As much as I adore my two kids, I am often in desperate need of a break, and yesterday Josh's mum Sharon provided me with that much-needed space. I dropped the kids off at their amazing country home in the morning, stopping for some coffee and to make sure that everyone was happy to stay. It was incredibly sunny and I smeared Maddy and Lewis' little sweet faces with suncream and then watched them prance about the lawn happily, talking to each other in an unintelligible language and pointing out beautiful things. Now and then Lewis, who was quite tired and droopy, would stop and sit down, facing a large tree or flowering bush. He would just sit for 2 or 3 minutes, staring at nothing, his soft little hands absentmindedly stroking the grass by his side. Content that my children were happy and would be well-looked after, I took myself off, heading straight home with the firm intention of a nap and a shower.
However, my inner domestic-DIY-personality had other ideas, and once home I found myself emptying drawers, re-organising the crockery cupboard and clearing and 're-styling' the bench top(secretly one of my favourite jobs, I like to imagine that my house is a shop, and we are currently displaying our range of red porcelain and appliances). I decided once-and-for-all that the crockery cupboard(yes, previously the pantry!) door needed to come off. It opens the wrong way and is an absolute pain when you want to transfer loads of crockery out or in. Off I tell you!
The decision made, I went about the irksome task of finding exactly the right tool or utensil to use. The obvious choice, a screw-driver, could not be found anywhere, and the socket-set proved to have a ominous gap where the main handle bit lies(used to lie). My favourite piece of machinery ever has got to be the cordless drill, but when I took it up like a battle axe, it only made a dull whirring sound, and begged to be put down and recharged. When an idea or mission of mine is thwarted, I get really frustrated - especially when there's a particular window of time that I have to accomplish it in. I took a break, had some 'lunch'(very euphemistic phrase) and consulted the twitterverse. Someone suggested using a sharp knife instead, and after several failed attempts and some dodgy cutlery experimentation, I discovered that the cheap but sturdy pate knife had actually been made for this job! The door finally came off, and was banished to the outdoors(I am still plotting what to do with it next, a jigsaw may be involved...).
Next I applied the pate knife to the very-very-very ugly plastic framed mirror that has graced our toilet since we have lived here. Unfortunately the equally-ugly mirrored medicine cupboard resisted all my charms, and it hurt my pride to have to resign it to the When-Josh-Gets-Home list. Bah! I spent the rest of the day in similarly pottering style, making changes where changes could be made, rearranging things, taking pictures down in Maddy's room(there are way too many) and putting some up in Lewis' room(there are way too few), and generally acting like a homebody. Eventually I halted my activities and went to get the lovely(horrible) husband from work. We took ourselves to the beach and ate hot chips and talked about interesting things in an intellectual manner.
Back home I presented Josh with the defunct cordless drill and the bathroom cabinet issue, and he kindly went about the business of fixing up my messes. I guess I do need him after all...
Because I knew that my hours without kids were finite, I planned the next day carefully, to make sure that I achieved all the things I wanted to do as well as the things I was required by law to do(grocery shopping).
Well, I managed to do most of the things on my list: took myself and mum to Newmarket, and checked out some lovely shops that I can't take toddlers into(I have been wanting to do this for AGES and it was a magnificent feeling simply to move at MY OWN PACE - the bliss of striding out when I want to go fast, and then dawdling in the breakables section), then dropped her home and headed out for Mitre10. Oh Mitre10, how I dream of you at night, my giant warehouse of everything glorious, you give me everything I need, and show me all the other things that I also really need! I found exactly what I wanted in the form of wall-mounted screws, and two raw wooden shelves to assemble for the bathroom(shabby-chic-ish beachy theme), as well as a 4-shelf galvanised unit thing to put together - oh the glory of it all! I managed to tear myself away and go straight to Pak-n-Save where once again I achieved some masterful bargains at impressive near-break-neck speed. The things I did not manage to do were: getting my hair blow-waved at The Department Store(I have a voucher and the time is running out and I have never had my hair treated nicely and respectfully by someone before) and rummaging through the op-shops. Oh well, 3 out of 5 ain't bad. For now at least...
What I feel really good about at the moment is that I am trying to make my house my dream home right now. For so long, I have felt very temporary about our lovely place, always feeling torn between doing what I want to do and doing what's best in the long term(preserving some sort of dignity for resale value). But you know what? If we were living in a holiday home, one that belonged to us, we wouldn't hesitate to do all the things with it that we really wanted to do. We can't live life waiting for the perfect moment to come upon us: we have to go and get that perfect moment and bring it home for tea. No waiting. A very wise man once said that we need not worry about the future, that it will take care of itself, and I think what that essentially means is to live today like you've always wanted to. Today is that day! Today! to do-do that voodoo that you do.