I am static.

I have a friend. A lovely friend. She and her husband just bought their first house (they had previously owned a condo. Now they have grass), into which they moved in October of last year. They had, as we all do (I think) things that they wanted to change in this house. New paint, new counter tops, new fixtures…you get the idea. They are currently in the middle of some of these projects and waiting for professionals to attend their home so that they may start other projects.

I was replying to an email she had sent when I realized that I am in a static state in my own domestic life. I have been living in this house for more than five years now and I have barely hung art on the walls. Five. Years.

I want to paint rooms. I want to change (ALL OF THE) light fixtures (because the existing ones are gold. It’s awful). I want to finish the unfinished half of the ground floor. I want to have a master bedroom that I’m excited to spend time in, not something that looks like a collect-all for junk. I want a new sundeck. I want a new sundeck door (French, rather than sliding glass). I want three fences, with which I may enclose my yard. I want my terraced garden, in the backyard, to be fixed because it was haphazardly and improperly constructed in the first place, is heaving badly and looks terrible.

I want to have the motivation to really, actually care about my house.

But I don’t. I think I’m starting to understand why, though. Beyond my current depressed state (which is getting pretty bad again), I believe one of my biggest problems with my relationship with this house is that it’s always seemed temporary. We didn’t buy this as a “forever home.” It has always been a five-to-ten year home, because our End Game has always been a bit of property.

Now, because of that relationship and all of the projects that sound great in my head, but never make it into existence, I resent my home. Couple with that some of the reasons for my depression (which is not clinical, or chemical, but situational in nature) and I sometimes hate my home.

…I sometimes hate my home.

It feels transitional.

On the other hand, I’ve also always moved. Until I moved here, I hadn’t lived in a city for more than nine years, which means I haven’t lived in a house for more than nine years. While I have lived in this city for going on fifteen now, I had lived in two dorm rooms, and two apartment buildings before this house came into my life. I suppose everything feels transitional to me.

I think, sometimes, that I’m afraid to set roots. I’m afraid to and I don’t want to. I like to move, I like to discover new things, and some days I feel really itchy to pack up my whole life and move it to another city/province/country. But I also like to run away. When things get difficult, I run away. (It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s something I’m starting to understand.)

I think I need to start employing another of Nicole’s tips (on creating an anchor habit): get rid of four things a day. Clutter has become the bane of my existence. I hate it and I feel overwhelmed by it. Maybe if I start to throw things into piles (or garbage bags or “To Donate” bins) every day, and then actually take those piles to the dump, recycling depot, or a donation location, I will feel motivated to finally move into the house I’ve owned for five years. Maybe by taking baby steps, I will start to take ownership of my life and stop feeling overwhelmed by The Big Project(s). Because Nicole’s right (she often is. I’ve said it on Twitter a few times to a few people: subscribe to her email/blog. It’s useful and fun):

But, look, change doesn’t have to be huge in order to be hugely impactful. If you’re sitting there waiting until you have “enough time” or the “right circumstances” to make a big change, you’re making it too hard on yourself. Who says big changes are the only way? Who says it has to be all or nothing?

Maybe it’s time to couple small organizational tasks with “13-Minute Work Blocks” (WRITING) and make use of the time I really, actually have in a day. Maybe this is a really good excuse to take a trip to Canadian Tire to buy some (MOAR) totes with which I may organize my life. And then, maybe (just maybe) there will be a day when I am not swimming in clutter and I can see my carpet just enough to rip it up. Or a new sundeck door doesn’t seem so daunting and scary.

Maybe it’s time to start accepting my life and using it as a great, solid foundation to start building more onto it.

Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine



4 thoughts on “I am static.

  1. Firstly, I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling low at the moment because that can only make the lack of motivation and itchy feelings worse. I think it would be an absolutely great idea for you to move into your home because, at times when you’re feeling low, you need sanctuary and it sounds like you don’t even have that in your own house. Nicole is totally right, just do a few little things at a time. Maybe say to yourself, right, the bedroom is my first project and I’m going do one or two things every week that contribute towards it being the room I want it to be. It could be super simple like buying yourself some new bed sheets – that’s one thing checked off the list. Then throwing four items in your donate/throw away baskets could be your second item for the week. That way, you’ve made two steps towards what you want but they probably only took an hour each. You can do this, girl! And I want to see some photos haha 🙂 ❤

    • Awh. Thank you. I LOVE the idea of starting with my bedroom. I was thinking about the room-at-a-time approach. That narrows it even more. De-cluttering a whole house is a huge job. De-cluttering and then “moving into” a room at a time is not a huge job. Thank you, Suzy. Hah! And YES! Pictures are a great idea. I will take photos and, if there is progress made, I will share them! ❤

  2. The idea of setting roots is scary. Even now, I get worried that I am going to get trapped and wind up playing out my days in Greenville, SC, somewhere I never really wanted to go and don’t really want to stay. And having a house that you don’t like certainly doesn’t help. I haven’t ever REALLY loved anywhere I lived except my mother’s house (and even that comes with too many “CLEAN EVERYTHING” rules for me).

    My mom likes to tell me that I need to love the place I am at, and I’ve come to really agree with her. For years, I lived in this “but it’s just temporary” mindset, never bothering to fix things that really annoyed the crap out of me. After being in the house I am currently in for a year (and really hating it), back in January I made a change (it came with deciding to stay in this house a little longer). I started “nesting” (as Jacob calls it), and I bought things for the house. I splurged and I cleaned and I fixed things I didn’t like (little things, like getting a new couch and adding new stuff to my desk and reorganizing. I get really caught up in the “this is transitional” and “we won’t be here much longer,” and living in a place I don’t like seriously sucks away my energy and my positivity.

    Every time I make a change in this house, I feel better emotionally. When we painted the living room white (it had been a nasty gross tan color), I felt less intrinsically depressed. When I got cute throw pillows, I felt a wave of love every time I saw them. It finally felt like it was a home coming together and even though I know it’s transitional I felt more comfortable.

    Anyway, enough about me. I think that using the “get rid of 4 things a day” idea is really quite brilliant. Taking small amounts of time to reduce clutter and clear things out make THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE in mental state. And bedroom is the best place to start, imo! Because you spend a lot of time there and you sleep there. Even though depression is a gorram bitch, you can still pwn it and try to spend a few minutes a day finding a few things that you no longer need and getting rid of them. Create a charity box and just throw things in there.

    ALSO: “Maybe it’s time to start accepting my life and using it as a great, solid foundation to start building more onto it.” Hell yes. That is just… so important and so very hard to do. Accepting life as it is (especially when you don’t LIKE how it is) is hard, but then after you accept it you get to do things and change it, which is scary and also very cool. I am like… barely accepting it and only starting to build more onto it. Like barely.

    Wow that was a lot of ramble. APPARENTLY I HAVE LOTS TO SAY. I love you dearly and I think you are so strong. And I’m super mad at depression and I wanna beat it’s booty in. I hope that you are having a good day today, or at least you had a good moment ❤ (there's always something, right? That's what I tell myself… hah)

    • “My mom likes to tell me that I need to love the place I am at, and I’ve come to really agree with her.”

      YES Vanessa, yes. That. And the “but it’s just temporary” mindset. That is it, exactly. It’s kind of funny that you (we) have to actually decide to decide to “move in.” I love that you started to “nest.” I can see where that’s important and helpful. I think that’s where I need to go with it, too. I think you and Suzy are on the money. I need to start. That’s it, just start. It’s like with writing, isn’t it? (Or any other endeavour that seems scary and huge.) At a certain point, we have to shit or get off the pot. We don’t have to remodel the house in one day (or write the MO in a few short hours), but we do have to take a step forward. Bite off a chewable piece. Nothing overwhelming. One room at a time. One paragraph at a time.

      I think it’s interesting (and awesome) that you feel better emotionally when you make positive changes in your house. Makes a lot of sense though, you’re growing a sanctuary and making your home yours.I suppose it feels less like an institution or “someone else’s” house when you decide to do that and then do the work. And that’s another thing, the work. It’s always better when you dig the results and you’ve also put the work in. Hard work and big success is such a cool feeling.

      …think of all of the things I could already be rid of if I’d actually been getting rid of four things a day…. I am my own worst enemy. Nemesis. It’s awful. Hah! MOVE FORWARD.

      I hate depression, too. It’s such an asshole. REALLY good at what it does, which just makes it more of an asshole.

      …I love that you have lots to say AND THAT YOU SAID IT. 🙂 I love this comment and I appreciate that you took the time not only to read my rambling but to write all of that awesomeness! ❤ You're wonderful.

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