Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Place of Your Own

There's nothing quite like having a place of refuge that is easily accessible.  A place where you can take a break from stress or just take advantage of some spare time.  In previous posts, I have mentioned using my guest room to hide and relax in.  Recently though, I was able to add an additional space in my house for my personal enjoyment (this time one that I don't have to share with guests).
A trip to the local Habitat for Humanity Restore resulted in a big score for me: a reclining, swiveling, comfy armchair with matching ottoman on double sale!  I proudly brought it home (to the surprise of my daughter who did not remember the ottoman next to her on the way to the store and to the surprise of my husband when I told him there was a chair in the car that he had to bring in and carry upstairs).  It now sits in the corner of my alcove office in the master bedroom right next to my bookshelf and the large windows that overlook the woods behind our house.  The first time I sat down in the chair I announced that it was the most comfortable chair ever and I was never getting up - not bad for a second hand piece for minimal cost.  I have already relaxed in it many times and look forward to the change of seasons when I can open the windows for fresh air and see leaves on all the trees.
The whole experience reminded me a little of a book that was on Reading Rainbow when I was a kid: A Chair for My Mother.  The book is told from the point of view of a young girl and talks about how her mom works hard to provide for her and her grandmother who lives with them.  In the book, the family saves all their spare change to purchase a large comfortable chair so the mom has somewhere to sit and rest after her long shifts working on her feet at a diner.  I didn't really relate to the story much as a kid, but it was the first thing I thought of when I sat down in my new chair: So this is what it feels like to have that perfect chair ready whenever you need a place to sit . . .
Personal spaces are important for everyone at almost every age.  You should have a place in your home is yours alone.  This can be very difficult depending on the size of where you live and the personality of your family.  It's hard to be alone in that private place if your children are trying to pile on top of you or your husband is constantly using your space.  But I urge you to stake your claim and then protect its privacy.  Make sure your husband has his own spot and only go to yours when it isn't time to interact with the kids.
All that being said, keep in mind that your space should be about who you are and what you enjoy doing.  A chair with books by a spacious window sounds great to me, but terrible to someone who would rather turn a small potting shed into their gardening retreat.  I remember reading an article about a woman who set up a trifold screen in the corner of one of her small apartment rooms, used the tiny space behind it to do a daily yoga routine, and made it clear to her family that the miniscule area in the corner was hers alone.  Even Jo March (of Little Women) had her beat up sofa in the attic to read books and write her "scribbles" away from her three sisters.
So use your imagination and find the place in your house that you can call home.  It can be as simple as a super comfy second hand chair or as hands on as tranforming a barely used closet into a mini office.  Having a place to recharge will not only benefit yourself but those that you interact with as a result, so don't feel bad about finding that "you" space.  Personally, just knowing that chair is waiting for me when I need it already makes my day a lot easier.


  1. I LOVE this post! so true to create a space in your home where you can retreat! thanks or this idea friend :) - sarita