a home of one’s own + a life worth coveting: small steps

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If this be a home, let it be filled with things baking. Hot loaves in ovens and the windows flung open to let the wind in. Let there be stacks of books, floor to ceiling, so they tower and tumble and sometimes fall to the floor. But that’s okay. It always is. At the end of the day all I need is a good book and a sugary bun. Life suddenly becomes that simple.

Funny how that happens.

After I announced that I was leaving my very high-profile, albeit stressful, job, something else happened. I came home and felt smothered by all the clutter, all the things I had accumulated over the past three years. Clothes pored out of closets, bags left askance, unread books spilled out of shelves — part of me wanted to get a trash bag and throw the lot of it out the window. Be done with it all. And this feeling grew with intensity when I attended a very auspicious gathering this past Sunday in a loft space that was austere, sparse, illuminated by candles and soft light. Much like how I’ve been surgical with my friends now comes the desire, or necessity, to be as ruthless with my possessions. A burning of sage, if you will.

Since November I stopped acquiring. Ceased the senseless stockpiling of shiny trinkets and plush tops, covetable handbags and painful shoes. Instead I returned to books, a reunion of sorts with an old lover once left asunder. I discovered Israeli food and made pita salad with sumac. I purchased magnolia candles and jasmine tea, which served to calm a stressful friend one Sunday. It occurred to me that I now only consumed goods in the context of experiences they had the potential to create. A morning in the kitchen dovetailed into a meal shared with an old friend. A story collection delivered sustenance, rejuvenation, and had me thinking in ways I hadn’t before. Fresh napkins lent a luxe air to a picnic on my living room floor.

I’m starting to realize that I’m happiest owning less and sharing, experiencing more.

Come this weekend I’m cleaning. Packing expensive shoes in their boxes and selling them (size 8/8.5, anyone?). Folding pretty dresses that no longer fit and donating them to charity. Letting the “status books” go and giving them to people who crave a good read. Tossing a bookcase that only creates more clutter in my home.

And then I’m stocking the fridge. Buying the candles, savoring the books. Falling in love with my home and my life all over again. This is a start, I guess.

thoughts welcome, always.

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lovely living