Nest: Day 63
Your nest, your sanctuary.
There’s a good reason why, being a bird lover, I called this section “nest.” To me, the word evokes the best of what a home should be: something you build yourself or with others, something that is put together stick by stick, a place to raise and grow your family, a place that is a shelter from wind and rain and inevitable change. Of course, I don’t assume you’ll actually do the physical framing of your abode, but in choosing your furnishings and your art and the colors of your dishrags and the atmosphere–casual, formal, modern, traditional–of your home, you’re building your space even more than if you dry-walled it yourself.
Although I often balk at household jobs because I’d rather be making art, still, I find most domestic activities warming in an almost spiritual way (Exceptions: Not P4. Not “doing the dirty” laundry. Not doing dishes.) After I’ve reorganized a closet, for instance, it makes me happy to look at it. And while washing floors or pulling weeds I often get some of my best creative ideas. I usually would rather spend an evening at home than anywhere else. I believe in putting love into cooking and joy into decorating.
My house is my nest. The place I want to be when everything’s right with the world…and also the place I want to be when everything feels wrong.
I’ve certainly had the experience of feeling profoundly homesick when I’ve been gone for a while—and I mean that: sick for home. Sometimes in addition to people and pets, I miss my rooms and my stuff. I think that’s because, if you’ve set your house up right, it’s not just a house, not just a collection of rooms, but also your sanctuary.
Kimberly Dovey writes in Home Environments:
“Home is a place of security within an insecure world, a place of certainty within doubt,
a familiar place in a strange world,
a sacred place in a profane world. It is a place of autonomy and power in an increasingly heteronomous world where others make the rules.”
If your house doesn’t feel like a sanctuary to you, if you aren’t eager to spend time in it on a rainy day or to rush home after a long day at work, ask yourself why. Perhaps go back and do the exercise that zen organizer Regina Leeds calls “Fresh Eyes” in which you look at your environment as if you’re a stranger— to see if it reflects the you of today. If not, make a list of ways to change it.
I know that parts of my house aren’t a good reflection of who I want to be, much less who I am. I’m working toward changing that and I hope you are, too. For the rest of this month we’re going to go room to room and decide on changes to make, as well as continue our decluttering to prep for putting ourselves on a Nest maintenance program (which will allow us to spend minimal time on upkeep and maximum time on creativity). This month will be time consuming and tiring. You don’t have to get it all done this month. Do what you can when you can.
Later this week I’ll share a list of ideas about how to make your house into a sanctuary.
Nest Month 3
What to do so far:
Make your house your sanctuary.
Answers to yesterday’s quiz
Every statement in the True or False quiz is False according to the rules of habithacking engagement. Go back through postings in Nest Months 1 & 2 to review if you need to.
When you clean, you must be certain to get everything immaculate, because that’s the way the pro’s do it. (Not certain pro’s I’ve hired. They’re mostly good at a lick and a promise. But it sure looks good anyway.)
BOP stands for Blow Out Preventer. (Certainly not what I mean as Brain on Paper….but really, when you put your brain on paper, you’re preventing mental blowout.)
Habithacker advises that to ensure you stick to a habit you should levy a heavy fine when you mess up. (The best method is always positive reinforcement. It’s what the laws of behavior tell us.)
On the 15th of every month, all habithackers work extra hard. (The Ides, my friends, stand for “Today I’d rather…” Go ahead. Indulge your rebellious side. But you’ll pay the consequences the next day, usually.)
D-Day kits consist of three bins labeled: Do, File, and Purge. (Donate, Dump and Deliver)
Having a yard sale is the best way to get rid of stuff. (Maybe if you’re a superorganized whiz kid…but then, why would you be reading this blog?)
The Peruvians are responsible for one hour having sixty minutes. (Blame the Babylonians, why don’t you.)
3H stands for Habit Hacker’s Holiday. (Au contraire, it’s Half-assed Housekeeping Hour)
After #1 and #2 comes #3. (Maybe if you’re a mathematician. If you’re a habithacker, after #1 & #2, you perform P4. )
Once a week, we polish our place. (Twice a day!)
Habithackers take a ten minute break every half hour. (If you want to, of course, you can. It’s better than no break at all. But I love 11′s. That is, two 11 minute sessions of go go go followed by an eight minute break each half hour.)
“Doing the dirty” is a special habithacking dance we do when the house is clean. (I only wish. It’s my shorthand for doing laundry because I hate the job so much.)
It’s best not to have music on when you clean because it distracts you. (Cleaning must be accompanied by energetic music in my house or it won’t get done at all.)
Free your mind Fridays is for drawing on the right side of your brain. (Kind of a good idea, actually. But Free your mind Fridays is when we write down all our to-dos and other stuff that’s gunking up your gray matter.)