” No doubt. I don’t entirely disagree. But we can’t afford to put our lives and creativity on hold until there is more cash, because we end up shortchanging ourselves and those we love. Today we can use the simple abundance steps- acceptance, blessings our circumstances, and discovering our personal preferences – to jumps start the expression of our authenticity through the way we care for and decorate our homes. When we do, the principles of gratitude, simplicity and order will begin to transform the places where we live into hallowed havens of comfort and contentment- with or without the new slipcovers.

After my first book was published, a sleek, glossy magazine known for the lush pictorials ( which I adore) wanted to pay me a visit for an intimate glimpse of the “ woman behind the book.” So successfully it seemed, had I evoked the Victorian era in my writing that the magazine assumed I lived in a perfectly restored nineteenth-century home. How could I not?

Alas, I don’t. And I panicked.

“ Calm down,” a longtime friend who works in Hollywood consoled me. “ Pull focus and take another look.” In the movie business, “ pulling focus” occurs when the cinematographer slowly adjusts the camera lens for sharpest clarity of image. “ Your home is warm, charming, cozy, interesting, inviting. There are fabulous shots all around you. Don’t be so hard on yourself.” But as a journalist, I knew what the magazine expected, and I didn’t live in it. If my home was going to be on public display, I wanted it to be a perfect; I desperately wanted to live up to the expectation of others instead of realizing that living up to my own was difficult enough. Instead my publicist arranged for the interview to take place over afternoon tea is a hotel.

While the money certainly helps us express ourselves through our surroundings, creating a warm, inviting home that reflects our own personality doesn’t have to begin by hiring a decorator or pulling out our credit cards or check book.

Today, no matter where or how you live, look upon your home through the eyes of Love. Walk around the rooms and offer thanks for the walls and roof that safely enclose you and yours. Pause for a moment to consider all the women who have lost their homes through death, divorce, debt, or disaster. Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that, at this moment, all you have is all you truly need.

What a truly liberating thought.

As I write, my newly found laundry woman Lucing is hanging clothes to dry in the small pocket garden in front of my apartment. Her friend, Lorna is cleaning my walls and doors.

I have been enjoying their services for the past month and my home is slowly and surely getting more collected and clean.

Less dust going around. The laundry basket is empty.

And hopefully by God’s grace, I will welcome my new born in a truly charming and welcoming home when the perfect time comes.

Truly God is great. He is so good.

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