Saturday, August 16, 2008

what really matters

I have grown accustomed to seeing our furniture in very different settings;our flat in Vandoeuvres, the house in Zeytinalan Izmir, our first disaster area flat in Vienna (Zuckerkandlgasse) and now this one in the 18th bezirk of Wien. It's surprising how you somehow manage to make it fit the new layout with a little creativity (e.g. sometimes we have room in the kitchen for a table and sometimes we don't, sometimes our desk is a a desk in the guest room/study and sometimes it's a console table in the entrance or hall where we dump our keys and mail)

However, upon arrival in this new flat, the strangest thing happened when I saw our furniture all set up in the right rooms with our pics up and little knick-knacks laid out; it was like seeing a dead man (so I guess that would be a ghost?). I mean I was really surprised to see it all again. As if it had all died and gone to furniture heaven and could not possibly be in our home again. Weird huh?

I guess it can be explained by:
-not having gone through the process of actually moving out of the flat of the 19th moving into this one (since my honey did all the work while Emma and I were still in Geneva/France)
-the fact that I have sort of settled in our pad in France, making it my new home with pics, decorations, new clothes, bed sheets, cushions etc. as well as new routines, coffees and ice-creams with friends, etc.
-but mainly I think it's due to the fact that I tried so hard to put the Zuckerkandlgasse disaster out of my mind, that I kind of threw the baby out with the bath water as it were.

How weird is that?! It's taking me a little time to consider all these belongings as mine and enjoy them again.

I recently suggested to a friend she do without something (or rather someone) for a trial period before actually deciding whether or not she wanted to do without. Coincidentally, I realized that having lived without practically all my belongings for nearly five months, I manged quite well. In fact, I was just fine.
Admittedly, I bought new furniture , clothes etc. in Geneva, but still, it made me realize how many things I have that I don't actually need, and how they are not the be-all and end-all in terms of making my home. All these things are nice to have, but I if required, I can start over (with a little spare cash and some time) and be happy.
A refreshing, empowering thought.

Likewise, I realized that being in a smaller more compact space had its benefits, especially with a little one. Sometimes we realize how much less is really more. Granted, the two flights of stairs leading up to our pad in France (carrying Emma and groceries), doing all the cleaning (hadn't done it since student days!) and the reduced space was more than compensated by the fact that I could see friends and be in a place that was familiar (easily find my way around town, speak the language etc.). So, how cool is it to realize that I have not grown accustomed to being a spoiled-expat-spouse?! Very.

So... I'm going through stuff and I'm going to give lots of it away and make space for now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's great Sandra that you learnt that :) I will try to think of this when I unpack our 20+ boxes in our basement (although I decided today that that will be a project for the Winter time!).

Meryem x