Collecting Moments

The point of writing, of writing this blog is to get stuff down. To tell our story. To put our history into words to be read down the road. I’ve been contemplating this a lot. Some times I just write for fun too. Or because we’ve had a great experience and I want other people to be inspired to get out there and have experiences, adventures. But sometimes it’s more personal, like today.

A few weeks ago I painted. Something I don’t do a lot of and quite frankly I’m not very good at. Normally I wouldn’t write about painting but as the project evolved it became more and more of a story I wanted to get down.

It started with my parents renovating the upstairs of their home. Renovations usually come with massive purges of things and at this point in their lifespan they’ve begun to minimize their “things” and just get back to basics, downsizing of sorts. So, I acquired my Dad’s old wardrobe. I needed something to put bit and bobs of things in and it seemed a perfect fit.

It sat in the garage for a few days before I decided I wanted to spice up the house with a bit of colour and finally went and got some paint. I’ve never used chalk paint and everyone raves about how easy it is to use, they are right, all of them, so easy. Well, I got the thing all painted up and was pretty pleased with myself then as I moved it into the house and reattached the original hardware this piece of furniture started to tell it’s story.

My sister was over visiting one day and she mentioned how the dresser seemed so short. We reminisced about trying to reach coins from the top of the wardrobe as little girls. How we boosted each other up to get change and then quickly jump on our bikes to ride to the nearby gas station for handfuls of 5 cent candies.

Then later I was filling the bottom drawer with games and began to tell my oldest son how this drawer was where my Dad, Pumpah as he calls him, kept his socks. I told him how I’d sneak into his room and pull out my favourite wooly pairs to wear to school. I told him how I did this so often I think Pumpah went with out socks a lot or how he’d come down the stairs and pull up my pants and demand his socks back, which I’d begrudgingly have to take off and return.

Where I stack my sewing fabrics and craft projects are where my Dad used to keep his sweaters. I’d even steal these to wear because wearing a big fuzzy warm sweater, especially your Dad’s, always feels good.

I’m so happy with how the project turned out the new version of my Dad’s wardrobe looks great, but what I’m really thrilled about is how filling up our home with things that have meaning, memories, love, has become important. How when I open the doors of the dresser that familiar slightly creaky sound makes me smile.

I’ve come across this quote a few times “collect moments not things.” I’m sure you must have heard this one too and probably think I’m crazy to believe I’m actually living this but I am. I truly think I am because some “things” are so full of memories it’s worth making an exception to the rule.

My Dad’s old dresser
One coat with the new colour. I {heart} chalk paint now!
Closer up with a little distressing
Then and now
The devil is in the details
I love the new pop of colour in our house

Musing on balance

Finding balance. I’m starting to dislike this concept. I practice yoga on a semi regular basis, meaning some weeks I get to accomplish practice more than once a week, other weeks I’m not so lucky so I hear or see this statement a lot at yoga class or in my readings. Finding balance, creating balance in your life, etc. Balance, balance, balance.

Lately the pursuit of balance has been a lot like the pursuit of happiness. You think you have a sense of balance then one tiny thing throws it off and your struggle to find balance resumes.

Balance seems to be accompany a calmness in your life. I feel calm, pretty much all the time and even when I’m not perfectly clam I’m still pretty relaxed, but I’m certainly not balanced. Take yesterday for example I thought I had it all worked out drop kids off at daycare and school, babysit my niece, prep stuff for dinner, trade cars with my husband, meet my oldest at the pool for swim lessons then go to work. Except I messed up the daycare schedule, oops. Oldest was a little late for swim lessons, didn’t have time to switch cars with hubby and ended up taking yogurt and an apple to work for dinner. It didn’t exactly feel balanced but I did feel calm.

I fantasize about routine thinking maybe this will bring balance. Routine is something I’ve tried to strive for, it’s good for the kids too right? I’m coming to realize it may just be out of my grasp and frankly I think we do just as good without routine as we do with it, which is to say we take it day to day and it seems to work, most of the time. What I don’t like is my “me time” gets pushed aside frequently when we don’t have routine. It’s a mommy thing. I think we all have it to some degree. It’s making the kids lunches before mine and eating yogurt for dinner instead because I ran out of time to pack my dinner.

But being in balance means making sure I’m taking care of myself too so I need that “me” time. Like when the oxygen masks drop down in the plane they always tell you to put your mask on first then help others. It’s kinda a metaphor for life isn’t it? You aren’t effective if you’re incapacitated. I’ve got to learn to put the oxygen mask on first. Why is this so hard?

Probably because when the oxygen mask drops down its right in front of your face to grab, hold onto and just breathe. Yoga class is my oxygen but it’s not in my face when I need it.

So how am I ever going to achieve balance? I’m not. I’m going to strive for awareness instead, noticing when I am so out of whack, so unbalance, I’m not being effective anymore. Balance is too momentary, fleeting, but it feels so good. I guess I’m torn, I’m not going to give up on balance. I just want to take away the expectation it will stay for awhile and instead accept and enjoy it, temporarily.

When I’m feeling a little burnt out and all out of whack I’m going to just put my feet on the ground where ever I am be in the moment, practice my yoga. So, please don’t knock me over if you see me on the sidewalk standing in tree pose I’m trying to create my balance.