It’s our first month of “regular” life since moving back to the States. We’re done moving into our house, and things are finally settling down into the new version of “normal.”
Because I want my memories of this time to center around the loveliest parts of it, here are 6 things (in no particular order) that have made me happy this month:
1. Our fireplace
I’ve never lived in a house with a fireplace before. Somehow, it didn’t seem quite so attractive in the sunny and humid tropical climate I grew up in. Now that it’s fall, though, and things are starting to get quite chilly, I’m loving how cozy this spot makes our house look.
2. Our house
This place is pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted in a little house. It’s small, but it feels spacious. It has a fireplace. There’s a narrow staircase. My bedroom window faces east, where the sun rises. And the view out the back window is delightful (see #3 below).
There’s a little guy who has an acorn stash in the grass around our back patio. We can see him through the sliding glass door most days digging up his stash and reburying them. He’s like an extremely low-maintenance pet, and he’s unreasonably entertaining to watch.
4. Having a real desk
For the first six weeks in our new house, I used an old folding table as a desk. It did the trick, but it wasn’t completely flat—there were only two spots on the surface where my keyboard didn’t rock while I was typing—and having a folding table there sort of made me feel like we were just camping out in the house instead of living here for good.
In a weird way, I felt like I couldn’t visualize my future. I knew I wouldn’t be using the folding table long-term, but I had no idea what kind of a desk setup I’d end up with, so I had no mental picture of what it would look like to work at my own space in the weeks and months to come—and for some reason, that reinforced my feeling that I was in limbo.
Moving in a real desk made a huge difference! It made my workspace feel permanent, and that makes me feel more settled.
5. My piano
I haven’t lived in the same house as a piano in six weeks.
This is mind-blowing to me. I have always lived in the same house as a piano—always. I’ve been playing since I was five years old, and although I don’t play as much as I used to, I still get antsy sometimes and just need to let it all out in music.
Music helps me express myself when words aren’t enough, and it helps me put my energy somewhere productive when I feel restless. Having a piano in the house lets me blow off steam when I’m stressed or sad or just need a break. Also, the fact that this is the piano I learned to play on gives me a nice nostalgic feeling.
6. A red leather jacket
I found this at a thrift store while my sister and I were looking for cold-weather clothes—and it’s the most perfect fall jacket ever. It’s lightweight, so I don’t feel weighted down by a gazillion layers, but it’s surprisingly warm—and this being my first fall after several years in the tropics, warm feels like a really good thing to me right now!
(It doesn’t hurt that it goes with anything and pretty much always looks classy: see tip #1 here.)
What’s been making you happy lately? Let me know in the comments!