Fostering Contentment – A Practical Conversation


[Gilead with Grammie Swank on Easter. My parents and brother came down just to have Easter dinner with us.]


So, I’ve written a lot lately about general discomfort and searching for answers. I don’t often get a big block of time to write so when I do, I tend to want to get some things off my chest. Henry was kind enough to let me have most of the day to myself on Saturday – it was a much needed break and long in coming. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit couped-up lately. I shopped. By myself. And then I took myself to a movie. And then I got to sit and write a nice long blog entry and do some internet surfing for ideas.

I’ve been looking for comfortable and stylish walking sandals online for awhile, but just in case I popped in to aerosoles and tried some on. I ended up with these:

I’m not quite sure about them yet. I never pictured myself wearing white sandals all summer, but they were so cute and soooo comfy. The really fun part, though, was trying on some Toms for the first time ever and finding out I’m actually a size 8 in Toms and therefore could [and did] order a youth size:
My ruby slippers are on their way to me as we speak.
All of that to say…I believe there are practical solutions to everyday discontentment and that sometimes it’s possible to be quite ecstatic with your lot in life, be you ever so poor. I’m not trying to advocate shopping as a means of making oneself happy, but I’ve done my fair share of retail therapy in the past. This was only retail therapy in that they were purchases I have been planning [and saving] to make and that I got to make them at my leisure without a toddler in tow. What was more important and sanity saving to me was the time to be alone and relatively still.
[Henry’s new desk corner – the moving of which has opened our whole living room and made it possible for us not to be eating and cooking all in one room. We have our dining room table in the living room – it’s cozy- and our kitchen table in the kitchen where I can prep or we can eat a meal if we feel like it.]
I regularly read a blog about family life which has many practical ideas for raising kids and cooking and cleaning without going insane. She talks often about how it’s important to make time for crafting for your own soul. I agree but it is hard to do it all by yourself. Anyone found a way to make this happen in your life? With limited space for a crafting area that can remain messy if need be? And with limited time? I’m all ears. I find that a certain level of mess and dirtiness in our house is directly opposed to my feelings of creativity. But then having a clean house takes time so when do you have time to create? I think one of my main problems right now is that I’ve always worked best with long blocks of time of high concentration and activity, but that’s just not possible when you’re a mother. The other option is to leave your project out but unfinished. I’ve worked this way since having Gilead but only when under a deadline (like having gifts made for baby showers) and only by being able to block out the rest of the mess piling up around me. I couldn’t do it every day, no matter how much I want to make things for our home or kids.
I got my fabrics and craft storage area organized, at least. That’s a start. And I find the more easily accessible everything is in my house, the more easily it’s cleaned and the faster I can move on to something else! It all just takes a lot of discipline. If you’re going to make dinner for your family every night [which I do think is important…having family dinner together] and keep a relatively clean house for your own sanity [which I believe is true for everyone, whether they live this way or not] and nurture your child(ren) and take relatively good care of yourself and maintain relationships with friends and husband and run all the errands AND carve out time to make your surroundings feel beautiful and restful for yourself by making things with love, you have to plan and you have to stick to the plan.
But I welcome any feedback. In fact, I want to know: how do YOU prioritize? How do YOU find time to feed your soul? Any good, practical suggestions?

One thought on “Fostering Contentment – A Practical Conversation

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  1. I don’t have any suggestions, since I feel in the same boat 😦 Only saying that I can relate, especially to needing blocks of time for things like crafting. I don’t possess the will to stop a project once I’ve started (ask Alan), so sewing projects and the like usually involve staying up until like 4 am in a giant messy flurry of thread and fabric scraps, insisting on finishing it. Maybe learning how to work in small chunks, like during naps or for a couple hours after baby’s bedtime would allow me to more regularly do projects. I’m sure that at the final finishing of the projects I would have the same feeling of accomplishment in my soul.

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