Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The start of something good

I can feel it, Spring it in the air—even if it’s not on the thermometer.

With the season of spring comes a renewal. It can be a spiritual renewal, a cleanliness renewal or even a garden renewal. We see the evidence of life starting over in the dirt around us. New plants are pushing through the soil, pushing through hardships just so they can bask in the warmth of the sun with its tender leaves.

Sometimes when we go through long, dark and cold months that are winter we tend to forget the beauty that is around us. Sure snow falling is beautiful, but many months of it can be frustrating. It is this very time a year that leads us to hope. Hope that spring will come; that flowers will bloom again, that the grass will be green again, and that we will no longer have 20 pounds of extra clothing to lug around.

I look forward to this spring because I will finally get to see the results of my garden I planted last year. You see this is our first house with a yard, so over the last year or so I kinda went hog-wild with planting flowers. I planted every kind of bulb I could get my hands on; tulips, daffodils, irises, and lots of lilies. This weekend we are supposed to (I use this term lightly) have warmer weather which means I can finally go inspect my tiny little sprouts.

Another piece of springtime is the concept of “spring cleaning”. This is another term that I am using lightly. Everyone knows I am not the biggest fan of house work of any kind (it just isn’t in my nature.) But I do take the spring time to try and shape up the house.

This year I started in the master bedroom. I had been decorated it in an old country style, which is the main decorating theme of the house, but wanted something new. Since money is tight after both of us losing our jobs and returning to school, I had a very tiny budget to redo the whole room.

Not a problem! I happen to have an older bed set that has an oriental theme to it. So with my new interest in all things Chinese, I decided to run with the oriental theme.

I lucked upon some frame art at the local Family Dollar that showed various Chinese characters. I got all 6 (love, happiness, peace, strength, harmony, and wisdom) for $15 plus tax. Then I went to Kmart and got two small plants that look very similar to bamboo for $5 for both. I went to the Dollar Tree and for another $5 I bought 2 black bamboo placemats, 2 red bamboo placemats and 2/1 black woven baskets. I also found 2 crystals and 2 good luck bells on eBay for $7.

I took my new treasures (and my old ones) and started redoing my room.

First, I pulled everything out from under my bed. I had read somewhere that having clutter under your bed can cause you unrest. Well I am a medicated insomniac so I need all the rest I can get! So out went the old magazines, shoes and tons of dust bunnies.

Next, I stripped the bed of the old stuff and put on my new/old set, right down to the dust ruffle. (And why is it a dust ruffle? Is it to hide the dust, because it sure doesn’t keep it out!)

My next task was sorta easy. I grabbed an empty box from the basement and cleared off all surfaces. Boy a lot of stuff gets dumped in common areas! Once the surfaces were clean, I wiped them down and placed the bamboo placemats down and put back only the minimum items. I am sure in 6 months it will get cluttered again, but for now it is flawless.

I cleared off the top of the TV and put another mat there. I placed each of the plants inside of the small baskets and place them on top. I wanted to bring something into the room that showed renewal and life, so plants it is.

John hung my mirrors and pictures up on the walls in a nice balanced pattern. I cleared off all the knickknack shelves and only put the most precious things back up after cleaning an inch of dust off of them.

John also helped me by bringing up an old, black plastic bookshelf from the basement. I love repurposing things because it is like shopping but in your own closets (or in my case the basement). I used the bookshelf to get some books and magazines up off the floor and into some sort of organization. I found my tiny Buddha statue made of fake Jade and put him on the top shelf along with some yummy smelling candles and an incense holder with a Yin/Yang design on it. When the crystals and Chinese knots arrived I placed them up in the windows next to the black room darkening curtains.

Without knowing it I basically Feng Shui’d my room. I brought in life, light, and sounds. I cleared out my qi and gave the floor a good cleaning so everything could flow beautifully. The colors of the room (black and a ruby red ) brings me peace. The only thing I am missing is water which I can’t have because John says the sound makes him want to pee. (It would me too) I now have my little sanctuary.

Since I did this spring cleaning last weekend I have slept incredibly well. I also have found myself waking up earlier and with more enthusiasm. I have even been more productive with creative thought when in the room. So all and all I think it is a good thing.

So I guess the moral of the story is that just because the world as we know it is struggling to make ends meet doesn’t mean we can’t make ourselves happy. Just by clearing things out and changing my bed set to one I hadn’t used in a while, became the catalyst to a fresh start.

That is what spring is to me, time for a fresh start. I hope you continue to join me as I take this fresh start with my blog, I know it will be a great one!

With much love and respect,

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