Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Room of One's Own

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. ” 
― Virginia WoolfA Room of One's Own

Virginia Woolf and I were good friends in college. Unfortunately, it's been years since I've seriously sat down to re-read her essays on the status of women and the relationship they play to writing and the professional sphere, but I remember how vibrant I recalled her frustration, more specifically her disgust, that women were not at that time (turn of the century) accorded the same accommodations as men and were thus prevented circumstantially from rising in society. Thankfully, those margins have vastly narrowed, and women are excelling in many ways they were unable to in the recent past. But as a nod to my favorite essay, I titled this post, "A Room of One's Own," to reflect on the need for each of us to have a space in which to exist, to ponder, and to create.

In many ways, living in Florida has been ideal. The weather, if sometimes intolerably hot, encourages the growth of the most beautiful flowers and plants. The animals, even if many of them can kill or maim you, are robust and unique. And the copious attractions, even if they congest the roads with out-of-state license plates, are worthy of the world's notice. It's the little things that make things a little more challenging for me, and this is one of the hardest- that I don't have a private corner of the house to escape the noise of a bustling family.

I know that I am blessed. Abundantly blessed, in fact. But this little introvert sometimes needs to recharge herself, and our home, although beautiful, isn't conducive to that. But all of that has changed recently. I have found a way to capture a little piece of peace in our robust home, and I didn't spend a cent!

Complete with cat, knitting, and one of my favorite paintings!
This is a little corner in my office. The office is one of the only places in our home that has doors that can shut and offer a tiny reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the house, but it has glass doors, and as a consequence I always feel a bit like I'm a goldfish in an aquarium, with people looking at me curiously from the other side of the glass.

In order to pull this lovely look together, I went around the house and gathered up an old tri-fold room divider, a small nesting table, my old baby glider, and my Mini-Ott Light clamp-on lamp. My divider is wonderful in that I'm able to easily hang my latest magazine on one of the black iron cross bars, using it as a bookmark. Not only that, but it came with a little attached bin that will be helpful for holding tools, knitting projects, books, and pens or pencils. 

I can sit in the glider and look directly out onto the street, or I can close the blinds and enjoy privacy. The screen doesn't completely obscure me from view, but, like an ostrich who hides her head in the sand, I'm happy hiding most of me for my little recharge sessions.
Here I am with the cat on my lap, a cup of tea next to me, and The Dyslexic Advantage in my hands. I'm a happy gal!
I don't get much time in this little space, but what little I get is well used. So far, I have knit, studied, read for pleasure, graded, and rested. My challenge now lies in convincing my cat that she doesn't like this space and encouraging my daughter to find another spot to do her math!

On another front, I'm very excited in that I am about to actually have African violets bloom after I nearly killed them both!
Here's my dark purple one.

And here's my light violet one!
I'm not much of a green thumb since I became a mother. I think that raising three beautiful children has kept me busy enough, and husband, children, and cats rank higher than botanical life forms. Still, I have always enjoyed African violets, and whenever Wal-Mart has those pretty pots sitting out, I can't seem to hold myself back. The plant blooms for awhile, and then once those blooms are gone, I slowly proceed to kill it. Well not this time, baby! I've been working hard trying to nourish these fellows, and the fruits of my labors are starting to pay off. It's been more than a year in the making, but flowers are well on their way, and I can't wait to see them bloom!

Which reminds me, there's still a fair bit blooming outside! Today I was pulling a few weeds in the front garden and kept hearing a persistent buzzing sound. I finally located the little bee, hard at work within a blossom of one of my rose bushes.
Working hard well into the fall!
Yep, I see a weed in that photo too. I'll rush out to pull it after I post this update. He was quite busy, and was positively vibrating with the excitement of fulfilling its mission!

I hope you can find a spot to hide yourself from the world, even if it's in a tiny corner like I have claimed. You'll be glad you found it!

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