Thursday, September 29, 2016

Motherly Advice...How to not wish your life away.....

We spend so much of our lives, wishing we were somewhere other than where we are.

At home, we wish to be somewhere far flung and exotic.

When away, we yearn fervently sometimes, for our own bed and home comforts.

When we're young, we want to be older and once we're old, we wish we were young.

Sometimes you realise, that what you love and need for a happy life, is right under your nose. Gosh, movies have been made, songs have been written, and whole novels penned upon that premise!

I came upon some photographs of one our trips to France this morning. These were taken pre-digital era, and were tied up vintage-style, in printed glossy bundles in a shoebox. I adore France and we are fortunate to have visited that beautiful country five times in the last 15 years. No matter how much time I spend there, I always leave wanting more.

There were several things that struck me upon viewing our holiday snaps of Paris, the Perigord region, and little villages visited along the way.
Firstly, the things I enjoy viewing, and photographing, do not vary all that much. Whether home or away, I enjoy admiring a stunning sunset, I appreciate the thought, planning and sheer hard work in building and maintaining a beautiful garden, I adore the history of ornate or interesting architecture, and often file away local details in décor, to replicate upon returning home, so that a little memory of our travels is there at our fingertips.

The funny thing is, that the older I get, the more I appreciate that 'home' can offer the very same joys of far flung locations. The difference is, that when we are on vacation, we stop to enjoy the monuments, the sunsets, the detail on a building, and the unusual or thought provoking in an art gallery. I've learned, that as much as I love to travel, the experiences I seek out when travelling, are just as accessible here at home. We don't have the Eiffel Tower (although our city does have a miniature version in a café` district, so perhaps all is not lost!), but beautiful sunsets, fabulous local artisanal homewares, a gorgeous outlook from our back porch, and architecture that makes you appreciate the imagination of the women and men who've created it...they're all here.

Let's compare the sunset above, taken beneath the lacy ironwork of the Eiffel Tower... this beautiful sunset, snapped just a few months ago in the Town of 1770, where Captain Cook first landed in Australia. Neither one is more beautiful than the other. And a sunset can be enjoyed any day of the week that you care to stop, and contemplate.

I loved this simple window treatment in a house where we stayed in the The Perigord region in 2008 so much....

...that I completely unconsciously replicated it, albeit in a prettified, lacy version, in my daughters bedroom, right down to the floral posy...crazy! I didn't even realise I had pre-imagined the idea, until this photograph surfaced today!

As for interesting architecture, well, I can't compete with French living in The Perigord....

....but my own suburb has it's little surprises in this elvish house just 2 minutes walk from my home....'s unfortunately being demolished to make way for a housing development....

....sad...but alas, that is progress. The sweet little cottage with it's European detail just doesn't live up to the modern day expectations of 'home'.

This was the outlook from the back porch of the house we rented in The Perigord. All misty mountains and mysterious vistas....

...a walk to my own back porch, yields a view of tropical palms and Poinciana trees. Sometimes it's misty too, but not today. Is one better than the other? I don't think so. But I rarely step outside to my back porch early in the morning to admire my own back yard, whereas on vacation, I have time to do so. I think it's time to revise my morning routine to allow for that!

As for interesting architecture...well home is not 'La Truffiere', where we stayed in 2008....

....but we have interesting architecture too...

I'm working on not always wishing I was somewhere else. Not that I do that in a belligerent, 'I'd rather be anywhere but here' manner, but rather that kind of 'I can't wait to visit Europe again', that is the basis of my savings mentality, and that yields a health respect for money and the freedom it can provide.
A wise person once said to me 'You can only live in one place at a time'. It seemed an obvious comment back then, and I didn't really understand what they meant. But I guess they not pine for anywhere other than where you are, for what is the point? You pine for there when you're here, and for here when you're there.
Why not just enjoy 'now', wherever you might be.
Can you find similarities between where you are right now, and where you imagine you'd like to be?
Can you summon up a little bit of Paris by serving your morning tea in fine china? Could you fancy up your morning juice with a slice of pineapple and a striped paper straw, resort style? Could you lay out your own towel and toiletries for tonight, and pretend the housemaid did it for you? Little tricks like this, can truly add to your enjoyment of the minutae of the day, and help get you past wishing your life away.

I'm currently trying to teach myself to make Canele`, which are little French pastries with a caramelised exterior, and a custard centre. We ate them in Bordeaux, and I've not seen them since. Being able to replicate them, means I can bring a little 'Bordeaux' into our home, whenever the mood takes me. Perhaps you could do something similar.

Longer term, could you plant a corner of your garden to resemble a favourite getaway spot? Could you introduce a detail into your décor that reminds you of somewhere you've stayed that generated happy memories? Can you teach yourself to cook or bake a treat, like my Canele`, that is currently only available in a distant land?
Have you visited somewhere that really spoke to your heart?

Can you replicate a little of that at home, right now?



  1. Hi Mimi
    Great post! Should you ever visit Melbourne I can give you the name of a cafe that makes their own canele! They are quite different to anything I've had before.

    Mrs Tiggywinkle

    1. Hi Mrs Tiggywinkle! How lovely to see you here. I may be visiting Melbourne next year, so I'll hold you to that promise! Mimi xxx

  2. Love this post. It took me until I was about 40 to "get it". Another thing I have observed about people who feel a constant wish to be elsewhere is that their homes are in a state of chaos. Cluttered, messy, and anything but peaceful. I wonder if they reduced the eye clutter, if they wouldn't want to constantly be somewhere else.

    When I was about 40, I did a lot of reorganization, started volunteering, developed new hobbies, and started using all of my "saving for a special occasion" items. I figure that if I'm breathing, it's special occasion enough!! Since then, I noticed a giant change in my attitude. While I still have a good list of places I'd love to visit, I enjoy my home the most.

    1. I agree Debby. I had already travelled a little, before I realised that there truly is 'no place like home', wherever that is for you. And yep, if you don't make your own life special, nobody else is going to do it for you, so fine china, good linen, beautiful things around you is the way to go! Mimi xxx

  3. Dear Mimi,
    I love this article. It is my dream to someday travel to England. Funny thing is, any time my husband and I even venture out on a small road trip, I always catch myself thinking that I just wanna be at home lol. So I know exactly what you are talking about.
    One of the beautiful things about being a homemaker is that we are able to create the atmosphere we choose in our own homes. Instead of visiting foreign lands, we can bring them to us in so many ways. As much as I would love to visit England, I will be content if I never do. I am happy to plant my rose gardens here.
    I had a thought yesterday as I was sitting on the back porch. I was thinking how beautiful the view was and that if I was staying at a hotel with a view like this I would probably be snapping pictures and never wanting to leave. Like you said, sometimes what we want is right under our noses. Thank you for the reminder.
    With love, Kelsey

    1. Kelsey you hit the nail on the head. We so often miss the beauty right under our nose, because we're too busy with 'life'. Sitting quietly and contemplating all that is good right now, is a great strategy. Mimi xxx

  4. What a lovely post! You are quite right of course, as I've found on my own. I realized one of the reasons I was so unhappy with my home was because I was forever putting off until 'the next house' what I wanted done in this one. Well it doesn't appear we're moving (we've been here 20 years) and I've found all sorts of little ways to improve the place and my happiness overall by choosing to be grateful for where I am. It's changed my entire outlook! I'm going to link to this post to share with my readers over at Blue House Journal. I love it!

    1. Terri, thankyou. I hear you on the procrastinating until 'the next home', 'the kids are grown', 'the house is paid off', 'when we retire', and so on. I've seen and heard all of those, and whilst financially, they are sound decisions, you can do so much that costs little other than effort and minimal financial investment. I'm glad to hear you've found ways to have the home you love. That is so important for us all. Thankyou for sharing my post. Love, Mimi xxx

  5. A very helpful and beautifully written post. I like your idea of bringing an element of the place you'd like to be to your own home, it's never quite the same but it really helps.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx