Sometimes in life, we don’t really know that we want something until we get it. That’s what I think about my home. I was pregnant when we decided to start looking at new houses, so needless to say, I was constantly exhausted and groggy. My husband had looked at our unique California ranch several times without me and had fallen in love with it. He finally convinced me to go inside one day during an open house — all I could see was the mauve wallpaper in the dining room and the gold chandeliers that were circa 1980. Despite my reservations, I was simply too fatigued to muster much of a fight. We moved in just a couple of months later. In our first four years at the house I gave birth to two children … the mauve wallpaper was mocking me everyday but I didn’t have the time or energy to deal with it. I would definitely say I had a love/hate affair with my house for five years or so (Okay, it was more hate), but when the fog finally cleared I realized its potential. Slowly I began making it “mine” and today it seems like it was meant to be. It blends so perfectly with my vibe that I can’t imagine myself in any of the traditional style homes I pined after. As any homeowner knows, there is still much to be done. But today I feel a sense of peace and contentment in the areas that have my touch. I believe that is the essence of what a home should be. Whether you rent, own or flop at places of those you know, you can do some things to give yourself a sense of peace and contentment. Of course, the scale in which you can do that depends on your particular arrangements. I am a firm believer that everyone should have at least one thing that brings him or her serenity. Something that centers you and allows calm to wash over you — no matter how briefly — to help you remember the person you are meant to be. A few of my favorite things are simple and accessible, but have a lot of impact. Music In an effort to squeeze the most productivity out of my day, I took Zig Ziglar up on his recommendation to create an “Automobile University.” I love the concept and really have learned some amazing information by using my drive time that way. I noticed, however, after a month or so that I was feeling grumpy. After careful consideration I realized that my zealousness for learning infringed on my time with my first love — music. Since I eliminated rocking out during my drive time, I made an effort to add more during my home time. Music is a powerful mood enhancer for me and when I have my favorite tunes playing in my home, I get a lot more done. Relaxing to your favorite tunes is so easy in this day and age of iPods, smart phones and music on demand. Turn off the TV and pump up the jams! You’ll likely be much more productive and will burn a lot more calories than you would sitting sedentarily in front of a screen. Personal Space Having a little space to call your own is necessary to tranquility at home. When I say a little space, I really mean a little space. Of course, if you can have a whole room to yourself then go for it! As the mom of three with a four-bedroom home, I don’t have that luxury. I have, however, managed to use the back of a door for my vision board and a corner in my bedroom for a meditation chair. The top of my dresser is also “my spot,” with books that I enjoy reading neatly nested into hand-carved cherry blossom tree bookends. Above it hangs a beautiful peace of art that I enjoy viewing each day. Regardless if your space is a drawer, box or the entire home — it is important to have a place that brings calm when you view it. Pictures Ever notice how people often enjoy time spent with friends and family after the fact? Think of Christmas morning or a family vacation — when you have photos to view you often experience as much or more enjoyment than you did at the time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, which is why I think it’s really important to keep your home filled with snapshots of happy times. When my kids are driving me crazy, I love to look at the photos of them that adorn my walls (hint, wedding pictures are great reminders at certain times too!). We all work so hard and it’s really important to remember what you’re working for. Home is where the heart is and where precious memories are made. Make sure to take the time to make your’s a safe haven and a place of comfort.
Shelley Davis Mielock
Shelley Davis Mielock is a certified business image coach and the founder of Mieshel Image Consulting, a Lansing-based firm that specializes in image development for individuals and businesses. She is also a co-host of In Her Shoes, a a weekly women’s talk radio show. To ask Shelley an image question, please e-mail her.