Breathing Room

Yesterday was a day of trying to get things in order. Yes, we were all unpacked, and yes a lot of things had been put away, but there were still random things nagging. The kind of things that get put off for other more important things. The last week for us was all about catching up and taking things on that we hadn’t done in a long time. Not only were we away for four months, but we had given over a lot of things to Peter and Sara in an effort to train them. Now that we’re back we all want for them to be focusing their attention on the second site. Right now that means a lot of scouting trips looking for housing and a place to work from. There are some great options, but it’s time consuming. Chris and I are getting back in our groove, and I think, in the process looking at how we can improve on how we used to do things. I want to be more organized and to get into good routines and now is the perfect time to do that.

On top of getting a handle on the work again, it’s meant some reorganizing too. And that reorganizing has meant moving some things around and finding new homes for others. Thus the nagging little jobs. On top of that it’s things like cleaning out Olivia’s clothes and shoes that don’t fit, passing on toys she just doesn’t need or play with any more and making room for us all to breathe a bit. When you live in less than 900 square feet you have to get choosy about what you have in your home and where you put it.

So, with Chris in Port today it was the perfect day to tackle all of that. I sorted and put things away. I moved some stuff out on the deck for manly men to relocate. I washed things that were accumulating dust. I cleared counters. I made the trek down to the storage room to put dorm stuff and luggage away. I organized. I tidied. I swept and mopped and the result is that I feel like we have our home back again. I talked to Chris mid-afternoon and told him what I had been doing and his response was, “Oh, thank you!” We know we just do better when the clutter is controlled and there’s room to think. Who doesn’t? It makes me feel less stressed and better able to function. When I’m not looking at the mess, I can look at the other things that need my attention and nothing is sitting there nagging at me. When things are put away, it’s a lot easier to control the other stuff that floats up and around, like the toys and the books.

I’m realizing that a long absence requires more than a few days to set things right. It’s not just the unpacking, it’s the re-organizing, the finding of routine again. It’s remembering how you do life. And sometimes it means making adjustments to those routines and methods. One thing I love is that we completely cleaned out our fridge and freezer so it could get turned off while we were away. I loved coming back to a clean slate. We want to make an effort to only really buy what we need or can use in a specific period of time. I feel like I had sort of accumulated things in my fridge when we got married, and from there it was just a constant process of collecting things. We would go shopping and I would stock up on stuff because I wasn’t sure when I would get to do that again, etc. After the earthquake we’ve seen more stuff coming out to the stores here, and last week I was able to go get the basics of what we needed. Chris has been to Port twice and hasn’t taken a grocery list either time. Last week Yonese made a great effort to only buy what we could eat in one week and as of this morning we had one orange left, and the crisper was cleaned out. Tonight is left over night and between that and lunch tomorrow (lunch is always left overs) we’ll have pretty much eaten up the stuff sitting in the fridge. I love having a fresh start like that and a chance to make good changes.

So, yesterday was productive. Not only did the house get cleaned up and organized, I feel like I can breathe again. Like we all can.

~Leslie

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

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