Learning to Settle

For the past year I’ve felt unsettled, in both a very literal and a figurative way.

Last August, Sam and I moved out of our townhouse.

We are now living south of town, in farmland (40 acres, currently growing wheat, as our backyard), in a 50+ year old house that belonged to Sam’s recently deceased great-grandparents.

It is a great opportunity, mainly to save money for a little while as the rent is very affordable. But we also knew going into that, that there would be strings attached, such as upkeep on the house/yard and being on call to Sam’s grandma who lives next door. Not to mention that I’ve lived in the city my whole life and tractors and crop dusters in the backyard at 6am and falling asleep to the smell of fertilizer are not my cup of tea (apparently they can become very sentimental if I would just give it time.)

Those, as well as other inconveniences have made it difficult to feel at home here.

A major one being that we’re renting from family. And as great as family is, when you are living in a house that belonged to the family for over 50 years a lot of opinions, ideas, memories, and nostalgia come into play from many different directions. It was hard not to feel like we were walking on tip-toes with every minor change we made to the house and potentially offending someone if we “cleaned up.”

Adding to that was the temporary nature of our stay to begin with. Our original plan was to give it six months and see what opened up next. As a result, we did little to personalize the place.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve moved in all of our furniture, put up many of our own window treatments, hung pictures on the wall, and even painted one wall a very vibrant teal. We just didn’t invest in giving it that “homey” touch.

We’ve lived there for nine months now (it’s looking like we’ll be moving this summer) and I think the lack of settled-ness has really started to wear on me and contribute to more of an emotional sense of displacement.

Maybe if I had gone through dorm or even apartment living, I’d be more used to that transient lifestyle. And spiritually speaking, I probably should be a lot more welcoming to such a mindset.

But after getting so used to having our own home together and sharing our own life together, it felt rather interrupted to suddenly be in a situation where we were living outside of our (at least my) comfort zone and much closer to family and to other people’s opinions.

Last month, Sam finally unpacked over half of our books. As our books were one of the bigger bulks to pack and to move, we had planned to keep them packed up during our stay here. And even though we only foresee living here for another few more months, I think we both couldn’t take it anymore. Living out of boxes (as we couldn’t reject our books entirely) is unnerving.

With crafting, it’s been similar. Granted, the way I had my craft supplies stored didn’t require a lot of packing and unpacking (much of it was already in boxes, bins, and plastic drawers) but I haven’t quite gotten around to getting it all organized and set up just right, even though my big crafting desk is sitting in a cozy corner with a card table set up next to it.

The poor lighting in that room could contribute to that, although it wouldn’t be a difficult fix.  It’s just not my craft room and I just know whatever work I invest in getting comfortable here will have to be undone all too soon. What a lazy perspective, huh?

But I miss that part of life. And missing it has taken a toll on me. I’m not always able to put my finger on it, but I can feel it. It’s this recurrent, dismal feeling that my life is wasting away; that it’s just a doldrum of work, eat, sleep, work, eat, sleep. I need something more.

So just like the moment came where the books would no longer stay in their boxes. My craftiness can no longer stay suppressed under this dull sense of everyday responsibility. That’s not to say that I’ll suddenly be crafting up a storm, writing poetry by the volume, and the like. But I do need to pursue it.

I need to get color in the air. I need to wake up to pretty things. I need the stunning little details that can’t escape my notice without a smile.

Maybe it’s just spring… but so be it!

One way I am going to start is by trying to establish my own style: my values, who I am as a crafter.
I need direction. No more floundering around.

Crafting is, of course, all about recreating. But too long I’ve been stuck in the rut of mimicking and I don’t want that to control what I do.

– One of my first steps will be to create a blog layout and color scheme and to solidify the direction of my blog. Which now, as the byline reveals, incorporates a much broader range of creativity than just literature and library.

– From there, I figure an easy start would be to start blogging about the things I find that I like (as I have been more diligent about following blogs and reading crafty magazines.) But not just that, I want to take the time to really think through why I like them and what I like about them and how that shapes my own style and taste.

– I also want to consider where I really stand on some areas of the creative lifestyle.
I am drawn to aspects of fashion but have always been concerned about getting too caught up in the triviality of it all.
I am attracted to the coffee-shop culture but I want to consider why and to what extent I embrace that.

So what I hope you can find here over the next few months (at least) is what inspires me.

Because I have a feeling that if I really devote time and attention to that, it will undoubtedly bear creative fruit and really get this blog/my craftiness up off the ground and on a roll.

And although there’s no telling how the baby-on-the-way may play into these newfound goals, now that we know she’s a girl (!!!) I imagine I’ll have quite the source of inspiration and motivation to craft her up all sorts of cute and pretty. I hope it’s not shameful to admit that a significant reason I am happy for a daughter is that there are so many fun ways to craft for a girl!

More to come soon, I am sure. Now that I’ve gotten myself committed…


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