From Where I Sit – Great Attributes

When you look around your home or apartment do you like what you see? For this exercise let’s assume we all live where our circumstances and current means dictate. I might want a brand new two thousand square foot house closer to services and amenities. But that just isn’t possible as long as we’re committed to farming land we own. It is what it is, baby. You might want to live in a thirty second-floor condo in downtown Edmonton but for now you live in the basement of a three-storey walk-up. It is what it is. At least for now.

Despite the chasm between what we want and what we have, for now we are where we are. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude for what is is always a good idea. Taking concrete steps in a plan to move on up or downsize or whatever is also prudent.

The practice of mindfulness urges us to fully and completely live in the now. Let’s do it. D├ęcor magazines are full of low and no cost ideas for refreshing, recycling, upcycling, and repurposing household objects.

It costs absolutely nothing to ’shop your home.’ To look at what you already own and use it in a new location or new way. Use the storage basket from your bedroom as a catch-all for hair products in the bathroom. Re-style your bookcases by stacking some of your books horizontally, some vertically. Create visual interest by interspersing vases, collectibles, and art. Aim for continuity of colour or shape. Avoid the thrift shop look of an overcrowded mishmash. If you ache to be a minimalist, you will purge your belongings. If you buy into the belief system of Marie Kondo (the life-changing magic of tidying up) you will touch each object and ask yourself if it brings you joy as you decide what makes the cut and what is gone.

If, like me, you have a large collection of vases and art, rotate your inventory, displaying some, storing others. Hang a tapestry or rug on your wall as art. Mark the changing seasons by swapping in or out heavier throws and pillows for lighter, brighter textiles.

If you are more ambitious and want to invest some money and sweat equity, there is no end of projects to tackle. Pintrest is a mind-blowing source of ideas. A fresh coat of paint on the wall creates instant transformation. It adds new life to furniture or accessories that are battered and beaten up. No sanding or prep necessary with Annie Sloan chalk paint. Wallpaper is experiencing resurgence if you dare tackle that project.

My point, and I do have one, is that with creativity and a bit of money, we can update, refresh, renew our surroundings. With the state of the economy we need to tap into our resourcefulness and the ’can do’ spirit of our ancestors to get us through until times get better. Come to think of it, those are great attributes anytime, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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