Tuesday, 20 September 2011


When I was 17, my dad and I were privileged to stay for a week in Langshott Manor in England. Go ahead, click the link - I dare you. It was a little different then than now (was privately owned, for one thing), but just as nice. Anyway, I used to keep a diary, and I distinctly remember writing about how much I loved the place and that one day I hoped to find my own home as comfortable and welcome to me as that hotel was.

Today is the day!

Every time I walk through the door into my bedroom I smile and think to myself "I love this room!" And we're not even finished with it yet. I like everything about the room, from the bathroom tile to the bedroom bamboo floor; the two-tone purple, the simplicity of the bare walls, the natural stone of the back of the living room's fireplace, the soft bed with the Egyptian cotton sheets and my Granny's handmade quilt. The children are not allowed in the room, so it stays clean. It's tiny for a master bedroom, but that doesn't bother me. We still have some painting to do, followed by door and trim hanging, but I don't mind that. We have some major work still to do in the bathroom, but I know it will get done eventually.
One of these days I'll take a good picture and share with you, but for now it is my private retreat.

On to greater matters of contentment, which really manifests itself under less than ideal circumstances. We are a family of 9, living in 1300 square feet. Most people would consider that less than ideal, but it usually feels about right. I do get frustrated at the low ceiling, but that keeps us warm on chilly nights. We have enough room to eat and sleep and do all those things that we do in a house. We do have a lot of stuff in the building, and there are some toys that just can't be left out (train tracks or elaborate block buildings), but that's okay. We're getting organized (very slowly) and bring more things in all the time.

I'm not happy with my kitchen cabinets (made by amateurs 60 years ago), but I can live with that for a few more years until we can afford a fix, and I really enjoy the spaciousness of my kitchen. I like my garden and flower beds, and the lovely trees. We are still considered rural, but are only 5 minutes from town, and only 1 mile from the highway (in other words, perfect location). We do owe money on the house, but it is to MIL, and interest free.

I am content here. I think, really, we have it pretty good.

But then we get to talking to other people, who shall remain anonymous. Well, listening to other people talk, really. And we hear things like "2600 square feet" (exactly twice the size of our house, and only 2 people living there) coupled with "small living room" or even "no place to put" and "not enough closet space." And it agitates me. Partly because, to be honest, it stirs jealousy. And partly because I just can't get over how we all tend to think that we each have some terrible burden to bear that no one else can ever understand. And maybe it bothers me a little bit because it just seems rude for these things to be said in front of us. I mean, it'd be like a petite woman complaining to a medically obese woman about needing to lose 5 pounds to get ready for bikini season. Think about your audience, people! And there is one other matter, but it would ruin the anonymity of this situation.

So thanks for letting me vent. I really do like it here.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you like it where you are and that you have a quiet retreat. Contentment is a wonderful thing to possess or to have possess us. mums

Wil said...

"we all tend to think that we each have some terrible burden to bear that no one else can ever understand"

Very true.

And people really should think about their audience before complaining.

Believe me, every time I even think of complaining about my 'terrible burden' of caring for a baby, I first am reminded of you, and then of every other parent who's come before me.

And yes, I know those 2600 square feet people -- they live all around our 1500 sq. ft. house. :-)

(But if I had seven kids in here, I would certainly consider it too crowded, LOL.)

The HoJo's said...

We often felt our house in OZ was far too big, it was a wonderful luxury to have the space, however back in the real world we know we can't afford the extra rooms, we shall survive :o)