Prompt 20 comes from Jen Lee.
One thing I learned in 2014 was how to make space for joy and levity, even in the midst of challenging circumstances or sad times.
How could you make space for joy in the year to come? How could you protect it?
I am pretty sure that when Jen wrote this prompt, she was talking about space and time– how can you make decisions that offer the space needed for joy and creativity when our world is so over programmed and scheduled. I am so all about this! I am no longer participating in three commitments in 2015 that were not conducive to my needs. I have also taken some more actions to be more proactive with my schedule so that I actually do joyful things and not watch more Netflix (not that I don’t love great tv!).
But for this prompt, I need to talk about physical space. Space has become more important than I ever expected the last few years. In fact, when I left New York City for Savannah in 2012, I wanted the location independent lifestyle. But then you live in your first actual house as an adult- not an apartment with people stomping above you and yelling below you- and with a backyard… AND you experience having laundry in your building for the first time since you were 22… well, funny how priorities change. I like being at home.
We currently live in a great little cottage in Savannah… but it is too small for us and we need to find someplace bigger when our lease is up in May. I keep donating bags of stuff that we don’t use or need, but our hallway is still full of things that our little place can’t handle. Working from home and feeling crowded is not a formula for daily happiness. The idea of moving is both liberating and scary. There is part of me that doesn’t want to leave because this house is truly my nest. This is the first house my husband and I lived in together as a family. It is where our dog found his forever home, where we grew winter greens in the backyard, threw some amazing parties including the rehearsal dinner for our wedding, and where I grew deeper friendships with some of the most awesome women that are now in my life. Many bottles of wine have been emptied here on Ladies Nights.
It is also scary because we always have the option to leave Savannah. In fact, we could theoretically go anywhere we wanted when we move. Lots of our friends moved away from Savannah in 2014. It is often tempting to both of us to move even further south and/or even closer to the ocean, even if it means starting over. Choice is not always your mental friend.
But I get joyful thinking about the possibility of a new home and its SPACE to create more joy in our lives. To cook meals with multiple people in the kitchen. To be able to have a bedroom that fits my clothes so I don’t have to keep them in a closet across the house that interferes with my work area. To make new family memories. To have a conversation on the phone that can’t be heard loudly through every vent in the house. To have space for a living room chair where I can stretch out on my legs and use my lapdesk to write. And to have a place in the backyard that gets enough sun so we can grow tomatoes.
Space alone cannot create joy and levity. Mindset is needed for that. But when we move, and we compromise on things (because you know that we will have to), I want to remind myself not to compromise on the things that can bring joy, both big and small, wherever we are.
How will you use space in 2015 to create joy?