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published in Achieving Your Dreams, Aging, Clutter, Creativity, Dreams/Goals, Home, Productivity, Writing by Maryanne | May 13, 2019 | 8 Comments

Purge, Toss, Recycle, Reflect: Is This What Happens At 50?

 

“I hope you will remove the clutter that prevents more from coming into your life.”

– Suze Orman

Purge, Toss, Recycle

As I ever so slowly continue to unpack my 200+ boxes from the move, I am purging, tossing and recycling like a mad-woman…not crazy-mad (although some would argue that) but a MAD WOMAN. As in, I am furious with myself for accumulating so much damn stuff over the years, never mind holding on to it for so long.

Upon reflection, here’s what I’m noticing…

The actual decisions as to what to keep and what to toss are easy. As I enter my sixth decade on the planet, I know what I want, need and love. As Marie Kondo would say, I know what “sparks joy.”

Making the decision is simple. Executing the decision is fast (put the item in the recycling bin, the thrift store box, the garbage or place it where it needs to go in the house). Where I am struggling is dealing with the psychological fall-out of purging all the old files in my office.

For it’s not just papers I’m getting rid of. I am also having to let go of an awful lot of goals, hopes and expectations I had set for myself as a writer. Not that I’m dying…I’m sure I still have plenty of time left to write. But I AM having to face the fact fact that despite my best intentions, I have not achieved anywhere near what I had hoped to, in the writing-department, by this point in my life.

Perhaps even more disconcerting is the fact that it’s not like I’ve been sitting around for the past 20 years, thinking about writing instead of actually writing (like the old days, before John’s death when I was 32 and got the wake-up call of all wake-up calls about the importance of working towards our dreams instead of just talking about them).

No. I have been writing…like a mad-woman. And yet I have not accomplished anywhere near what I had set out to. This is an extremely uncomfortable conclusion to arrive at.

And yet, I think it’s healthy. As such, I am trying to embrace this discomfort (rather like hugging a cactus) instead of denying it or running from it.

The fact of the matter is: time IS passing very quickly. And I’m hoping that the sooner I can shed that which I no longer want or need (or is no longer serving me), the more time and energy I will have to focus on what really matters to me – the relationships, projects, causes & activities – in the years that remains.

Is this what happens in our 50’s? We reach some sort of…point of reckoning? 

I would love to hear your perspective!

In the meantime, here are some photos from the past few weeks of purging, tossing & recycling:

Boxes of stuff headed to the thrift store 🙂

 

My wood nymph dress from ballet, complete with adorable cat pin (this did NOT get tossed)

 

My Nan Nan’s telephone table fits perfectly in the foyer

 

A cozy nook by the fire a.k.a. the reflection chair

 

My assistant on yet another backyard break

And here comes the new…

Of course, now that I am shedding stuff left, right & center, this is creating a vacuum in which to receive new stuff – but believe me, I am being VERY selective as to what new items make their way into my home and life.

Case in point is a BBQ.

I had left my old, rusted, beast of a BBQ behind in Sidney so was going to have to get a new one. But I looked out my living room window a few weeks ago and low and behold, right across the street a BBQ had appeared on the curb overnight – with with a big FREE sign stuck to it.

I raced out my front door lickity-split, dashed across the street and pounced on that BBQ like a fat kid on a Smartie. I had just opened the lid to inspect inside when the home owner came out her front door and greeted me with a big smile.

“It’s older but it’s barely been used,” she said. “Can you use it?”

Beaming, I rolled that puppy back across the street, parked it in my backyard and have been using it almost daily every since 🙂

Slow Motion Multi-Tasking

Interestingly, shortly after beating myself up about not getting enough writing projects completed yet, I heard on the radio about a concept called “Slow Motion Multi-Tasking.” Apparently it is a creative process that many geniuses (such as Einstein) have utilized to their advantage over the years.

Basically slow motion multi-tasking refers to the practice of working for a significant period of time on a single project then putting it aside, working on another large project then putting that aside and returning to the first project with a fresh perspective. I have been doing this for years with multiple projects and I DO see the benefit. I just get freaked out sometimes that nothing will ever get finished and sent out into the world.

Apparently, however, I am in good company with this practice of slow motion multi tasking, so I shall continue to persevere with patience and passion!

But I reckon a little self-reflection now and then is not a bad thing.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

 

published in Assumptions, Home, Inspiration by Maryanne | March 12, 2019 | 4 Comments

Home is Where You Put Your Primulas

 

Patio with primulas at Bowser VRBO

“Let your home be your mast and not your anchor.”

– Kahlil Gibran

Hallo & I hope you’ve had a good week! 

Being a gypsy (for another few weeks), I have changed homes yet again…the fancy VRBO in The Truman Show development in Qualicum Bay was so February 🙂

A new month, a new VRBO…this time, I’m in a sweet little suite in Bowser (about 1/2 hour north of Parksville on Vancouver Island). It’s a cozy place – just a kitchen/living room, bedroom & bathroom. Truth be told, the simplicity is soothing and seems to be what I need right now.

There is a large fenced yard, which Sadie is enjoying, and we are steps from a fabulous forest walk. And the price, shall we say, is right!

Now that the hullabaloo of purchasing the new home & new car has settled down, we are happily hunkered down in our tiny temporary home, writing and working to our heart’s content (okay, I’m writing; she’s healing).

Eighteen months of being without a home in the conventional sense has taught me that “home” is where I put my primulas…it’s where I am at any given time versus where all my stuff is stored. As grateful and excited as I am to be moving into my own place again at the end of the month, my time as a gypsy has reminded me that a house is not necessarily meant to be an anchor, chaining us to one spot. It’s also a place to return to.

“When you’re safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home.”

– Thornton Wilder

Here are a few photos of my Bowser home & surrounds:

My mobile office

 

Sadie on Lighthouse Trail

 

We still have snow on Vancouver Island

 Take care & have a wonderful week…wherever you are!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

published in Animals, Change, Decision Making, Dogs, Home, Inspiration, Travel, Uncategorized by Maryanne | February 27, 2019 | 12 Comments

Gypsy Caravan Slows to Halt

 

Loading up the CRV (then unloading it again & leaving half of it behind at my bro’s, of course, because it wouldn’t all FIT), preparing to leave AB, Jan 2019

“Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers.”

– Anon

Well…it had to happen eventually, I suppose.

The Pink Gazelle Gypsy Bohemian Road Trip Warrior & her Fearless and Furry (but rather lame at the moment) Retriever Sidekick are having to, dare I say…put down roots.

Here’s how it all went down:

Sadie and I left Alberta at the end of January. I loaded up my 2001 CRV (yes, the one with 350,000 km) and staggered across multiple mountain passes. And I do mean staggered…the CRV did fine; the retriever not so much. She literally WAS staggering along on three legs, trying to keep weight off her injured shoulder. Being held captive in the back of the vehicle for a few days was probably the best thing for her.

We arrived in our VRBO in Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island in early Feb and I promptly got into a spectacular argument with one of the neighbours. This decidedly unwelcome welcome to the neighbourhood was countered by another neighbour arriving at my door with a plate of sandwiches and goodies. Life in a nutshell, right there 🙂

Then the snowstorm hit:

And I got to thinking…it might be time to revise my plans?

What the plan had been was that I was going to Australia for 2 weeks in March to visit family. Then Sadie & I were going to head to Eastern Canada to house sit for family in Ottawa.

But as the snow piled up outside my window and my wounded retriever softly snored, I admitted to myself that she was not going to be sufficiently healed by March, to be left in the care of others. Nor was she was likely going to be up to a cross-continent road trip in April.

So what did I do? I sighed, reached over and picked up a quote card from my “Intuitive Insights” quote card sets. This is what it said:

Ahhh…yes. I smiled, leaned back and had another sip of hot chocolate. And it hit me: I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The snowstorm and subsequent road conditions were forcing me to sit STILL (very difficult for a gypsy gazelle), be quiet, listen to what my soul was trying to tell me…and then act accordingly.

Two days later, I calmly made the decision to postpone my Australia trip to the fall. I then found and booked another inexpensive little VRBO for the month of March (just north of Qualicum Bay). Then I contacted the bank about a mortgage, called a realtor and started to look at homes & neighbourhoods in the Qualicum Beach area.

Within a week, I’d found our adorable new home AND a new (to me) CRV with low kilometres!

Sadie and I move in to our new digs at the end of March. No muss, no fuss…it all just clicked into place when the time was right.

Here are 5 lessons I’m taking from these transformational past 3 weeks:

1. Sometimes we just have to STOP, be quiet and make the decisions we need to make.

2. We know what we need to do. We just need to be quiet and listen to what our soul is trying to tell us what the next step needs to be.

3. Sometimes all that is needed is to make one decision or change…and then everything else just clicks into place. It’s almost like the Universe is waiting for us to take that first step.

4. The time comes when we reach an age (15 for some, 50 for others) where we finally realize that listening to the chatter of other people’s well-meaning advice & opinions may do more to confuse than clarify.

5. The only thing worse than making a bad decision is making no decision.

I hope there is something in this blog & lessons learned that resonates with you.

I will share pics of my new home & vehicle in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here are a few photos from my time here in Qualicum Bay:

Sadie (left) & her look-alike friend, Belle

P.S. Sadie is doing much better! She continues to improve, slowly but surely, and is going for longer and longer walks. Why…it’s almost as if her shoulder injury was part of the plan 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here

If you would like to order the (dare I say magic?) “Intuitive Insights for Soul-Inspired Living” Quote Cards ($7.95 per set), please visit our new store on Etsy!