To look at things positively, I’ve never been more mobile than I have been this year. In the last 12 months I’ve lived in three flats, in three boroughs, and I’ve shed a lot of things during every move!
What prompted this blog is a quiet weekend to myself in the flat, where I realised I finally feel at home here. It’s something I’ve been chasing since university, and while I love the serendipity of moving around, new starts and new jobs, there really is something to be said about feeling settled. That feeling came to me on a cold Saturday morning curled up on the sofa, where I realised with a smile that I was finally home.
I often find it difficult to write about my mental wellbeing, simply because it’s something intangible, and therefore hard to pin down. My mind loves matching the pace of my life, whizzing around with thoughts and fears, worries and hopes, and I still don’t have a routine down (let alone meditation!) However, since moving house I’ve started finding new moments to reflect on my happiness and mindfulness.
When I was first preparing to move home, and getting organised with it, I learnt that instead of expanding into my last flat, I’ve successfully become more minimalist. I have quite a restrained but good quality wardrobe, under 10 pairs of shoes, one handbag, one satchel bag, and two evening bags. In boxing up my belongings, I got to ask myself the question “Do I need it?” for every item, and ended up dropping off 2kg of things to my local charity shop. All of these things made me realise that I was slowly evolving, honing my tastes, and sticking to my guns in buying less, choosing well, and only ever going for ethical options.
This contented feeling followed me to the new place I live now; it’s a pretty, well thought-out flat, with some beautifully designed pieces such as the hand-laid recycled wooden parquet floor, and a light fitting that looks like a cloud (!) From Helen Russell’s talk at Stylist Live, I now understand why these are all bringing me a little more joy – good design brings that homely feeling, as well as a clean aesthetic, and we actually clean and take pride in our home more too.
However, looking back at my old place, despite its run-down state, and the scatterbrained landlady, I have to say I also appreciate the role it has played in my life. It actually makes me smile thinking how we just adapted to its flaws, made do, and made friends with the neighbourhood cats (we called them Frank and Charlie, but never really knew their names). When we left I was thinking more “good riddance” than “goodbye”, but now that I’ve had the time to sit back and think about it, I should be gracious that it looked after me for nine months and gave me a base in the big bustling city that is London.
So, over to you now. What are you grateful for? When was the last time you checked in with your busy little mind? This post served a purpose for me in being a space I can reflect, appreciate, and smile at the past year, so I hope a little bit of that can rub off on you too.