For years I’ve tried to create a special place in our spare room/home office, a place where I would love to work, create, or just sit and think – a happy place, if you will.
I’ve gotten rid of furniture, hung pretty artwork, rearranged desk, tables, chairs and bookcases and still, it’s a gloomy sort of room and not one that I want to spend time in beyond paying a bill or scanning something on the printer.
One day I was going through a big pile of reusable shopping accumulating on a little table in our living room, just next to the front door. I don’t know about you, but I have more than enough of these bags and decided to get rid of a bunch. Once I got to the bottom of the pile I realized a darling little table had been hiding under all those bags.
I have had the table for decades – since my 20s. It was a hand-me-down from my parents who divorced in the 1980s. While talking to my mother on the phone last week, I mentioned the table to her and asked her how she came to own it. She told me it was gift from my father for her birthday many years ago. Knowing this makes the table more of a treasure to me and I knew I wanted to use it for something better than a place to dump grocery bags.
One day I got an idea. I dragged the table outside to the front porch and put it between two adirondack chairs we’ve had for about a dozen years. Instantly I knew this was the table’s new spot and that I’d be making the front porch my Happy Place!
The first thing I did was add some things to the top of the table. I recently started planting succulents for indoor use and noticed these plants fare much better outdoors. I gathered together all the suffering succulents around my home and brought them outside. And I even bought a few more which Tori, my stepdaughter, helped me re-pot.
Next I went around the house and collected small tchotchkes, knick-knacks and doo-dads to add to the plants. I thought it would be fun to add a little extra personality.
This cement urn has been on our front porch for a long time and had a couple of sad looking succulents in it already.
I added a few more plants and some fresh cactus soil then I livened it up a bit with some little things like seashells, a tiny thatched house, and a very small hollowed out egg our chicken laid.
I grabbed the white Buddha statue I bought in San Francisco’s Chinatown, a fancy French candle given to me by a dear friend and a votive candle holder that looks like a house and placed them all on the table.
In the drawer I have a lighter to light my candles, some mosquito spray (I quickly learned that mosquitos are a problem when sitting outside in the early evening), and my affirmation cards.
Once in awhile I will bring my laptop with me and catch up on emails or edit photos, but mostly I drink coffee or tea – sans the cell phone – pull a few of my affirmation cards, write in my journal, or just sit and watch the birds and inspect my plants.
Since I created my Happy Place a few weeks ago, my husband and I have a new routine. When gets home from work, he changes out of his uniform and into something comfortable, then we meet on the porch. We talk about how our day went, sometimes over a glass of wine or some sparkling water with lime.
Now it’s more like “our” Happy Place and I look forward to that time with him all day. We watch a pitying of turtle doves fly back and forth among the Redwood and Oak trees and gray squirrels scurry around the vineyard across the street. We also watch a descent of woodpeckers that congregate on top of a telephone pole at the end of our driveway and peck away at dusk (in case you’re wondering, I had to look up what to call groups of turtle doves and woodpeckers 😁).
I recently added a couple of throw pillows and blanket to the chairs. It gets chilly in the mornings and evenings here this time of year.
I love how this special spot all came about without me really planning or forcing it. I have been planning and forcing to make something special out of our home office for many years and not surprisingly, it has not worked. But the seed was planted. I knew I wanted to create a special place but just didn’t know how – and I guess I didn’t know where either!
I still want to make my office into a place my husband and I will enjoy spending more than a few minutes in but I think it’s going to take a lot more than a little table and some potted plants to make that happen. It’s going to take time, planning and money. Until then, I look forward to spending lots of time in my Happy Place as it continues to be part of my rich life.
Do you have a special place in your home or yard where you go to work, create, meditate or rest – a Happy Place?
Tell me about yours and be sure to…
Make it a rich and happy day!