Tag Archives: home

Where will YOU be in five years?

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One of my big goals for 2012 is to get my @#$% together financially. Not that I am doing terribly, but I would say I am blundering blindly, with good intentions, paying off my credit card monthly, etc, but still being totally oblivious to how much I am really earning, and more importantly, how much I am really SPENDING every month. So, with my new Kobo e-reader, I picked out the Smart Cookies Guide to Making more Dough and Getting out of Debt. This is a gem of a book. I am only halfway through it, but it is packed with sturdy advice without being preachy or jargon-y. It is kind of an informal workbook format, and prompts you with several questions along the way. One of the first exercises is to picture your perfect day, five or so years down the road. Where you are, what you are doing, what your workplace looks like, what you look like, what makes you happy, etc. Detail was emphasized.

I have a rather vivid imagination, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I whipped out a pen (yes, an old-fashioned pen) and the words just started gushing out of me. Seven scrapbook pages later, I stopped scribbling and was really amazed at what I had just spewed forth. I am going to transcribe it here, not because I think it is deserving of accolades or because I think anyone will even be interested in it (or even read it for that matter)– just because, in five years I will likely have lost this notebook but will still remember my WordPress.com password, so I can see how close I got to my vision. Pardon the extreme arrogance of it all — but the idea here is to picture an IDEAL day. And in my ideal day, I will not be fat or driving an old Firefly or working somewhere boring as a cog in a machine. So here it is:

I wake up around 6:30. It’s summer, and sunshine is streaming in through the huge windows looking out on the ocean. I feel great – energetic and excited about the day ahead. I do a few quick yoga moves while the coffee is percolating, the smell intoxicatingly perfect, and I breathe it in relishing the early morning peace.

I am at home, and it is a truly magnificent space – every square inch carefully chosen and selected. Heated slate floors graze my bare feet, a giant soapstone fireplace reaches for the solid wooden rafters on 20′ ceilings. Beautifully hidden lighting creatively illuminates a space that is the perfect blend of quirky nostalgia and modern elegance. Colours, fabrics, wood, stone…everything natural and harmonious. Enormous picture windows look out over a spectacular ocean vista, and a stone patio is freckled by the early morning sun, the patio chairs beckoning me with my morning cup of coffee.

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I grab my favourite cashmere sweater, soft and bulky, and wrap it around me, going out onto the patio on this perfect morning. The smell of happy plants and trees coming alive, covered in mist from the early morning automatic sprinklers, fills my senses. Everything is shimmering with dew, the ocean like glass except the ever present surging of the waves, gently, on the rocks.

Suddenly my daughter comes running out, messy-haired and still in pyjamas. Good morning my beautiful princess, I say, enfolding her lithe, warm, flannel covered body in my arms and hoisting her up, spinning around and laughing with silly exhilaration. It is our own little world, quiet, magic, and perfect. But we are not alone – I suddenly look toward the patio door and smile, seeing my sleepy husband gazing out at us with a happy smile on his face – that of a man who could not possibly ask for more. Our little girl runs to him, leaping into his arms, and I follow, savouring the moment, the patio stones cold and refreshing on my bare feet. Good morning, my love, I say, kissing him deeply.

As I am getting dressed in the morning, I peruse my wardrobe and pluck out my favourite outfit – a gorgeously custom tailored charcoal grey suit that fits me superbly. I toss on a lime green silk blouse underneath to spice it up a bit, and add some killer animal-print heels. I pause, looking in the full-length mirror. I look terrific. A woman in her prime.

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I get to work at eight – my parking space is waiting for me and my saucy black Mercedes. I feel great climbing out of it, like a genuine rock star.

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As I walk through the front doors of the modern, beautiful, light-filled harbourfront building, people smile as they shake my hand and congratulate me on my recent success. People are bustling with excitement here, it is a big day today, a lot of hard work and planning has gone into it, and everyone has really risen to the occasion. Phones are already ringing with media inquiries, and my boss comes up to me and says, Thank you for all your hard work, we couldn’t have done this without your dedication and talent. I smile and acknowledge the compliment gracefully, then proceed to my office, with a terrific floor-to-ceiling view of the harbour. There is a pile of paper on my desk, all reports awaiting my discernment and approval. My inbox is already humming with people wanting my opinion and expertise, or thanking and congratulating me.

Work is done early. I am done when I say I’m done, and I grab the keys to go pick up my little girl, and meet my husband at the park. We play and run in the afternoon sunlight, walk by a beautiful lake, rolling down hills, playing on swings, laughing and savouring every moment. We run into other close friends, and laugh and talk and catch up, while watching our kids play and get dirty. Everyone is radiant with the beauty of the day, the perfect temperature. The light reflecting off the lake gives everything an extra luminous glow.

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It’s evening now, and while my husband and daughter are playing a game close by, I go to the kitchen and start preparing ingredients for our dinner. I open the fridge and it is overflowing with colourful, healthy, organic ingredients – the sky’s the limit! I have tons of space on my beautiful maple counters, and I start merrily chopping and dicing and creating. I am in my element. Great music is playing on the surround sound system, and I dance and sing along while cooking. Blackened salmon, fresh asparagus, a salad overflowing with beautiful, exotic greens and toppings. We take it out on the patio, along with a bottle of Prosecco, and dive in, while watching the sunset – the automatic garden and patio lights gradually coming on as it gets darker, creating a beautiful Midsummer Night’s Dream fantasy. After our girl is in bed, we stay outside, talking and drinking and enjoying the cool evening air, stars, and the sound of the crickets. One of our favourite songs comes on, and we get up and dance, swaying gently in the moonlight.

 

As I crawl into bed, I am exhausted but happy. I feel wonderful knowing how loved, respected, needed, and fulfilled my life is. My little family is a source of unending joy. My work is satisfying, challenging, and interesting. My relationships are harmonious, and I have a support network of family, friends, and coworkers. I am incredibly grateful for everything in my life. The easy wealth and abundance. The wonderful people who colour my life. The gorgeous place that I live. The delicious things that I eat. My healthy, thin, active happy body. My long beautiful hair, my red-hot sex life. My beautiful, perfect house. As I drift off to sleep, I am nothing but excited to see what the next day will bring.

Whew! 1300 words. Where the hell did all that come from? I’ve never even thought about such things. I can definitely see the point of the whole exercise though – looking at the things you really do want in your life, sure makes it seem frivolous to spend another $120 on a pair of boots, or another $80 on a new perfume, when that could go toward some much bigger, much more worthwhile dreams.

So, will I have a black Mercedes and custom tailored suits and my own oceanfront house AND office, and a BABY — all in five year? We’ll see. As they say, “Thoughts are real forces.” I sure hope so, because that all sounded pretty damn good.

 

 

 

 

Don’t kick me to the curb yet! Thoughts on the meaning of “home”

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So, I just averted a near-disaster, and it got me to thinking about the importance of “home”….

Here’s what happened — I am on my way home, like to my parents’ house, for a couple of weeks here, and it will be by far the longest stretch of time I’ve been home for several years. I am so excited! Or I was, until my mom broke the news that they have two Mexican boarders staying there, who are, in fact, arriving today. Now, before you peg me as a racist asshole, let me clarify that I have nothing against Mexicans. What I do, however, have a large problem with is people sleeping in my bed, yes MY bed, even though I am now “closer to thirty than twenty” as my ever-so-kind coworker Isabel pointed out yesterday, “my” room at home will always be mine! Or should be! Luckily I am a very spoiled brat, and generally get what I want, and I emailed my mom. The email went something like this:

Mom, if you put the Mexicans in my room I am going to be seriously traumatized and will require incredibly expensive therapy, to get over the fact that my parents clearly don’t love me anymore.

It worked! And here is how much of a spoiled baby I am — immediately after telling me that she would put them in my brother’s room, and how I’d “better ‘preciate it!” she went on to say she was going to buy me raspberries (my favourite!) and couldn’t wait to see me. God I’m such a brat. I have it in for me when I eventually have my own kids! They are going to be hellions. Anyways, this whole episode just got me to thinking about how grateful I am to have a home. How lucky I am to have grown up in a place, a space, that I could feel safe and warm and cozy in. I mean, since I moved out at 19, I have been back many times, and have called many places home, but going back there is always so awesome. So considering that I’ve always had this great and awesome place to come back to, it seems strange that I have such a paranoia about not having a space that is M-ified. Like at college, when I have to switch rooms, pack up all my stuff and move it and re-organize it, I throw a tantrum! I am an emotional wreck! It makes me cry when I realize that the shelf configuration is different, and stuff is going to have to go elsewhere. It’s ridiculous! My Awesome Boyfriend, who has helped me relocate several times now, just kind of shakes his head at me. Paradoxically, I love travelling, have travelled all over the world, been to Europe five times, etc, but it really sucks the life out of me to be in this limbo state, where, as a matter of fact, I find myself today. Since I will be disembarking tomorrow, I have to pack up my cabin here on the ship in preparation. I am already sweating and feeling clammy, especially with the thought that maybe all my stuff won’t fit in my bag. THEN WHAT WILL I DO!!! And of course, even as I am writing this, I am shaking my head at myself, because I realize that my paranoia is utterly ridiculous. But that doesn’t make it go away.To make matters worse, my sense of “home” is split right now between three different places – the ship is my “home” for now, it’s where all my immediate belongings are, it’s the space I have become very comfortable in; but the rest of my stuff, and my car, is out East at the college; and of course my parents’ place will always be “home” to me. What a mess! And of course, this is pretty characteristic of this age that I find myself in, I’m sure there are many people in my demographic experiencing this very experience. In a few short years, I will have a career and a house. (God I can’t wait!) Until then, please mom, don’t give me the boot! I still need that anchor of a place where I belong, where I can come back to, where I am always welcome, where I can raid the fridge and wear my pyjamas all day.

I am curious whether anyone else experiences this kind of anxiety! Or am I alone, a freak of nature. I am also curious whether it makes it better or worse to have grown up in a stable home. Your thoughts much appreciated!

Cheers,

M