COP and What I Did...

Hello all.  I had plans yesterday...I had a heavy duty sort of day planned.  I started well and was just about to wind things up and walk out of the door when my plans were suddenly cancelled. That's the COP part of the title.  Change of Plan.  I wasn't upset about the cancellation.  The truth is, I saw it as a gift.

A few weeks ago, our music leader pastored for the day.  He gave a rousing good sermon about sacrifices and what we're willing to give God and what we aren't.  I was convicted twice already in telling others that I really needed alone time and so I generally stayed home on the Sundays John was at work.  The people with whom I shared this didn't say a word, nor even look at me hard.  It was a conviction I felt deep down in my spirit that something was wrong with that statement.  And then I heard Pastor Jason's sermon.  It wasn't that he stepped on my toes...but he surely opened up my heart and revealed to me why I had been wrong.

So right there in that service I vowed to God I'd give up those Sundays alone and trust him to provide for my alone time.

Then I realized that John's new schedule change meant I was only going to have one Sunday a month alone.  Except for that, he will be home every weekend, albeit coming in or going out on a shift most weeks, but he'll be home.  This is nice, but it  sort of clipped the alone time a little closer.  With the old schedule there were two Sundays, back to back that he worked and I'd sort of counted on the afternoons after church as alone time.  I didn't realize until this week that the schedule change brought us nearer that much longed for 'real weekend' and meant I'd have to change, too. Life, right?

This week I found myself with days planned full and not a single bit of alone time among any of them.  Now I  want to carry out my plans for later in the week when John is gone and I was willing to give up today for the sake of another but I could feel the pressure of stretching myself to be sociable for more days than is the norm for me.  Anybody else here an introvert who needs/craves/MUST have some time alone?

So after gathering my thoughts and determining how to rearrange my day, I got busy.  I went outdoors and potted up the tomatoes though I didn't have nearly enough soil.  Still they are all in separate pots and not all crammed into one small pot together.  It's got to be a help to them.  I sorted them out in the little back step garden where I've got my herbs.  I'd sort of envisioned a portable garden there or herbs and tomatoes and perhaps peas or beans and squash.  I just hadn't managed to get that accomplished but it feels nice to have tomatoes and herbs there.  I don't mind in the least having some  of a dream come true until it can all come true.

I wandered about the yard picking up limbs that had blown from the trees during the past week's thunderstorms that pushed through.  I went into the shed and looked and looked for things I might use in the flower beds  and came up empty.  And looked and looked for things to use in my desk area, and came up empty.  And then I looked and looked for a small cooler that I thought I had still but apparently don't.  I was going to use it to incubate yogurt.

At that point I was sweating profusely, my clothing was wringing wet and I was panting for breath.  The temperatures might have been low but the humidity was ridiculous.   So much for thinking I'd work at digging up those plants about the Faith Tree!  I came indoors and sank gratefully into a chair with a fan blowing full upon me and a tall glass of water.

Well, I certainly didn't mean to spend the day sitting in the chair with fan blowing upon me though it was mighty pleasant.  Instead, I did housework and a little later in the afternoon I did a second bout because somehow the house burped or something and things were all out of sorts all over again.   I set up enough outfits to do me two or three weeks when I go out.  I planned out Sunday coming up, what I shall do after church that I'd meant to do today.  I had lunch.  I watched two episodes of The Kitchen on FoodTV and one episode of The Pioneer Woman while I replied to emails.  And then I jumped up from the chair to do that second round of housework...You know after the house burped.

But I felt restless as could be.  I mean genuinely restless, like I hadn't already done a day and half of work.  I wanted to do something more.  I stepped outdoors to get the mail from the mail lady and realized that my thought that I'd work outdoors this afternoon was beyond ridiculous.  No way!  Warmer and just as humid as this morning.

So  I decided if goal work outside was out then goal work inside would have to do.  Despite having little to work with, I wanted to do something more towards making my desk workable for me.  I felt it needed to be a little more pulled together.  Even if I didn't have a thing to use.

Here's what I'd planned.  I want a smaller desk/table, preferably with some sort of storage like drawers or bookshelves, etc.  I want a shelf upon which I can set a creamer filled with pens and pencils and my pushpins and a little clock and some flowers.  I want pictures and the area to be pretty.  And I haven't a thing to use except whatever I can find here in the house.  So I did...find things here in the house and it wasn't much but boy what a difference it made!  It's rather nice if I do say so.  Cost me $0 so far...And I like it rather well.  Want to see?

I'll start with what I did first:

Aside from just plain cleaning everything off the desk except the bill box and check register, I borrowed some things.  The lamp was over at the baking center.  I seldom used the additional light and it took up much needed counter space.  I actually moved the lamp to the desk on Friday and all weekend long marveled at how just adding the lamp made the desk look as though it had more presence somehow.

You can't see here but I borrowed faux flowers in a blue Ball glass jar (a genuine antique Granny gave me marked 1908).  I don't want faux flowers on the desk but I haven't any pretty fresh ones at the moment...or really pretty faux ones either for that matter.  But they do lend a bit of a feminine air to the space.  

The big change however was painting the bulletin board.  I started by painting the cork with leftovers in a sample pot of gray paint, the same paint I used to paint the record cabinet in the living room.  Then I used a bit of aqua chalk paint to paint the trim around the bulletin board.  I'd bought the paint to paint the laundry area lamp, which I went ahead and painted today, as well.  Two birds.  I figure as attracted as paint is to me, I might as well all get done with all of the jobs.

This is a more of a full view.  I'm pretty happy with it really.  I plan to look for the artwork that speaks to my heart and a shelf.  I've got the measurements written out for the future desk.  I'd like to find some more toile to make a new cover for the desk chair as this has gotten fairly ragged but all in all it's a neat place to work and I'm really liking it.  Goal - Improving Steadily.  

 I painted the lamp for the laundry area and I've been meaning for weeks to share that space with you though it's not really done, just improved.

Our dryer rusted right away after we got it and I covered it with shelf liner years ago.  I refreshed that with the same liner I've used on the bill box and check register.  I think I'm ready to donate what's left of the roll, lol.  I've had it for years and keep using it and it doesn't ever seem to be near an end.

I recovered the lint box in that space, too.

Back in the Spring, I hung some old fashion pages from a vintage magazine that was falling apart (some pattern illustrations, some not) and absolutely love them.   I'd love to share all three with you but I've been trying for months to get them to load and blogger just won't cooperate.  However you can get an idea from this photo of what I mean.  They are vibrant with color and absolutely lovely in the laundry area.

And then I sat down to write this post.  I'm bushed!  But I feel like I accomplished a good bit today despite my plans being all tossed in the air.


Lana said...

Seven and a half months of zero alone time. It took six months to get him to stop putting his head in the door when I went to the bathroom. Such is life living with a spouse with a brain injury. I asked God to give him back to me during those 10 days he was in a coma. I prayed to bring him home even if he never cared for himself or worked again. And God answered. It has grown me in ways that I never thought I could grow. I am nothing but thankful even though it has been hard most days. He has only this week been able to drive himself somewhere on his own. I get a dozen texts while he is gone just because he does not know how to cope on his own yet. All I can say is thank you Lord for giving him back to me. Thank you for stretching me and taking away selfishness. Thank you Lord for teaching me to serve my husband when I did not think I could do it for another day. Would I have chosen this trial. Never. But God knew what I needed and He has sustained me everyday.

Margie from Toronto said...

I live on my own and yes, I do like it that way and value my alone time - BUT - I have learned that it can be too much of a good thing and that I was becoming a bit of a hermit at times. I had to learn to balance time on my own and time with friends and family and other commitments.
I even count going out by myself as alone time - even though I am out in public and inter-acting with people. Today I spent a couple of hours wandering around IKEA - had a coffee, picked up a couple of small items - scoped out a few things that I'm thinking about purchasing and chatted to a couple of people in the store and on the shuttle bus - nothing in-depth, just being pleasant - but it was enough. It's all a balancing act and I've learned that I do have to be flexible and willing to compromise more than I have in the past.

Becky Gepford said...

I am a person who craves alone time, as well. Having 8 children, getting the first ones over 31 years ago, and still parenting, doesn't leave much time for that. I have also lived several years (quite a while back) in a multi-generational household, including grandma, parents, another grandma, etc. So, I've had to resort to staying up later and later at times. It's not good for me, but in another way, it's the only way I can survive. Sometimes, I get up a couple of hours earlier than everyone else. My husband understands and has always taken the children away for a few hours at times when I'm getting overwhelmed. Whatever works.

Carolyn @ Our Gilded Abode said...

Can so relate to how frustrating it is to plan your day and have it change completely. But sometimes those end up being the most productive days, it seems. And, what a wonderful day you had – in spite of setbacks - you created an amazing desk space using items you already had – and, it’s lovely! I like the way you refreshed the bulletin board and added a pretty touch with the jar of flowers. Doesn’t the space just make you smile now? Little changes make such big differences and when you accomplish it with found items you already own, I think that’s even more rewarding. It would be so easy to buy everything we needed, but I don’t think that deep down feeling of accomplishment would be quite the same as when we create it ourselves and the space evolves as we find items we can use. Love what you did!

Debby in KS said...

I have a couple of regular activities with some church friends. Some weeks I feel absolutely frazzled & consider dropping one or all of them. It's usually in summer when I feel like the house is demanding every bit of my attention and the yard is growing an inch a minute!! Then, when I do stumble in exhausted, I find that a little fellowship and girlie-time is EXACTLY what I need to unwind.
That said, I confess that there is one day per week that I keep to myself lol. I use it to catch up, unwind, relax, bake, or tackle a project. I will also confess that it's my 2nd favorite day of the week. I really like Sundays with my husband the best. That's our entire together day.

I think your desk area looks lovely! It's so dainty. I have a ginormous roll top oak desk. I'm in the process of trying something new to make it look nicer. We use every bit of space in it and I love the little cubbies. But it's a beast!! Your jar of flowers gave me an idea though so i'm going to have a little treasure hunt downstairs.

Terri Cheney said...

Lana, I know that you ARE glad you have your husband, despite the lack of alone time.

Becky and Margot, I'm knew I wasn't 'alone' in my need to be alone, lol. Margot, I too have a tendency to go into hermit mode.

Debby and Carolyn, yes, my 'new' desk area does make me very happy and knowing that I managed it without spending any money at all makes me even happier. Now to find my art work...I will end up buying a shelf for the space but they never cost me very much at Ross.

Anonymous said...

Well you know already from past comments how frustrated I have been over hubby home 24/7 for these past 7 years of retirement. When he was about to retire a lady surprised me by asking how was I going to cope as she knew I needed alone time. I really did not think she knew me well...but she sure did! That part IS Hard. Any alone time I get I have to dive into something I have had to put off forever no matter how tired I am...I have no idea when I will get the time again. Even 15 minutes is a treasure. I would like to just sit and decompress but need to take advantage of this time. I would also like to be able to read and no hear the loud tv in the background too ! :-))) I think if somehow I could know I had so much time ah week undisturbed it would hep a lot but so far things just keep getting more hectic. Like John does, my hubby gets up Then decides what Our day will be like. I still don't know if the next day we will be home or gone all day. :-)))
It is his Retirement...but I am working harder! LOL LOL
Terri I would talk to John before he retires to and see if he can find a hobby or activity away from you and home once in a while. A time you can count on. Even if it is one time every two weeks for say 2 hours it will be a time to look forward to if you are frazzled. Right now you have at least the time he is on the property mowing the lawn. You have to work it out. One lady I talked to one time said she talked to her husband and he asked what it would take for her to be comfortable when he retired. She told him she needed so many hours so many times a week to do her own thing at home. He then worked out some volunteer work he wanted to do and visiting friends on those times and she said he has done that. it made all the difference. Now he has time away from her and she from him. Both get to do what they want. So far I have not gotten hubby to try this! :-) He does not understand as he does not need alone time he says. LOL You have always said you knew John's retirement would be no problem for you. The no alone time [ and possibly no schedule] though may be a part of it. Having it will refresh and rejuvenate you. :) You are blessed that you and John have such good communications. Sarah

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