Christmas has come and gone. I don’t know what it is about 2011, but time has passed so quickly. It only seems like yesterday that we were starting December, and with it the build up to the holidays. And poof – all the sudden it is over. Tomorrow is the 31st of December…
It seems like just yesterday I was preparing for the holidays. That I was summoning my strength, and my inner dervish, to get things ready. If I could sum up my aim for the holidays, it was to get our place into shape so that I was comfortable. So that our house could be a source of comfort.
With our houseworks finally finished at the end of October after 14 months of construction, and before that nearly 3 years of planning, making the place comfortable was a tall order. We lock-stock moved things into storage in August 2010 – before works started, without so much as a sort out. And we moved even more things into storage in early February 2011 to make room for redecorating – again, without a clearing out of things before the movers showed up. So when things came out of storage, so did all of the things that had accumulated over time, unsorted. Desks and files, papers and cables, boxes still unopened from our house move in 2006. A lot of things to get through, to decide to keep or throw away, to make the place comfortable for Christmas.
Comfort and Comfortable
Transitive verb: To give hope or strength to.
Noun: strengthening aid; a feeling of relief or encouragement; a satisfying or enjoyable experience; one that gives or brings comfort
Adjective: affording or enjoying contentment and security; free from vexation or doubt, from stress or tension
Being comfortable, creating comfort
This is what I want to have with my home – a place that gives hope and strength. A place that is free from stress and tension. A place where my friends and family can come and feel joy, where they can feel loved.
And also a place where I can feel the same.
Christmas was a great first step. Even though we lack sofas, it didn’t stop us from having a grand total of 8 adults and 2 children in our place for half a day on Christmas. And there were 7 of us on Boxing Day. At one stage on Christmas there were people sprawled in front of the television and I thought to myself “THIS is what I want – a place where my family and friends can hang and feel COMFORTABLE, regardless of any COMFORT (like sofas) that is around.”
After Christmas I continued on my quest to make the house COMFORTABLE for me too – beyond the ground floor I am almost through ALL of my sorting and filing. I almost have my basement study sorted out completely. So that where I work provide me COMFORT and peace of mind. So that it is clear from (obvious) distractions and insecurities.
I still have some way to go. I have to create the systems so that I file and clear things away as they accumulate, to keep my space clear and organised, to let me focus on the projects that are waiting for me…
Like my “photo project” – scanning my photo negatives so that they are preserved digitally. This is important to me, as these photos – from my trips in Asia when I learned to be confident and secure, when I lived in Japan after undergrad, and when I travelled through Asia after grad school – are the tangible of what is such an intangible time of transformation for me.
And my “craft projects” – things like making napkin holders, and a table runner. The creative crafty side of me that I haven’t been able to tap into during the 14 months of construction.
And the crate with my “scrapbook projects” – the upkeep of the memories and history for my sorority alumnae chapter in Europe, plus the album I was halfway through making as a keepsake for my sister before things were swept into storage.
I am determined to develop better ways to keep my paperwork under control so that I can focus on relaxing, on a life free from unnecessary distractions, so that I can tackle “my projects”. I am planning to give the Flylady a chance to help me with this
Before I forget (although no one called me out on this – thank you guys!) – the 2011 Christmas Song Challenge winning song was a classic. To me it is one of the songs that epitomises Christmas – that is…. It is COMFORT to the ears and soul during the holidays…
The 2011 Christmas Song Challenge Winner and Runners Up
1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
2. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Louis Jordan & Ella Fitzgerald
3. You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch – Thurl Ravenscroft
4. Silver Bells – Bing Crosby & Carole Richards
Once again, I found myself loving the Christmas challenge – as it got me in the mood for the holidays. But at the same time, I was left wondering if there was an easier way. We have 11 months to look at ways to improve it – so thoughts and ideas welcome. Would a Facebook Page and poll be the way forward? Continuing to use Survey Monkey and Challonge. Let me know if you have any ideas – and if you want to help next year.
A Last Thought
When I started to write this entry, and decided to do it based around the words COMFORT and COMFORTABLE, I looked up the words in the dictionary, I was surprised at how much they spoke to me – about what I want to BE for my friends and family, for what I want to CREATE for myself…
I sincerely hope that you have each had a holiday season that has brought you COMFORT and cheer.
And I wish you all of the best for your 2012.