02 March 2010

A room, a life of one's own

I am swamped with work for school...and thats exactly when other life bits get interesting...or become a little overwhelming.

I have a hard time concentrating when the boys get back from school with appetites that baking can fill, and the groceries need doing, the toilet needs a scrub, the floor needs vacuuming, the dinner needs to be cooked, sons hockey and basketball games need to be cheered on, their snowboarding lessons need a driver, appointments need to be kept,  the emails need to be replied to and things I promise in those emails need to get done... and friends need to be seen ( a lovely respite, but at times like these I feel a need to be caved up to get anything real done) Then there's my blog, which I enjoy so much, as its an outlet for writing and communicating with people all over the world - but this too requires effort and attention.

To help reign in this chaos, we just changed rooms around the house - with the result that I no longer have to clear away all my things off the dining room table to eat dinner. So nice to be able to keep things on my desk - and to tame my bad habit of desk-chaos in times like these - I made an effort to keep things relatively neat - a calm corner in these weeks of MAYHEM...hence the pic. Whats that? noooo... i did not tidy up before this pic...ok, maybe a little bit.

It may not be fancy, but as Virginia Woolf once said " A woman needs a room of her own to write..." (i think she also said money...and well, thats not happening...yet...) Maybe Virginia finally got published after she went from the kitchen table to a room of her own...hmm, a girl's got to dream...

Another pressure - I coordinate (along with a team of fabo volunteers) a Breakfast program at the local public school  - we need a new fan in one of the fridges, a new stove...a new toaster...the caretaker has not hung up our bulletin board and he got the request in December...( i doubt he wants to read my blog, so I am safe here) volunteers get sick or go on holiday or ....but I am thankful that by and large this thing is still kicking - and not thanks to me but to everyone else - kids that need breakfast for whatever reason, can come to school early and get nourished, brain, body and soul - our morning volunteers are marvellous that way.

But still, I fell pressure, deadlines looming, people calling,  and we have to get packed up for our Florida road trip next week - when it rains it pours, and pours... 

Writing about it is like a release valve - that and my mini meditation practice (I need further training, but it works), my home-made yoga practice (it is getting down to basics as classes are not in the budget at this time...but soon!) oh, and breathing....

All that, and knowing that I am going somewhere with all this...I have a happy destination  - I have a goal to be a certified ESL teacher and I am half way through!  and....

We are going to be on the Gulf of Mexico in a little cottage starting next week for 7 days - a time to read books on the beach of my own choosing, amongst other things - like sand castle making, dolphin spotting, swimming, watching my kids skim board, grocery shopping at Winn Dixie ( i love seeing how culture is revealed in different packaging and products), eating Lighthouse donuts (coconut key lime - better than Tim Hortons my dear Canadian friends, yes, I said that...) drinking Coronas with lime...and maybe visiting an aligator or two on a tour of the everglades...and who knows what we'll see on the drive down and back up ? I love exploring, I love unintended side trips - i love being with my kids who are as excited as I am to be on vacation (may not last, so I will savour this...) I love seeing my husband relax.

Such things to look forward to ! - they help me carry on, help me ride the anxiety and pressure and get things done because I see the wonderful vision beyond the grind. Step by step...bird by bird...

This is how I work well:  by doing bits and pieces and stirring them into a chaotic pot to simmer into a good skeleton - then work work work to give life to this skeleton - working by the seat of my pants preferably, when the pressure is so great nothing can distract me ( thats the cave stage) - and I need to see the big picture for a project, for life...Only until I see the big picture am I willing to fill in all the supporting details - and liking that big picture helps. a lot. And that room of my own? a collector of the little bits, a room for the skeletol ideas, a place to stir the pot...Duty? I do not work from that seat. Responsibility and committment to things I find important? That is the chair I sit on.

goodness I am all over the place with this one - can't concentrate, got work simmering...must get back to it...

It is such a privilege to have things to look forward to, to be able to work towards one's dreams, and to have the support of those around you and ultimately, the support of self -  to have the inner... freedom and motivation to do this. I am grateful for this time in my life.

And now I've got to get back to work in this room of my own before these dreams come crashing in on me.


  1. I have a corner of my own but it gets continuously invaded by my boys..and then there is cooking...italians you know...

    Good luck with your dreams!

    It sounds like you're happy in the chaos...

  2. Love this one Marcella, crap - I need a room too :-) I am always clearing the kitchen table, for snacks, for meals, for the kids'home work, ugggh. Loved reading this one :-)

  3. I agree that commitment is the right driving feeling; also commitment to yourself, don't forget how special and important you are, with your dreams and passions. I recognize a lot of myself, a while ago. I am learning to live daily life "letting go" all the pressure that comes from my mind. I am really committed to practice to let go. Well, it works.


    P.s. i have not received your email, did you send it to my gmail inbox?

  4. Marika - hmm, cooking! yes, Italian indeed - i imagine you are not the traditional Italian mama in an apron cooking all day? :)

    Bella - hope you get a room of your own soon - how about that playroom or Den?

    Lorenza - yes! gmail ! Pressure indeed comes from the mind and the perceptions it has of things - or when one leaves things to lst minute...discipline is not my strong suit

  5. I love your desk!! It's beautiful and inviting.

  6. P.S. You're getting more flag! ;-)

  7. Currently, I've been using the dining room table for writing, but I do have a room. Need to clean it up as it is a bit chaotic at the moment. It has a nice view of the garden in the backyard. I will be needing that room on a regular basis very soon. Enjoy your beautiful room on your own and your vacation coming up!

  8. Kristin - My desk is the only island of calm in that room - still have to re-paint and clean the carpet, get shelving...all things I have no time for
    Yes, gettin' flag is so satisfying somehow :)

    Katherine - You will put that room to good use I hope :)and to have a view - a room of one's own and a room with a view...:)

  9. Your space look so very peaceful to me. I think you have inspired me to do the same with mine.

    Have a wonderful time on your trip.

  10. Marla - and you have so many kids around ! - or are they all young adults by now? let us know how your space works out - do a big reveal on your blog:)

  11. Wow Marci-me! You get to celebrate in Florida! Halfway there...wooohoooooooo you almost ESL teacher you!

    I love your work space. It looks like it could be featured in a!

  12. Well thank you Theresa! and that from a veteren!:) I'm kind of old for new tricks, but thought I'd try

    thats an old canvas I stuck there to pin things up on as I couldn't find a cork board...i need those little bits of inspiration...and I couldn't do that on my dining room table

  13. Ok, get the awful side of me out of the way ---I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!! Ok, where in Gulf Shores???? Orange Beach is where I run and hide once a year. I have a video of the waves that I play on the computer to calm me. Whoosh whoosh whoosh. Ok Beth, calm down. Focus. Focus. Your words: "because I see the wonderful vision beyond the grind. Step by step...bird by bird..." reminds me of the sand pipers on the beach. You have that energy, that grace. You need shells in your nook so you can listen to the waves when you return. Don't forget to leave us a note in a bottle!

  14. Beth - I see the ocean right behind you in that shot - you look content - must be Orange beach - going soon- ish? :) sounds like you wanna...

    We went to St. Joe's in florida panhandle one year, then Indian Rocks beach (just south of tampa on a key) last year, and this year.

    the panhandle is far more peaceful and full of southern culture though - but not as warm so we went Fla mainland...sigh - we are tied to the school break timetable...

  15. Wow... you deserve the 'superwoman' award - for getting ALL of that done in a day, and you still manage to write on your blog!! Your vacation is well deserved. Hope you have a great time, Marcella. :-) The place sounds like a dream!

  16. Sai - the eternally sweet: super woman award? tell that to my people - :) (I am not a superwoman by any stretch of the imagination)

  17. Marci - go to Orange Beach in October. Time it with the full moon. Very few people, the beach is yours and the full moon is awesome. Sigh. Enjoy yourself and bring back shells! They don't have to be perfect. I've really learned to appreciate their tactile qualities moreso than a perfect shell. Enjoy and give a shout out for me .... with a drawl!

  18. Your posts are so inspiring. And now, with a lovely spot of your own to write in AND being fresh from a beach vacation - look out blogger world!

  19. I think everyone needs a room of one's own. Even if it is a corner or a closet.

  20. Hi Marci,
    So glad you did find me. A little serendipity. My dad is a dutch immigrant. I taught for six years, and will likely be returning sooner than later (my sis is an ESL teacher), Bungalow dweller. Two posts ago I have a link to a Jamie Oliver TED talk. He is discussing health and mentions the school lunch programs in America. You might find it interesting being involved in the breakfast program. Really enjoyed your post. You are a lovely writer.

  21. Lori - i know! the pressure!

    Jason as Hims - yep, I had a corner! and that did not work out too well...shove aside mountains of books, papers, crap and lets eat dinner...a closet, now that's not a bad idea:)

    Bungalow '56 - so nice to connect with you! we could do a dialogue type back and forth post on bungalow living...ha - i do like Jamie Oliver - great gingerbread recipe - I did read up on his goal for school lunch progs..i think its fantastic!

  22. I was here! Bon Vacance! Nice space you have there to write and be.

  23. I am green with envy at your desk - it has coffee on it! There is no space on mine to put a mug and so I've had to go without all day (tidying it up to make a space is just not an option).