AND 1 ESSENTIAL FOR A HAPPY LIFE
Coping with life’s constant changes can often be challenging, particularly when there’s a part of us that resists the change.
Take the empty nest syndrome. When our youngest son left home, shortly after his two brothers, my urge was to grab him, hold on tight and never let go.
This was totally impractical, unglamorous and uncool. So I decided to create The Den, instead.
Rather than mourn the loss of noise and chaos that comes with a family living in the same house I decided to embrace the silence and space, converting one of the newly emptied rooms into an office I lovingly called The Den.
The make-over included a new paint job and a home-made memo board to display family photos and paper treasures. The walls were adorned with framed picture memories of our favourite trips.
We moved our office equipment from the sunroom where it had been for years, bought a sofa bed to ensure there was still sleeping space for all the family, and voila, The Den was ready for business.
I was so excited I even considered holding a Den opening party but instead I got straight to work and spent hours at that desk designing brochures for my business, Wacky Workshops, and researching crafts.
The boys always get a bit perplexed when I talk about The Den. They claim it is a study, or home office.
According to freedictionary.com a den is; “a room in a home designed to provide a comfortable atmosphere for conversation, reading etc”, “a lair or shelter”, “a secluded room for study or relaxation”.
I figured our Den fit all these definitions so the name has stuck. This was the magical room where I would write, just as soon as I had some time. This room was going to make me famous, and rich.
MORE BIG CHANGES
That was about four years ago.
Two years ago Hubby’s work changed dramatically and he went from full time afternoon shifts at a Sydney newspaper to part time work, from home.
I went from a very empty nest with most afternoons and evenings spent alone, to having a constant companion.
Hubby could walk to work in less than a minute when it used to take more than an hour by train.
Then our little Goddesses of Glee started to walk and talk and our house is once again noisy and busy. Talk about changes!
Of course, the hard part of this change was that Hubby needed to use the computer. He needed to work in The Den.
It was hard handing it over, but it was that or not pay the bills. There were still plenty of hours in a day when I could wrap myself in the comforts of The Den, if I chose.
But when I let go of my protectiveness of that room it lost some of its appeal and I never feel quite as at home there as I used to.
Initially this wasn’t an issue as my business had changed and I no longer needed the computer to design brochures and advertisements. I could use my phone for arts and crafts research.
Then I decided it was time to flex my writing muscles again.
It became clear that the spare time I was waiting for was not going to appear, I was going to have to make it. It was now or never.
Of course the most practical time to write is when Hubby is working. That way we can enjoy time off doing things together. There isn’t room for us both in The Den. The solution? My mobile den.
ONE ESSENTIAL FOR A HAPPY LIFE
I understand this is a contradiction. “A secluded room for study or relaxation” (as per the dictionary definition) hardly sounds like something that would be mobile.
However, that sense of security and comfort provided by The Den was a state of mind I can choose to put to work anywhere that suits. So can you.
The ability to adapt and embrace the changes that life throws our way is the one essential ingredient for a happy life.
Think about every time you have felt stressed, angry or sad. It was when you adapted to whatever initially triggered those emotions that your mood lifted.
Sometimes we need those powerful emotions to help us heal from tragedy.
We may need to go through the process. But, eventually we all adapt – it’s nature’s way.
When it comes to life’s smaller issues (coping with changes to friendships and family – empty nest syndrome – or employment circumstances) we can use our own mind power to make that adaptation happen, rather than waste time being unhappy and wait for it to happen.
MAKING THE MOBILE DEN
So, rather than mourn the loss of a cosy office space I decided to adapt and embrace the freedom of a mobile den.
We saved and invested in a tablet which is the most important component of my workspace. Well, that and my phone.
I have a big, red bag where I keep the tablet as well as a little tool-kit of office supplies such as staplers and sticky tape, a pencil case and sticky notes.
I have a giant folder where I keep research, post ideas, editorial calendar etc. and where all the sticky notes to myself go on the inside cover.
When it’s time to go to work, I grab my bag and choose my workspace. Lately it’s all been in my lounge room which is the warmest place in the house.
I imagine as the days grow longer and warmer I will be able to venture to other places around the house – outside on our deck where the wildlife and garden will inspire (or distract) me, at the kitchen counter where the light is great and the coffee close, or in the sun room where there is so little sun, making it the coolest room in summer.
When work is over I pack up my trusty bag, now known as The Mobile Den, and stash it away safe from tiny Goddess fingers.
I think just the fact I am mobile will help me come up with new things to write about and share so that the change that I resisted is now a change for the better. See, it’s already working!
And because I promised you:
6 ESSENTIALS FOR A MOBILE DEN
- Laptop or tablet. We opted for a tablet, mainly for portability (great to take with us on trips).
- Phone with good camera (mine’s an iphone 6) or a good camera. I couldn’t justify paying for a good camera as my photographic skills wouldn’t do it justice but the iphone does just fine.
- A good folder with dividers to hold editorial calenders, research, writing ideas and outlines, contacts etc
- A pencil case large enough to fold a selection of pens, pencils and highlighters
- A good supply of sticky notes for all those self yourself reminders. A notebook is also very handy.
- A bag to contain it all.
As you can see from the picture above I’ve added all kinds of other goodies (I become quite passionate with my adaptations) but the list above makes the office extra portable, a bonus when travelling.
How adaptable are you? Leave a comment below.
Wishing you happy head spaces and glamorous days, Tamuria.