Lately, there’s been a lot of attention devoted to self-care, but what I hear described more often is mind and body care. For me self-care has to include a physical space where my mind can wander in peace. For writers, a quiet space to dream is essential. Unlike Thoreau, we can’t go to Walden Pond, but we can bring a semblance of it to our homes.
Over my adult life I’d prepared spaces for my family, my friends, and visitors (there’s a difference between a friend’s space and a visitor’s) with very little thought of what I needed. Hubby was smarter than me; he claimed the lower level and called it his man cave long before discussions of self-care had developed. I had our bedroom and the kitchen, both of which were shared spaces.
When I retired, I converted a daughter’s bedroom, and made it like the office I’d just left. The space didn’t warm or entice me to read a good book; and I didn’t smile when I went in there. It felt like going to work.
I’d always liked our sunroom, but never considered it a balm for my writing soul. The space was a useless architectural feature for guests. Yet, every time I sat in there, surrounded by views to the garden hubby and I labored in all summer, I wished I could make this space my office. But how?
Guess what? I donated the stiff wrought iron and rattan furnishings; moved out the plants (all of them!), and gave the room a soft, cushy feel. Now it’s a less stately room, with much of my work and Mac’s toys spread throughout. It’s become my comfy, happy place.
Don’t dream about an empty nest or a bigger home. Take a closet, a narrow hallway, or a landing and style one of them. Is there a favorite painting just wasting away in the dining room? Move it to your space. Is there a plant you wish to see all the time? Put that plant in your cheerful space. Knowing a place is just for dreaming is the ultimate in self-care.
www.Houzz.com shows tiny offices in halls, on landings, and under the stairs. Visit the site for more office ideas.
Where is your writing place? How did you choose it? Design it?