Week six on The Artist’s Way Programme is about recovering a sense of abundance. She asks you to track what you are spending and try and identify what is a luxury for you. Funnily enough, I didn’t find it that hard, and instead of curbing my spending, I probably spent more!
I have been thinking about café culture this week as my son has been at a class and I have been able to sample the delights of Surbiton. There are so many sweet places with great design, over-priced coffee and cakes there and in this area. Really I am spoilt for choice.
I tell myself that I love these places because they are an interesting place to work. The aesthetic is very pleasing. The cups earthenware, the decor muted shades, shabby furniture, plants or inspirational quotes on the wall. Sometimes works of art to browse or books that might inspire you. These places are so very different from my other work place choice: home.
I mean I have the mismatch of furniture but that’s more years of moving from rental to rental and gathering as we go. Functional MDF and a cupboard with a missing handle, more shabby than chic. Clearly they keep there places clean and they serve you. That give them a sense of luxury.
I also bought a load of clothes this week. I have a holiday soon and I wanted soft, comfortable clothes. Slouchy pants or tops, soft cotton fabric, it is basically now my dream to be constantly comfortable. Fortunately the styles that are around, though probably not particularly fashionable, make it very easy to dress like this and no-one knows you are out in pyjamas. Though holidays are not very restful when you have a little one, I have plans to curl up and read at least some of the time.
Is luxury harder for mother’s to find? The memes all tell us the deepest luxury is finding time to ourselves on the toilet or “wine o’clock” In our small home it is time alone without the spectre of my child standing over my computer (as he is now) wanting to play Minecraft.
I have written before about having nowhere to write, when even a cafe won’t let me settle to work. The frustration I feel when the music is too loud or the place is too busy or messy, means I may as well be at home. More recently, I have been using mindfulness to overcome these little grievances. I will make a note at the top of the page if a song is too loud or if I can overhear a conversation. You never know when these snippets will be useful. And by being mindful of what is irritating me, I am more likely to return to the scene I am writing.
This week did make me think about my spending (spoiler: it’s too much). But also consider what I can change to make my life include the luxuries I identified: pleasingly clean and decorated spaces, comfortable clothes, books and time alone to enjoy it. Is that too much to ask?