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).

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Showing 7 comments
  • Sara

    The internet, that evil machine of expectations… unless you find some conciousness and allow yourself to be grateful of what you have, what does work..

    Thank you for that beautiful reminder. Here we have some ants running around old wooden floors and a really 70’s old school-no natural light bathroom… but it’s our home, it’s where our daughter was born and most important it’s what we have!!

    Have a nice week ☺️

  • Kate

    This post reminded me of the chapter in The art of Frugal Hedonism about not renovating your home but making it comfy, living in it and getting on with life.

  • Megan

    I really love this post Jodi! It’s so true, social media can be a bit like an edition of home beautiful every day but reality is so different – and if you ask me – much nicer. While funny paint colours can be disturbing (and believe me, I know alllll about it!) it’s the people in the house that count, not the stuff or the latest interior fad! 😊

  • Amy

    Thank you for writing this!

  • Barb

    This is wonderful. I love that our homes can teach us such important lessons, if we let them.

  • Aubrey

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder. I’m currently pregnant with our third baby, and my days are spent chasing around our 4 and 2 year olds. Looking at instagram makes me wonder how on earth other moms keep their homes looking so neat and tidy, but I try to remind myself that my kids are having fun and making memories, and that’s much more important than a instagram worthy house. Priorities.

  • Reply

    I’ve been going through something similar at the moment too. I have my little atrium where I grow some plants and sit and drink coffee in the sunshine. We’re moving in two weeks though so I’ll have to find a new little oasis.

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