Ever since I lost my home in 2006, I've felt uprooted and "homeless" in the sense that the roof over my head doesn't belong to me. I rented for years before I bought my house and every place I lived always felt like home. But there was something about owning a place that changed how I felt about "home". In the three and a half years since I moved out of the house, I've lived in a pop up camper, a hotel room, an old tenant house that was going to be torn down, a farmhouse, and this apartment I'm in now. I moved here in July and it has never really felt homey. Just a place to hang my hat. Kinda depressing actually. I've never taken any interest in decorating it or doing anything to make it feel cozy. Until today.
In my quest to focus on the good because what we focus on gets bigger for us, I decided that I would do some Christmas decorating. Last year I bought a 9 ft artificial tree at the Goodwill Store for $29 and it looked beautiful in that old farmhouse with the 10 ft ceilings. But this apartment is tiny and has regular 8 ft ceilings so I wasn't sure if I'd be able to use it. I knew I could leave off the bottom section and that would take care of the height. But I remembered it was a fat tree too. Would there be room?
Three days ago, I lugged the big tree box into the apartment and pulled out the sections. Once I figured out which was the bottom section, I put that part back in the box and took the box back out to the utility room. Then I spent the next TWO freakin' HOURS assembling the tree and fanning out all those branches. By that time I was tired, grumpy, and tired of messing with it. I slid the tree into the spot I wanted it and there it sat, completely naked, for three days. I had also brought in the boxes and bags of ornaments and lights. They covered the chair, ottoman and sofa. My house looked like a disaster area and every time I looked at it I wanted to cry.
Today I got myself busy and put the lights on the tree and the ornaments. Then I put on the top and I found a can of snow left over from last year so I sprayed the tree a little. Then I took all the boxes back out to the utility room. After vacuuming the tree needles off the carpet and putting the poinsettia design table cloth on the table, I was finally done.
Still, I felt nothing. I always enjoy the lights of a Christmas tree but I still didn't have that warm fuzzy feeling I was hoping for. But tonight I wanted to cook a few things. I hate to cook so I cook ahead several different dishes and freeze them in individual serving sizes. That gets me off the hook with cooking for a while AND it keeps me from overeating.
By the time I started cooking it was dark outside so I closed the blinds and turned off the main light in the living room that makes it like daylight in there. Now I have only the lamps on and the light from the Christmas tree. My apartment is a studio one-bedroom so the kitchen is on one wall of the living room. I was cooking spaghetti and was stirring the sauce when I turned around and saw the tree. Some of the lights twinkle. I put all the lights on it that were on it last year when it was 9 ft instead of 6. and the tree just glowed! And, for the first time since I moved here in July, this place felt cozy and homey.
I decided to look at what is good about this apartment and there really is a lot. Especially now that it feels cozy and warm. One thing I like about it is that it's VERY private. The way it's situated, there are NO neighbors within eyesight. I'm a very private person and enjoy sitting outside on my deck in the summer without getting univited guests. (I know, I'm a hermit. LOL!) It is also a convenient location. Everything I need, and a few things I don't need (ie fast food places) are within a mile or two. There's also a lake nearby where I can go for walks. Oh and the rent is cheap! And I've got a great landlord that takes good care of the place.
Since I moved here, I've been dying to get out. I wanted/want to get back to the country. But I think I'm figuring out that if you look for the good in what you already have, then more of that good will come. And when I looked for things I liked about this aparment, I found things. I also found things I didn't like when THAT was what I was looking for.
I still hope to move back to the country when my lease runs out, IF I find a suitable place. But meanwhile, I'm going to focus on the good aspects of living here. If nothing else, it will make the next six months a whole lot easier to live. :)