My focus this fall has been big picture thinking about my career trajectory. It includes a lot of organizing, outlining, and strategy. In other words, it’s a lot of feeling like I’m accomplishing nothing. (Ugh, I feel like I’m eating my tail.) But. I know I am making progress. And I listen to the knowing more than the feeling (sigh), especially when it comes to this kind of work.
All the long-term planning made it difficult for me to get into the nitty-gritty of writing this post. For inspiration, I looked at old blog posts and felt a spark from February 2020—the before times—and read something I forgot I wrote (such is my way). I started writing from the spark, and then the idea got too long (again, my way).
I’m looking for a Goldilocks moment here.
Someday, I will pursue the topic in more breadth and depth. For now, I think about “keeping the house in order” in three ways: 1) the shelter where we live; 2) the body we live in; 3) a hobby or art or work that gives us meaning and contentment (poems are a house I live in). Tending to these places–these refuges–keeps me grounded. I mentioned in July that I was feeling upheaval which I haven’t settled from, and I know it has to do with publishing the book. I like working on large projects and haven’t filled that hole yet. It will happen, that’s one of the factors in all the planning, but until then I need to paint (more) walls, build shelves, or work out. (I painted a rainbow wall in September.)
Alas, here’s a section from the blog post that inspired me:
The word “home” in western culture comes from the Old Norse word heima, meaning “at home”. In its inception, the word encompassed the house and the household: dwelling, refuge, ownership, affection, the overall feeling of the place.
When I think of how to build self-esteem or self-confidence, the words that define the meaning of heima make sense to me.
- I am my own shelter; when I turn inward, there is a refuge.
- As a source of affection, I am kind to myself, and therefore, self-reliant in times when I feel lonely.
- I am confident when I feel ownership over my body, emotions, and thoughts.
- It’s not how I see myself on the outside but how I feel about myself. Trust the overall feeling of the place.
When I work to feel at home within myself, I simultaneously work on how I feel in a room, in a house, with other people, and in society. To build a home within me is to build a home within the world. I take refuge, affection, dwelling, and an overall feeling wherever I go. As my body changes with age, illness, or injury, it’s like moving into a new house; I learn the quirks of the structure; I make changes to represent the old me in a new space.