Keeping beauty in sight feels like less of a goal and more of a “duh,” but here we are anyway.
Let’s backtrack a bit first, because I live for that. So my goals this year were vague and scattershot as usual, but the fact that they were also leant itself to the desire to savor. Whether it’s moments in general or literally each bite of food, I’m trying to slow down and notice things. And having noticed them, I’m then trying to really understand how I feel about them.
In a big general way, that feels like a lot, but since the point is to try it with individual moments…well, when it works, it freaking works.
Case in point: my office wall. When we lost our guest bedroom this year due to the need to separate our puberty-crashing twins, I was super pissed, to be honest. It was the only room where I could keep MY stuff. When Josh told me I could “have” the laundry room, I was even more pissed. It was more of a pathway to the garage. A mudroom with a pantry in it. A pantry with a sticky doorknob, because children are literally always sticky, even if they just took a bath and what the hell are you DOING?
But I digress.
I didn’t see the beauty in that small space. I WOULDN’T see the beauty.
Once I remembered that I’m not in my twenties anymore and I should really be less defensive about silly things, I started to look up ways to maximize small spaces. And guys, there are a LOT. I saved a specific photo to my phone and decided I wanted to somehow create it, even in a glorified mudroom hallway that had a big scoop missing out of one wall:
With that as my end game, I started to “see” what I was working toward, instead of what I was working with. What helped? A supportive family. I researched stackable washer/dryer combos that could still handle a family of four, and Josh promptly found us a great deal on a NEW one (something I hadn’t had since I was 20 and bought one on like, a two-year payment plan). And then he BUILT me a desk. My son and daughter-in-law helped me sand and paint, and paint again. Beauty in sight.
When it came time to decorate, I was torn. I’m a minimalist at heart, but I also wanted to fill my little space with everything I loved…and that included a weight rack and little gym space. What I settled on was a mix of old and new. My mom was a fan of framing our artwork to look like professional wall hangings, so I had to utilize a few of those. I also wanted to keep things that she had given me over the years. Solution: a little nook to self-comfort that I call “Sue Corner.” (Her name is Sue and the focal point was a Winnie-the-Pooh picture so…it wrote itself, really.)
My gym was at the opposite end of the office, six feet away. I wanted that wall to represent strength, so two high bookshelves are filled with the arc of that journey as well as an homage to my dad, who started me on my fitness path at a young age when I jumped on his mini trampoline and tried to do sit-ups to keep him company in his workouts.
The middle? My desk. And that’s where the beauty in sight became really important. If I was going to face this wall all the time, it had to encapsulate everything I truly loved.
Beauty in Sight
My wall holds a small bookshelf with the only painting I created as an adult, thanks to my daughter-in-law’s quarantine Zoom class. It stands on a small shelf along with my two nesting dolls, collection of worry stones, and RBG Memorial 5K medal. My favorite poem, “If” hangs a little higher, next to my sister’s beautiful Christmas gift she made me: curse-word embroidery. At eye-level is my other sister’s gift: a reminder to fill YOUR life with stuff YOU want to do. Rounding it out: an artsy bulletin board with a beautiful calendar my mom gave all of the women in our family for Christmas, a squishy Wonder Woman figure, tiny paintings of pies and cobblers my daughter-in-law created, and a pin reminding me to always “Chill, Bitch.” Every time I’m sitting at my desk, I’m filled with happiness to even have so much beauty in sight. It fuels my work and fills my heart. Best part? The whole renovation was really cheap (except that washer and dryer, but I cherish it every time I do laundry, so that feels like a win).
The Little Things
It’s kind of amazing how much happiness simple changes can provide. When you have things you love right in front of you, it touches so many other aspects of your life. Even when you’re distracted and doing other, less beautiful, things, the effect of being surrounded by things you love, that love you with their very presence, fills your damn soul.
Today, consider the beauty in YOUR sight. Does it exist? What would it look like? Don’t be afraid to do a little research. To get your OWN goal picture. And then? Make that shit happen, because you deserve it.