Four years ago, like one of those sea change shows on TV, we packed up our belongings and emmigrated from Britain, to the other side of the world, Australia, to a new life on the beaches of Sydney… a new life by the sea.
And a few years on from that, ready to put down roots, we bought a tatty old fixer-upper beach cottage, neglected, sad and in need of a new family to give it some love.
And it’s in this old cottage that I began to open my eyes, learn lots about myself and finally really become grateful for all that is not just an old beach cottage but more, all that is me.
One evening in the early days of the cottage renovation, all our budget used up, I was feeling pretty disgruntled about life…I seemed to conveniently forget that we’d successfully relocated our family to a lifestyle that is considered one of the best in the world and was focusing more on what I didn’t have.
I whined about the state of the cottage…why did I have to deal with a fixer-upper? I wanted it done and I wanted it now.
That evening I sat in the study, surfing the net and came across blogs featuring before and afters of their homes, stories of their thrifted finds and tales of decorating. Homes that were not full of money but more were loved, appreciated and happy.
Right away I decided to quit moaning and get on with it – I’ve always loved to play house and decorate and so I decided that so what if I had to work to a budget, so what if I couldn’t have it all right now? I would improvise, paint, make do and mend.
I started to look at all the things that were positive about the cottage and the reasons we’d bought it in the first place and looked at what I could do with all the potential – the wood floors, the sunshine streaming in, the huge old fig tree, the battered old deck and sash windows.
I decided this cottage would not be about what we didn’t have but what we did.
The more positive I became the more I knew this place was just right for the laid-back coastal chic look I loved so much…the furniture with a faded old patina, the vintage china I’d been collecting for years and the piles of old white linens I’d brought with me from England.
As my journey with transforming the cottage went on and as I came up with creative ways to get the laid-back coastal vibe I wanted without spending much money I began to see positive possibilities in much more than just our house.
I realized how my positive attitude to the cottage had turned it around from somewhere mediocre to a home to live a great life in. But more, I slowly began to see that there was something to this positive thing and actually it was key to my spirituality, my happiness and most importantly my confidence.
It’s taken a old tatty cottage on the wrong side of town to show me the right path and finally see what it’s all about.
It’s not all perfect in our new life, though it’s pretty special living by the sea. I still often feel unsure, let down and disappointed by things not going the way I wanted.
But now I’m just that little bit more confident that my attitude is actually the most important aspect to quality of life and to my own peaceful spirituality. Most importantly I have been shown that I am in control of that, no matter what happens around me.
I have more faith now and it’s a quite nice lesson to have learned.
by SarahLeave a Comment