I still remember trying to find some “personal space” in a small house full of children and their pets. Just a little place for my sewing machine and fabric and things I wanted to file away. I remember how wonderful it felt when I found that my sewing machine, in its cabinet, would fit in the washroom, next to the furnace. I found that I could stack some small boxes with fabric nearby and could leave a project half-finished without worrying about moving it so that I could put dinner on the table. As time passed, and homes were larger and children moved away, there were extra rooms. Now, I have taken over a rather nice-sized space in the basement, which walks out into the backyard. It is light and warm and roomy. I do not have words to express the pleasure I get from relaxing in “my room”. Organizing. Re-organizing. Sewing. Using the computer. Printing things. Making scrapbooks. Looking for things. Finding them.
I have often heard the phrase that we surround ourselves with the things we love. I think that is really true. First is family. Then, after all of the obligations related to caring for our families have been met or at least the fires have been put out . . . we turn our thoughts to a few, quiet moments . . . hopefully alone . . . in our own space. How fun to have cameras and keepsakes. How wonderful to be able to record simple things like clocks and angels and textures and light. There is a comforting power in creating a “personal space” . . . even if it is no bigger than a rabbit hole !
Over years we get to know ourselves. I have come to understand my personal pathology when it comes to personal space. When life places demands on me and I wonder if I can meet all of them, I feel better if I put my personal space in order. Rather than tackling one of the things on my list which seems large and looming, if I take an hour and spend it at my desk or on the computer or doing family history or organizing a drawer or a file or fabric or trim or beads . . . I feel refreshed and under control. I especially feel better if my efforts at order in my personal space result in being able to do what I must to do better.
I am very blessed to have the space and the furniture and the supplies I need to pursue hobbies and interests. And, a grandpa who never says a word about it. Even when something I make turns out awful. My daughters borrow my punches and stamps and trim and scraps and paper. I try to have things where they can be seen and used. My little grandchildren think they have ‘died and gone to heaven’ when they sit at my desk to “do crafts”. I have decided to make things available to them and worry about cleaning up after they are gone. As a result, I have some wonderful keepsakes, covered with sparkles, glue. shapes and smudges.
When Dorothy told Toto that there was no place like Home, she was right. A little personal space makes it so.