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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

With Fresh Eyes

Returning form a trip, even if it is a short one, gives me a completely new look at my living environment. Traveling back and forth from San Diego to Austria, I have learned over the years to not only marvel at this new look at things, but also to take advantage of it and use it in order to continually create the life I want.

Just a few days ago I returned from a near 2 month stay in Austria, where my family lives. It was an extended family visit/business trip. On the country side I got the chance to relax and recharge my batteries. First I felt the exhaustion from the whole year, then I slowly got excited about the new year and started to plan it and set my goals.

When the return to my current home in San Diego approached, I got mentally prepared to take in the first impressions of my home there and to make notes about what are the top 5 things I would love to have different. Usually it is simple and seemingly little things that give the life quality a big boost. It only takes one daily nuisance in order to unnecessarily drain precious energy out of me. This time it is a new rug for the hallway (so far only a temporary one has been way beyond its temporary welcome), organizing my cleaning supplies, finally planting the giant bamboo in order to get some privacy in the back yard, finish painting the kitchen and hanging some newly taken family photos on our family wall. If 5 seems too much (it always depends on the size of the items and the current financial options), I do the top 3. Only doing the most important single one adds extra energy and a bounce in my step.

This commitment to making use of my fresh look on things has brought me far along the way already. With only one or two vacations (already one night away from home can qualify) a year, it adds up quickly. Usually I get used to not so ideal things around the house and think I can manage. But if it sticks out right after having been gone, I just haven´t gotten used to it in a way that satisfies me. Sometimes something is on the list more than once until I finally believe that it is not good for me.

The goal is to have a living environment that supports my creativity, expresses who my husband and I are as a couple and who we are as individuals and that gives me energy as opposed to drains it. Isn´t it amazing how fast the things collect on the mantel piece? One at a time would shine and be wonderful. All of them at once just look like clutter and make the place look stuffy and unpleasant to be in.

In case it is too overwhelming, I got a dear friend who is a professional organizer. She is featured in the A&E series "Hoarders" and helps people who are most likely in a worse situation with their nick-nacks than you and I are. She does a great job at freeing up your life. I´d be glad to get you in touch if you are interested...

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