In This New Place, Creating a Sanctuary.

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

Continuing from last week’s bookshelf building, I decided to try to put a few things on the wall this weekend. It was harder than I thought it would be, and I don’t mean physically. Do I still like these photos/art? Do they still resonate with me? Do they belong here, in this new place? So many questions, which meant that I only put up a couple of things…I’m still pondering the rest to be honest. And after 11 months of doing nothing about it, I think I can take another week to think about where the pieces will fit.

In a way, this is self-care – setting up my place so that it can be home. Creating a sanctuary again. Oh, I don’t mind not leaving my apartment for days, it doesn’t feel foreign, but it doesn’t feel home just yet. I will admit that even the additions to the wall have changed the feeling slightly. I am not sure why I underestimate that impact.

I started with a photo piece that was given to me by the artist with whom I worked on a book project a few years ago. It’s the most expensive and largest piece I have and I didn’t have too much of the questioning along with it. It seemed straight-forward. And I did get it up eventually, after much measuring and some math and a level. However, there is another wall it could go on, and other pieces need that space, perhaps. I’m not moving it again right now after all that work. I will come back to it eventually, or it just may stay there, until there is a better reason to move it. Once I have things in place, I rarely move them. So the idea of putting something up only to move it a few weeks later is a struggle for me.

I am also getting used to the idea of – and following through with – momentary permanence. In an unknown number of months, my S.O. will be here and we’ll have to re-configure the space to some degree. There will be the merging of the things, which if I’m being honest, I haven’t ever done before. As a concept, I think it’s important to live, really live and be, in a space. And yet, as I put that together in practice, I’m realizing how odd it feels. It’s not a  bad feeling, just not one I’m used to feeling. Which is probably a sign to keep doing it, to keep pressing forward. There are some busy weeks/weekends ahead, so I just tell myself there’s no rush. I think it will be good to let the spacial ideas percolate anyway.

I feel that self-care isn’t coming easy to me. I confuse it sometimes with doing nothing, which is sometimes code for many hours of TV. And then at the end of the weekend I realize there are other things I could be ‘doing’, that are not chores and would also bring me joy. This call topic has made me think about that – I may need to make a self-care list (as silly as it sounds) to refer to when a weekend with no plans is upon me. It’s as if I forget, momentarily, all the wonderful things I like to do. It’s hard to admit that to you or to myself. This is a good challenge to give myself actually, identifying what self-care really means to me.

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