A room of one’s own

I have never been a big reader of classic literature. It’s just not my thing. I have also not taken a lot of interest in history or classical studies. Again, it’s not my passion. I love to read, but I admit to being ‘not well read’ when it comes to what would be considered great works of fiction in history. However, these topics are a huge part of my daughter’s passions – in her final year of school she is undertaking classical studies, history, english literature and economics. Her reading list and mine are very, very different.

While I remain happy reading my light chick lit, self help, positive psychology, and the odd memoir, as these are what I like and are authentically what I enjoy to read, every now and again I attempt to read something ‘deeper’. Holly (our daughter) has been reading Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf this year as part of her curriculum, so I thought that I would try A Room of One’s Own by the same. It has been on my reading list for a long time. A classic, but with a feminist angle that appeals to me. It’s only around 100 pages long – so I have made it to the end. I was surprised that I enjoyed it, but then the context of sexual inequality in 1929 was of interest to me. The premise of the essay, that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”, was highly relevant to what I want to next write about here.

When our family moved into our current home (almost 10 years ago), part of the appeal was that it had 4 bedrooms. By moving slightly further away from the city we could afford a 4th bedroom, which was nominated as my ‘scrap room’. Moving an extra suburb further from our workplaces, and further from motorway access probably added around 20 minutes to both Phil and my commuting times. But because of this we got the space we desired and a more modern home. I got a ‘Room of my own’. I felt very lucky and I still do. This room has served as my little sanctuary where I have scrapbooked, journaled, crafted and also worked from home for a period of time.

Last year during lockdown it served as Phil’s office space – he sat amid the chaos of paper, paints and a mountain of projects. He never complained that I did not tidy it up, he just made a space on one desk and put up a screen to hide the piles of stuff, when he was on a video call. Again, I am grateful for that. But, lately, we have been having a discussion about how best to use our space within the house and we are considering changing the ‘scrap room’ into a ‘family room’. Now, I need to consider how important it is in 2021 for me to have ‘a room of one’s own’.

I don’t use the space daily, but I do use it regularly – is it fair for me to still want to keep this space as my own? Our needs as a family have been changing. The house is designed with 3 upstairs bedrooms and one downstairs bedroom, which is off the lounge. Mitchell has the downstairs bedroom so that the caregiver is able to move around the house at night without waking us. This has been working for us up until now. In the past, when Mitch was younger, the caregiver would sit in his room until he got to sleep, giving us a sense of privacy in our lounge space. He still needs an awake caregiver each night, but now they sit in our lounge (with us) while he gets off to sleep. Sometimes this means they are in our family lounge space until 10 or 11 pm at night. We have no privacy or family time and when we have visitors we have an extra body to house in that space. For this reason, we are considering making the scrap room a family room – I will still have a dedicated corner and the others have a couch and TV, somewhere to listen to music etc. I think it can be done, but I will no longer have a room of my own.

And that is okay. Now, we just have to agree on how that looks – I will be happy as long as I have a corner of my own in that room.

This week I have been doing another of the Wanderlust classes and finished Week 31 with Kate Crane. Sometimes, I don’t know when to stop, so I am sharing 4 pics, with the last one being what it ended as. This was a class about using texture and her focal point was much smaller, but I liked this magazine image of a girl journaling and I am currently reading a book called Let it Out by Katie Dalebout so this is what my page is about.

Aside from that, I have a dose of shingles which is affecting my eye, lip and side of my face, so I am feeling a tad sorry for myself. This weekend we are planning a much needed weekend away to Taupo for some golf and I am hoping I look a little less like I have had bad botox on my face by Friday.

Last Saturday I had my 2nd covid vaccination and I am happy to report no side effects from that.

There is quite a lot of bad press around how our vaccine roll out is not happening fast enough, and I will admit to some frustration at the beginning when I tried to follow the process to get Mitchell vaccinated in the first category due to his high needs. It was (and still is) a bureaucratic nightmare. In the end, we just turned up as walk ins and made it happen. Mitch and Phil are still to have their 2nd injection, but we are on our way to being safer.

Take care.

Cherie


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