Fumbling, Star Gazer, Springer and Wiggly

Who is doing better?

Fumbling is at 100% of 30% energy. She got out of bed.

Star Gazer is at 30% of 100% energy. She is star gazing at lunchtime.

Springer is at 110% of 100% energy. She is multitasking everything.

Wiggly is at 80% of 50%. She is having a nap.

Decided?

Can’t decide between one or another?

Fumbling, Star Gazer, Springer and Wiggly are all doing just fine. There is no need to compare. Each is doing their own thing. If you must compare, then compare Springer today to yesterday, Wiggly today to yesterday, not Springer to Wiggly.

Fumbling is doing amazingly well. She pushed herself.

Star Gazer is taking time out. Resting her body.

Springer will burn out if she tries to maintain 110%. She needs to give herself time to rest.

Wiggly is making great effort. And has energy to spare.

I cannot perform at peak 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I need to pace myself. I also have to ask myself how I’m doing. Some days or moments I can push myself and other times I cut myself some slack.

Rest is as important as Action.

This past year, or to be more truthful, the past several years I have not pushed myself. I have rested. Soooo rested I have found it difficult to spring to action. There is no springing. More of a rolling into action.

On the days I am at 100% of 30% is a great day. On the days I am at 50% of 100% is a good day. I am learning to pace myself. Any day can be a great day.

I am learning to (cough) moderate my energy. Up till now it has been flat tack and then burn out. Nothing in between. Rest was burn out. That’s not how rest is supposed to be. I get that. I have relearnt that so many times. Stupid I know. But I will keep at it.

Cleaning, tidying up, putting things away and decluttering. Just writing that makes me want to have a rest. Those things. I am learning to do those things at 30%, 50% and 80% and be okay with it. It doesn’t have to be perfectly done. It really doesn’t. I am relearning to make an attempt. Be fine with the attempt and live with it.

I used to be so tidy until I overwhelmed myself. So overwhelmed I stopped caring. I have made it hard on myself. I am ready to face the clutter and mess. There will not be before and after photos. One swipe of a cloth at a time, one item discarded, recycled or donated at a time. I cleared a third of the kitchen bench yesterday. That’s a good start. I wiped out one shelf and the front of the fridge. I wiped down the bathroom sink. Don’t worry I won’t be detailing everything.

Wellbeing, well-being, well being, however you spell it involves just about everything. My environment where I live affects my wellbeing so it needs work. My wellbeing project began yesterday. I have made it a year of wellbeing. It doesn’t have to be all done by tomorrow. I have time. Action, rest, plan and repeat.

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One year sober

I started writing this blog not with the determination of giving up alcohol completely. I was going to dry out. The title of my blog “Moderately Sober” doesn’t take the journey of sober life seriously. I didn’t really think I would be sober forever. I started the blog and started the sober journey because being drunk and blacking out was not leading to a long life. I was killing myself softly.

My blog title is a reminder that moderation is not possible for me.

Today I am sober. I intend to stay sober. I am glad I am sober.

I found a strength that was already within me to stop drinking. I added one day to the next. I felt lost with what to do with my hands, what to do with the new found time up my sleeve. I was amazed at the money I saved. I began to notice that there were others out there also not drinking. A minority, yet, a noticeable number.

The support of the sober community is not to be underestimated. Nudges and the right words at certain times make the difference to lift oneself rather than fall flat. Thank you. You know who you are.

I had a flash of admiration from someone unable to stop drinking the other day. There is no special blue pill to take and voila I am instantly sober. There is a thought, a choice, an idea, a decision. One and all of them. Sometimes it doesn’t work first time, but with the desire to keep trying, one can stop the drinking. Being sober is not just one decision, it is a daily decision. One that if repeated often enough becomes an automatic habit. So automatic that you no longer think about alcohol. Other things in life take your focus. Your spouse, your family, your pets, your renewed discovery of your passion, your mornings, your lifestyle.

I have got back my love of drawing. It must be about two and a half months and I have been sketching daily. The broken ankle ‘helped’ me get back into this. I wonder where this will lead me?

An appreciation and gratitude for everyday tasks has also humbled me. Again being immobile and not being able to do things for myself has taught me patience and also how to ask for help. I am still unable to drive. I love driving. But funnily enough I don’t miss it for now. Crutches and moon boot are only for crowded areas, more of a safety net for me now. Hurray – I am able to carry a cup of tea, I am able to cook. I continue with physiotherapy and getting back to walking with a more regular gait. The moon boot is off while at home. We are coming into summer so walking about in bare feet is just the best. Having my own company for countless days in bed with a foot elevated in a cast has given me peace. I’m fine with my own company. I have been for a while now. Sure there have been days when it drove me round the twist but it was more of the decision of movement having been taken away from me rather than the company.

Having a sober buddy whether they be online, in the same household, same neighbourhood or anywhere really, is incredibly beneficial and much needed support when feeling wobbly. Thank you to my sober buddies.

“My Year of Sober” was a success. I have been thinking about what next?

My Year of Wellbeing is my next focus. I have concrete goals jotted down. This starts today.

Sober as. Always.

On the way

Progress is being made. I am learning to walk again. Today is the first day in a long while I haven’t felt exhausted.

Simple things you take for granted being able to do become a huge effort when you have a broken bone.

Can’t believe I’m writing this because it is so not me, but here goes, I’m grateful I was able to do washing today. Said it. I am one who detests housework. Yet today it was satisfying to be able to get some clean laundry done by myself.

Admittedly it was just pushing buttons. There was sorting and loading. There was adding the laundry detergent. There was the decision as to which type of load. Then the wait. Then once the washing machine had completed its magic the load was then transferred to the dryer. The lint holder cleaned and again a couple of buttons pushed and then another waiting game.

It was a bit like Frere Jacques except with laundry. Once the first load made it to the dryer, a second load began in the washing machine. The swirling of water and the rotating drums in their own rhythms. Followed by hauling warm clean laundry to the bedroom to fold. One by one, each placed into their sameness piles, undies on top of undies, t-shirts on top of t-shirts, socks paired then bundled together then piled into a mound.

The mountain in the wash house is getting smaller. The clean piles are put away and I am feeling satisfaction.

Today was a good day. Told you I liked Mondays.

Five days away from being one year sober. Feeling pretty amazed that I have got this far.

2 months on

Fed up. Writing out my feelings. Don’t for God sakes feel sorry for me or give me sympathy. I’m grumpy. It won’t be received graciously.

I managed to get outside into the garden. I was wallowing in bed feeling so low. My hair hasn’t been brushed in God knows how long. I brushed my teeth for the first time in three days. I am well overdue for a bath. I am two months into recovery from my broken ankle.

Last night I was teary eyed. Netflix couldn’t cure my depression. It didn’t lift me at all. YouTube did nothing. I was restless and barely made my daily sketch. I didn’t want to sleep. Or was it I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know. It was after 2 and I was wide awake.

I looked at the depression, self compassion modules. I read the notes and it said to read them in order. I couldn’t even bring myself to open the module. When you can barely get out of bed, with poor self hygiene then reading something to improve or elevate yourself just is so far out of reach and requiring too much energy.

As I said I made it out to the garden and sat in the sun. I threw on a dress, a baggy summer dress. Turns out it was back to front. Oh well. It matched my mood. I thought it was better to be ‘dressed’ in my own backyard than ‘running about’ in a T-shirt and underpants. I say running about with loaded sarcasm. I am still on crutches with a moon boot. My moon boot stands at attention waiting for me to jump into it when I am in bed.

My knee scooter has been banned by my physiotherapist. She said she doesn’t want to see it. She wants me to use crutches placing some weight on my right leg. So I have designed a cheat method of getting into the moon boot. The three leg Velcro straps are done up loosely, I can slide my foot into the boot, and do them up quicker. Then there are two more straps on the foot. It saves seconds. When going to the loo these seconds are precious.

I must be the most hydrated person on the planet just now. The boredom of a broken ankle makes me drink more water. What comes in must come out. Duh.

Oh and by the way I broke my fibula not the tibia, like I thought. The fibula is apparently not a weight bearing bone yet I have been off the weight on my right leg for six weeks! That will teach me for going the non-surgery route.

The colour is coming back to my right foot. From a reddy pink shade moving back to a pasty white. It is not there yet but much improved. Wrinkles have come back. Note that is a good thing. It means that the circulation is working. The swelling is gone. There is tenderness around the ankle. That’s to be expected. There is stiffness and pins and needles. This is normal because the foot hasn’t been used for a while. Weight is slowly going onto various parts. The muscles are being stretched and pulled. The toes scrunched to pick up objects. Progress is being made.

Coming up to my one year sober mark at the end of the month. Thought I would be feeling better about it but the broken ankle is getting in the way. No matter how low I feel I don’t want to drink again. But I need to develop better habits of celebration.

I am learning how to treat myself. Here she goes again with bloody ice cream. Passionfruit ice blocks with white chocolate. The most expensive ice cream I have even bought. Three blocks to a pack. I slammed aside my frugal self and let the self indulgent me free reign in the frozen aisle. I also tried a new brand of AF ginger beer. Delicious. Gingery and dry. Low sugar by the taste. I have found my summer drink.

That’s enough waffling. Wrote away the grumpiness. Feeling much better. If you comment, I promise not to bite your head off.

Weight for me

I am so so sick of thinking, breathing, writing and talking about WEIGHT.

Being sober is a choice and yay I am glad I did it. I decided 11 months ago that enough was enough. With food you can’t say enough I am done with eating and stop completely. Simply you would die. Obesity and weight isn’t about food anyway. That is the tip of the iceberg and all that you can see. The mind games and the rest is invisible on the surface but oh so very present, day in day out.

Enough!

Instead my solution is to hang a lovely item of clothing that I aim to wear in my eye line.

Ahhh. And a photo too of the lovely item of clothing so even if I am in another room or out and have a decision to make I can look at it and make the right decision. A photo of a swatch of the fabric is all I need. Note that the swatch of fabric isn’t black. We all know which is the right decision anyway. Fu*k it food is off the menu.

(I know this strategy probably won’t work on a low day. The item of clothing will make me laugh. But not in a good way. A sarcastic laugh. Unbecoming. )

It is a positive incentive strategy. There is no NO. There is no limitation on what I can or cannot eat. There is only a choice. With each choice about what I eat, hopefully I will be making more and more better choices. This is for me. A healthier me.

So next time I decide to have a second ice cream for the day I won’t just hesitate. I will politely decline to the child inside of me who is jumping up and down at my side pulling the bottom of my T-shirt and whining, pleeeasseee. Enough. My choice is to say no thank you. That’s it. No whining. No performing. Just no thank you. I can picture my lovely item of clothing.

Yesterday we sat outside and ate dinner. It’s the first time since the bone break that I have sat in the garden, weeded the raised garden beds or eaten outside. Yay for knee scooters! The spring weather is here. There was no wind. I turned on the outside heater so we could be outside in T-shirts and enjoy the moment. My substitute for a candle! Hygge!

One better decision at a time.

Self Care: Menopause & Night sweats

I read that a side effect of taking an SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) was a reduction in frequency of hot flashes, hot flushes or night sweats. For some it completely stops them. It works for some women and not for others. Trial and error. I was having 30 hot moments per day. I was willing to try almost anything.

It worked. At the time I was in peri-menopause. No hot flushes thanks to the SSRI.An entire year has passed since I last had my period so now I am post-menopause. I have noticed a lessening of the desired effect that the SSRI is having.

In the past I was having alcohol, caffeine and an unhealthy diet. Then I had no night sweats or hot flushes. I felt very lucky.

Fast forward to now and sober 11 months. I drink coffee and tea. My diet has improved. The hot flushes are back. Not as bad as before but they are back.

I am doing hot flush tests. Seeing how my body reacts to certain foods.

Not looking good.

FOODS TO AVOID FOR ME:

Licorice
Chocolate

Ice cream is safe for now and still on the menu. I am not cutting out all chocolate. Solid chocolate only. If something has some chocolate in it I will still have it. This is not scientific at all. But you knew that.

Cold drinks are better than hot drinks for those who suffer from hot flushes. We’re heading into summer anyway so that it easy to have room temperature or cold tea or water.

I sleep in a cool room. I don’t wear as many layers of clothing as I used to. And don’t need multiple layers of blankets.

I ate my last bag of licorice today. A sad day for me. I have blackadder tea which is the taste of licorice without all the sugar. That is what I will be drinking instead.

Answering phone calls

Phone calls are a connection with the outside world. They can save a life. They can connect you to family and friends. They can be job related. They can be calls from Nigerian princes wanting to fleece you of your hard earned money. They can be congratulating you on winning a competition you entered. They can be good news and bad. They can be reminders of appointments. Although nowadays reminders are texts or emails. Automated to be more efficient.

“No Caller ID” lights up your phone when it rings. Do you answer it?

I do at the moment. I have appointments and deliveries and pick ups to co-ordinate so I pick up. Normally I wouldn’t.

So I was sitting down in a restaurant to eat a cheese burger. My first outing in six weeks. What do I do when the meal arrives. I answer the phone.

What I should have done was this. Answer the phone and ask the caller to call back in half an hour. And if I feel the need to give an explanation I say that I’m just about to eat lunch. Done. Then hang up and eat.

What I did was answer the call, never mentioned the food, being time sensitive, and slowly getting cold in front of my eyes. I replied in all the right places and continued the short call, but I did not concentrate as I was thinking the entire time of the burger in front of me. I hung up at the end of the call. I remembered none of the important information. I can’t say it was multi-tasking I was attempting. It was single tasking poorly. I was distracted. I was considering the other person at the end of the phone over myself. I was attempting to be polite.

In actual fact I was believing I was being polite by staying on the line. I was not respecting myself. I was not respecting the other person either. I wasn’t listening. It was not a conversation. Talking was involved but I was not listening. It was the pretence of interaction. I was not mindful of the conversation. I was not present in the conversation. I was there yet I was not.

I was not respecting the person who made the burger. I was not respecting the person I was with at the table.

DISRESPECT all around.

I can do better.

I know my behaviour is learned behaviour. It is behaviour I want to unlearn. I have observed myself and my actions. I do not like the actions. I know of better actions I can do to replace this automated behaviour. It will take practice. I am willing to change. I can do better.

One good choice at a time.

11 months sober

Yippeee. Here I am today 11 months sober.

What have I learnt so far? A lot and a little.

Yesterday I said no without the need to explain why not. I didn’t apologise. I typed it and then deleted it. I had nothing to apologise for. I made a good decision as well. Who is this person I have become? I barely recognise her. Cue dramatic music. Of course I recognise myself. I am proud of the fact I am sober.

Even when sober you can still fall over and break a bone.

I remember at the hospital emergency room they asked had I had any alcohol within the last six hours and I could easily answer no. Such a simple question yet it made me feel stronger to be able to answer so quickly without having to calculate. No I had not had any alcohol within the last six hours. Today I have been sober for 11 months. Absolutely worth it. Would not hesitate to do it again. Only wish I had become sober sooner.

Yesterday I got my cast off after 6 weeks. The replacement for the cast is a moon boot. I am allowed tentative weight on my right foot with the aid of crutches. I feel grateful to be out of the cast. Slept all afternoon yesterday and a full night’s sleep and still feel tired. I still have yet to master going up stairs on crutches, still on my bum going backwards.

I realise I have a long recovery to go. My ankle was sore when the doctor prodded and now the foot is exposed to air, bring on the dead skin cells. Sorry for the gross image. That’s the reality of it.

I have been craving a hot bath for six weeks. I am still to take the plunge. I tossed up between sketching or a bath before bed last night. Sketching won over the beloved bath because I have been sketching everyday and didn’t want to break the habit. I think I chose well.

Physiotherapy starts today. And my slow road back to walking. I think I thought that I would miraculously be fixed when the cast came off. Fooled. I no longer have to carry a hard shell on my leg. My left leg toes no longer fear being scraped or kicked. Everything is soft again. One leg is slim! Yay. Sarcasm does not become me. Apologies.

Space: Physical 02

I love good design. To see something both functional and designed beautifully is a winning combination.

PART 1: TINY HOMES

I have been an avid fan of the tiny house movement for some time. I love the layouts and the efficient use of the space, the pop out walls and their use of light and energy. As time goes on the designs are becoming more and more inventive. It is not just the millennials opting for the nomadic lifestyle the grey birds are choosing them too.

In bed I don’t want to hit my head on the ceiling in the middle of the night or in the morning when getting out of bed. I don’t want to have to climb over someone to get out of bed. I don’t want to have to manoeuvre myself to the end of the end to get out of bed. The bed is a sacred spot. I love my sleep. The idea of sleeping in a loft area of a small enclosed space does not appeal at all. Sure if you have good ventilation the heat and air flow can be solved but so many that I have seen have what amounts to crawl space only in the bedroom.

I also don’t want to have to clamber down a ladder or awkward steps to get to the loo in the night without turning on the lights and waking everyone up.

I have slept in a loft bedroom and it was hot in winter because the log fire heat naturally travelled upwards, and in the summer it was also hot because again heat rising and the summer sunlight streaming in. Admittedly the ventilation could have been better. There was a fan but that didn’t fix all the issues.

I have also slept in a motor home in the loft area above the driver’s seat. It was fun for four nights. The head space was limited. There was a ladder to get up and down. You had to skirt around another body to get to the end of the bed and then over the edge to get to the ladder.

I love a soak in a hot bath. Lately I have seen tiny homes with bathtubs. They have been a relief for me to see. I feel that to live without a bath is like going without licorice. Not an option.

I love the seating nooks that they create in the tiny homes. Places to sit , places to lie down, to read, to write, to draw, to paint. The multi functioning bed that transforms into a desk. The painting that flips into a screen. The loft steps that double as a bookshelf or a shoe box.

The kitchens are incredible and I drool over the cuteness of it all. THe pull out pantries, the full size fridge freezers. I love seeing all sorts of layouts and necessities and differ for each family. Those that include children and cats and dogs. The walking away from stuff to make more time for family.

Less space, less to clean.

Less space, less to fill.

As I lie in bed with my foot in a cast I wonder how I would manage in a tiny house with a broken ankle. My knee scooter wouldn’t fit in the space. In reality it would fit, it just wouldn’t be able to turn around. So that means crutches to gad about. More effort required and certainly doable. The bed would need to be on the one level as everywhere else. I would be able to reach and carry things from one place to the next because everywhere is nearby. I could even make a cup of tea and pivot the tea cup to the other side of the walk space. It might even be easier than if I was at home here where I am now.

Not moving to a tiny house anytime soon, probably never but I love following people’s journeys and seeing how they plan out their spaces. Tiny homes can be beautifully designed, functional and efficient. I look forward to the future when councils will see the benefit of tiny homes and include them into our communities.

Must haves for my tiny home:

Queen bed with access on three sides, on the ground level
Fully functioning kitchen
Breakfast nook style eating area
Full size bath tub
Two writing spaces (breakfast nook can be one)
Fully off-grid capability, solar panels,…
High speed internet
Full size fridge
Couches where you can lay down comfortably
Cat friendly
Good security
Good storage

I have thought about this a lot!

PART 2: HOARDING

Living in any size house making it comfortable for ourselves is paramount. What does that mean though? Comfortable? Your style? Minimalist? Cottage? Retro? Big couches? Petit furniture? Books? Records? Plants? Cat friendly? Lots of colour? One colour: white? Lots of paintings on the walls? Floor lamps?

Even if you are renting you can still create your comfortable space that is your own. You can hang pictures that leave no trace. I suppose it depends on how long you intend to stay, doesn’t it? No it doesn’t. You can create your stamp on a space and make it your own even if you stay a night. When you stay at a hotel you change the space to make it your own just for one night. Your presence alone makes it your space.

As I write this I look around the room thinking of the whole house and wonder how can I make our home more comfortable. The one thing that jumps out is the clutter. Again with a broken ankle and not being able to put weight on one leg leaves you stuck on one level. Every rug, rubbish bin becomes an obstacle. The fewer the obstacles the easier to navigate the house on a knee scooter.

Personal belongings, stuff, clutter, junk, memories, are an accumulation. When the amount becomes too much for the space it becomes clutter. When the clutter becomes an access hazard the house becomes a hoarder’s castle.

A hoarder doesn’t necessarily live on their own collecting old newspapers and lining the halls and stairways with piles of paper. Hoarders come from all walks of life. Collections of stuff are hobbies. When hobbies or habits get out of control and become extreme they don’t develop into hoarding. Hoarding and obsessive stamp collecting is not the same. Hoarding doesn’t happen overnight. The hoarding is not the cause of the problem, It is the manifestation of the problem. Hoarding now is a class of disorder all on its own. It used to be tacked onto OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Hoarding does not discriminate, regardless of the size of your house, a hoarder will fill it, whether it be a one bedroom apartment or a five bedroom farmhouse, a hoarder will fill it.

Hoarders are ashamed of their living conditions and do not want people entering their space and passing comment or judgement.

Hoarders don’t want to live like they do. They also do not know how to get help either. A lot of times too the help offered makes the attempt way too stressful and it is easier to stay living as is. They do find comfort with their possessions with them. For just in case. The problem is that they no longer remember where each item is and so duplicates abound. This is not the several cork screws in the junk drawer, multiple Christmas cracker boxes. I mean tens to hundreds of items the same. Yet they don’t appear the same to the hoarder. If someone has suffered a time of impoverishment, a loss or some traumatic event, the hoarder may be appearing to be ‘stocking up’ for what if. The items are not the issue. The accumulation of stuff is the side affect of the hoarder’s condition.

Getting a skip or a portable waste bin and dumping all the possessions does not solve the problem. The hoarder will never trust you again. Their compulsion to hoard hasn’t gone away, over time the property will revert back to what it was like. It’s a lose-lose situation. The hoarder needs to handle each and every item in order to make a decision on what to do with the item. Hoarding has taken years to accumulate. You cannot expect someone to deal with an entire household over a weekend. Just because the person, a daughter, son, parent or friend is willing to help for a weekend doesn’t mean that the hoarder can process the items at the pace you might. To you it is all junk and should be dumped. To the hoarder each item was carefully brought into the house. To just give it no thought at all is upsetting the balance of the house.

The pile of stuff in a hoarders home becomes overwhelming for all living under the same roof. The new normal changes slowly over time and the issue becomes so enormous it is not faced and becomes a hazard to health and can lead to death in extreme cases.

I understand the desire to handle each and every item before deciding on the fate of each piece. I also understand the ‘undecided’ pile being high as well. Marie Kondo talks about ‘sparking joy’ as the entire world now knows. She also talks about handling each item and thanking it before deciding it doesn’t spark joy.

Binge watching the Marie Kondo series and you would think that to declutter an entire house takes only half an hour. Marie Kondo appears, blesses the house, chats with the homeowners and then starts them off in one room, sets them homework and returns to a magically clutter free home at the end of half an hour. Life is not like that.

I have some decluttering to do to make my life freer. I think about the clutter all the time. I want to free my mind of the stupid thoughts. It is literally time wasted.

I start and I stop with the decluttering. I have done a lot already. There is more to go. Spring is here and the weather is getting warmer. It is the ideal time to do it, right? Now is the best time to declutter. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next weekend. Now

I do not have a hoarding problem yet I do feel embarrassed to have anyone over because of the clutter. I am determined to tackle the clutter once my leg is out of the cast and I can put weight on both legs.

I cannot run before I can walk. At the moment I cannot do either. I sure do value being able to go for a walk, just to the letterbox to check the mail. To walk barefoot on the grassed lawn. I have gotten sidetracked.

PART 3: CONCLUSION

Space is important to us all. How we use space is as different as there are people. Don’t judge others for how they use their spaces. Have a little understanding. Everyone has a story to tell. Take time to listen.

Space: Physical 01

I can look at a space, let’s say a lawn, and I can envision what it could look like with say raised vegetable beds there instead of said lawn. I can picture it in my mind and imagine what it could look like. To know whether something is a good idea or a bad one ahead of time can save you time, money and stress.

I can look at an existing lawn and envision something else in its place with relative ease yet if it were a completely undeveloped site, say a new house and untouched landscaping then I would be stuck completely.

On the surface these two scenarios seem the same but they are not. One starts with an idea that has already been laid out, the other is a completely blank canvas. You could argue that they are indeed the same, you just need to imagine no lawn and then go from there.

Another aspect of this is with an already developed area you can see what has been planted or how it has been landscaped, hard and soft, what grows, how the sunlight affects the area. It has been done once. The fact that you are taking a closer look at the area means that you are ready for change. You want to improve the area, make it more you, more in keeping with the rest of the land, neighbourhood or the times.

When you have a blank canvas with an outdoor space you have unlimited possibilities to develop and create an area to the best of your ability and budget. That blank canvas can be frightening, to the point of inaction. Too many choices, too many options, no clear idea so resulting in indecision and not moving forward.

If you have made it this far, you are still with me. What I am trying to say is that I find it relatively easy to arrange things spatially in my mind without having to assemble something first. I love puzzles and assembling kit set furniture. I love maps and have an insanely good sense of direction.

Say if you were house hunting and you were visiting an open home and it was stuffed with the owner’s possessions and they weren’t to your taste I could easily imagine what it could look like with my own instead. I can overlook the madness and see a new vision. Yet with viewing a home that is void of furniture I find it harder to imagine what it could look like because there is no scale, the palette is clear and the reverse happens. I find it very difficult to imagine the possibilities because there are too many.

I understand why staging companies have multiplied in New Zealand. We are copying the American way of selling house. Plus we have a growing population and an economy that seems to be doing quite well. We have more money than sense. By staging I mean companies that ask owners to remove all of their belongings and clutter and any ounce of a homely feel and instead bring in generic furniture and other items to create an image of the ideal home without the overflowing junk. People either store their belongings or have already purchased their new home and have moved on hoping to sell their home for the best price.

I value space. I appreciate space. I think I need more of it than most. I don’t like to be confined, cramped or squashed. But then again who does? No one. I feel most comfortable when I have plenty of space between myself and the next person, standing, walking or just being. I prefer to live with the view of nature. I like to hear the sound of the trees swaying in the wind. Space now though comes with a premium. Space and convenience are a wanted commodity in the modern world. I love both but I would sacrifice convenience over space any day.

I value space over convenience.

I love putting things together with or without instructions.

I love maps and have an insanely good sense of direction.

I love figuring out spatial puzzles.