My 2016 started off with a bang.
But not the kind of bang from a celebratory champagne cork popping off. Rather, the kind that leaves you feeling quite unsettled and ungrounded, like an explosion. My dear grandmother passed away at the age of 96. It’s not really worth me trying to put into words how amazing of a woman she was, how special our connection, the lessons she taught me and the sadness I felt at the end—not only of her life, but a chapter of my family’s history and life in Kansas City.
This was the first bang.
And then a series of minor incidents, that when piled on an already broken heart, seemed to add to insurmountable heaps of stress: heater busted (in Michigan), my kid went on an eating strike, forgotten homework, taxes mayhem and I found myself grouchy and scrambling to unpack from vacation, keep up with work and plan for the next trip—the funeral in Kansas City.
I cope with stress in my own unique ways. Sure, I have my daily meditation which truly does wonders, but I’ve also found that I tend to morph into somewhat of an OCD designer on the prowl.
My drug of choice is home accessories and the method to the madness is styling gone wild.
I obsessively style and redesign my home. I fluff pillows, rearrange lamps, color-code the spines of all my hardcover books, trim the brown edges off of the leaves of my house plants and oil my cutting boards. Just the basic, normal stuff everyone does, right?
I move through my house, one vignette at a time, as though House Beautiful might just pop in for a photo shoot at any second.
Spending my days in homebody mode is what is appealing to me right now. Nothing sounds better than sitting in my living room with my dogs on my lap and a cup of tea (a ceramic mug, placed on a vintage wood coaster, while leafing through a coffee table book on, you guessed it, styling your home).
This has been an interesting and reflective beginning to 2016.
I think I’ve experienced every emotion possible to humans and that’s fine with me. It’s much like a storm right now. While reading a friend’s blog the other day, I was reminded of a beautiful mantra that I have been using during my meditations: “Everything shall pass.”
I keep coming back to this and thinking to myself about how right now, I am really happy for things. I’m happy to have my favorite furry throw pillow, the snake plant that one of my students gave me, my favorite face lip balm that smells heavenly and my favorite slippers. These things do make me happy. Sure, they don’t compare to the humans and animals in my life. But I have the right to exercise a healthy appreciation for beautiful things, functional things and things with meaning that I choose to fill my home with.
How do you ground yourself in times of stress?
Author: Anna Versaci
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Photo: Author’s own