30 September 2015

Living In Daily Consciousness

As we have been going on this now somewhat long life journey of a move (8 months and counting), it has been full of good life lessons. One of those I've been thinking about this past week is trying to make sure I am living consciously in my body every day. Sounds simple enough, but what a challenge that actually is to live in the present moment, consciously in our own bodies. Our bodies talk to us, they are critical to us learning to enjoy and savor life, they warn us when needed and they teach us hard lessons when we don't slow down as needed.

I've always thought it was interesting that when our bodies tell us we need to eat, it starts with almost a simple whisper saying, "You need to eat." When we brush that off, our stomachs might growl. When we continue to ignore the alerts from our body we might next fall into an energy slump. If we continue to ignore the body's call we may end up with a headache or fainting spell - and eventually things will get much worse if the body is not fed. Our bodies actually have the capability to knock us out if it feels it needs to protect us. The body will continue to amp up the energy and attention grabbing it needs to get us to take care of it properly.

Learning to listen to the body in the beginning stages of a warning is much better than waiting for it to scream for our attention. Similar things happen when we don't get enough sleep, water, rest, etc. Just like we listen to our bodies warnings, we also have bodies that teach us how to enjoy life. This voice is also a whisper. We have to slow down to listen to this voice too.

I have once again recommitted myself to trying to live more consciously. To enjoying the little moments in life like eating a meal, snuggling with loved ones, a great sunset, meaningful work and many other moments that do so much to feed the soul.

A few weekends we started tearing up two indoor planters in our new kitchen/dining room. We carried out about 20 5-gallon buckets of dirt out of just the first one. We cut down some dying trees and it was pretty hard work. But we did it together as a family and I think for all of us it was really satisfying to work towards making our new home a place we'll love and enjoy.

We were hungry after many hours of work and when we got dinner at 9 p.m. it tasted so good and we were very much in the moment of loving a good meal. The next night we had dinner with extended family and then stopped by the new house again. We planned to stop by to make a quick list of projects for the week, but The Bug started sweeping the large flagstone patio on the backyard and pretty soon all three of us were out. We worked until after dark cleaning up the many piles of pine needles, leaves and dirt that had accumulated after a many months without any attention.

The view over the valley was so gorgeous and the sunset was stunning as usual. I realized that working on the new house is perhaps the best life therapy. Working near each other is relaxing and enjoyable. Being outside in the mountain air, even with a few mosquitoes, is refreshing. Knowing that we are investing in something all together is bonding. Being quiet and performing physical labor is an opportunity for the mind to unwind and clear itself.

The following Monday, my lunch of leftovers from the weekend tasted so fantastic. The fact that I was having pleasure in eating was a good sign to me. I find as a mom and wife, especially when you are cooking and trying to get a meal on the table, it's very easy to lose pleasure and enjoyment in meals. They become chores and a list of extended tasks that doesn't end until the dishwasher is turned on that night before bed. It's a challenge to sit down and truly enjoy a meal. So enjoying my meals more is a good sign that I am living more in the moment and more conscious of my body speaking to me.

I find myself stopping to drink in life a little more the past few days. I hope that spirit carries with us into this new home and new life here. I know it's my job to make sure that happens for myself and the to extend that out beyond myself. I'm going to try to have more conversations about living in the moment with my family and do more to point out those special moments we should stop and appreciate. Feeling more present in the moment is the best feeling of all. Regret haunts the past and worry tarnishes the future. But in the present moment all is well and we can do it.

14 September 2015

Heights House 1: Closing On The House

A few weeks ago, while I jetted off to a conference in Portland, The Man was in the process of closing on our house. I took care of all the signing stuff before I left town and then as my plane was landing back home, he was at the actual signing and picking up keys and garage door openers.

That afternoon I met him and our realtor (who was fabulous, by the way, super on the ball right to the end) at the house and we just did a little walk through and talked about projects we needed contractors for. It was a great day.

Since then we have been toiling away on projects and not in a very organized fashion yet. I think we just work on what we have energy for. So far we've prepped the garage for epoxy floor covering, cut down indoor trees and dug out the dirt from two large indoor planters that seem to have been all the rage in the late 70s and 80s in these parts. We have removed nails from walls all over the house and painted The Bug's bedroom. We bought flooring for The Man's office, heavy duty cleaned the ceiling and floors in the living room and this weekend I started pulling out all the 30-year-old contact paper from the kitchen drawers and cupboards.

The Man has done a lot of work on the yard, cutting down two dead trees, trimming three other large trees and has the pool up and running. Last night I watered flower beds that have been suffering from a lack of water. We need to get the crazy, bizarre sprinkler systems figured out.

We also got the laundry room up and running so that I can do wash there while we are there working. We're still living in a little townhouse until we are ready to move into the new house. There's no additional costs to having both places so it's nice we don't have to rush.

We do have a plan, it's just that we need busy contractors to be available to get our two big projects done. We have met with two contractors to walk through the house and get some rough estimages on costs. Right now our top goals are these three:

1) Office Space For Me -- goal is to turn the attic storage area into a workable office/craft & art room for me -- which is the biggest expense on the docket which isn't a very expensive project actually although it's still up in the air depending on raising the ceiling just a little bit and there are some logistics to figure out,

2) Planter Removal -- we need to remove the two large planter wells in the kitchen & dining area and replace the brick flooring -- again we're dealing with some weird logistics here and need to work with a contractor for this crazy project. But we did shovel out many buckets of dirt to get them cleaned out. A smelly, dirty job.

3) Replace Tile Kitchen Counter Tops --  we aren't sure what we want to do with these yet, we're a little all over the board on what we want to spend and what type of countertop surface we want -- more to come. One of the big issues is not spending a lot to replace these when we can see from the aging counter tops that we are going to be into a full kitchen cabinet redo in the years ahead. So don't want to spend a ton on new counter tops on top of cupboards that will need replacing.

Hopefully we'll get a tightened down bid on these projects soon and get moving on those items. Everything else will be a work-as-we-go list of items that should keep us busy well into our 60s...haha.

But it sure has been fun to move our dreams ahead, learn to work together and get into a rhythm with this new house. I'm glad we didn't move right in because it's given us a chance to take our time and think things through and just get adjusted to moving into someone else's house and having it feel like out own. It's a little discouraging sometimes when we look at all the "deferred maintenance" but we'll get there. It's already feeling like a nice place to be and we can't wait to get our furniture in, spend our first night there and invite friends over for a meal. It's been so long since we've been able to do that.

The holidays aren't too far off and I humorously wondered if I should just decorate the house for Christmas rather than decorate it for regular days and a few weeks later redo it again. I will definitely be keeping the holiday decorations close when we unpack everything!

Thanks for visiting. Hope you are well! More to come soon...
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