my little bookshelf
A few months ago I was on a quest for a small bookshelf. Instead of resorting to the usual outlets for cheap furniture, I opted to take the long road…I drove around the local neighbourhood on council pick-up day, visited my local op-shops and regularly scoured the second-hand pages on facebook. But nothing eventuated.
It was only when I was ordering a coffee at a quirky cafe near my parent’s house that I found it; sitting patiently in a corner at just the right price.
Since it arrived home I’ve decked it out with my books and a few plants and while I’ll occasionally discover a toy train amidst the paperbacks, it’s a little piece of the home that I call “mine”.
But it’s much more than that, too.
You see, this house we currently live in is no overly pleasing on the aesthetic front. It was built in the seventies and renovated in the nineties, it has venetian blinds on each window and a sage green kitchen complete with Australiana feature tiles.
But you know what it also has? A big garden with two huge trees and a covered outdoor area just perfect for rainy day play. It faces north so we get sun all day throughout winter, warming us from morning till evening. It’s really well insulated, there’s an abundance of storage and it’s located on a very quiet, peaceful suburban street.
And so while it might not look like my ideal home, it’s brought a few things to the front of my priority list. Namely, that when you’re raising a young family (and perhaps when you’re not), comfort and practicality are far more important than looks.
Coming to accept this wasn’t exactly a smooth process but I feel like this house has pushed me along as I consider what is and isn’t so important at this stage of my life. And while I am, more than ever, inundated with images of beautiful homes and shiny kitchens on social media, there is a bigger piece of my mind that’s content with the comfortable house we currently call home.
Gone are the days when I attempted to have every. single. room. of the house looking just so. There just isn’t the time, energy or inclination for that anymore.
But there is a little corner that stays (relatively) untouched…a corner that features a few of my favourite things, including my little bookshelf. When I can’t keep up with the housework, when the toys and books and craft activities are found on every conceivable surface, when the clothes need folding and the dishes are caked with porridge, I do look at my bookshelf and rediscover a bit of calm.
And I’ve realised that one little corner, for me, is enough. If I can have my favourite reads and plants on a shelf and for it to stay tidy and clutter-free, I’m happy.
Perhaps this is about lowering my expectations or simply being more content with what is. Regardless, I’m thankful for the little bookshelf that turned up at just the right time (and the sun-drenched house that did the same).