While we are all spending the majority of our time at home, perspective is everything. You do have a profound choice to view it as something that is ruining your life or enriching it.
This story is from the spring of 2020. However, as 2021 winds on, we still spend the majority of our time at home. How can you create a home retreat and feel at peace in your space? Read on!
It is up to you. You get to decide how you approach your days right now. Every moment, you can choose.
As our day progressed yesterday with my husband, son, and I, it seemed to me that these days can be viewed as living an extended period in a vacation home. It just happens to be our own home.
In the mornings, I come down early to do my meditation and exercise. That is the foundation of my day. It feels like a quiet retreat here.
Although our neighborhood has always been peaceful, it is even quieter with fewer cars on the road. I can now hear the lovely birds outside, with their beautiful songs delighting me during my quiet meditation time.
I feel so blessed, sitting on our living room sofa. I am near the beautiful wooden buddha on the coffee table that came from the area that my father in law used to live in the Philippines. It feels like a retreat.
After mediation, I peek out the window and see that the sun is coming up, with a pink hue. It is a joy to get to see this sight on a Thursday morning.
Before this time, even though I did my meditations, I would not have taken the time to look out the window at the sunrise.
After my exercise time in our “retreat gym” area and after getting ready for the day, it’s time to open our “office canteen” for the day. Yes, we do work in our retreat home. However, it’s more like we are writers renting a cabin in the woods to complete our manuscript. That is how I choose to view it, and what fun it is to see it that way!
When the office canteen opens (I love the word canteen as I’ve learned from British shows) I make tea and breakfast. After breakfast, we get started on our work. We work in our lovely office center, our dining room table next to our kitchen and living room.
My husband has the workstation at one end of the table, and I work at the other end of the table at another workstation. We sometimes listen to our favorite 80’s playlists while we work, sometimes we work quietly.
Later on, my son comes down for breakfast and to do his schoolwork. He now has online classes that he loves. It’s fun that we can all have breakfast together now.
It used to be we would have a quick, very early morning breakfast together before rushing off to the school bus. Now, I allow my son to sleep in a bit and get a good rest before starting the day.
He usually finishes his schoolwork within two hours or so.
This morning we did the workout together that his teacher sent. It is a way for us to stay in good physical health and have fun and laugh together! Then, he has plenty of time to do his personal reading, draw, create more videos for his YouTube channel, and more.
My son is also our garbage and recycling expert. He is also on call to help with meal preparation and laundry duties.
I love living and working daily in our own vacation home at home. The work that I do here at our retreat is varied. I am the director of the meal program and the chef.
I am also the gardener and the maintenance person. I have started our vegetable garden in the back of our retreat to provide a real farm to table experience for ourselves as guests.
Yesterday I did some work on our vacation home by painting some siding that needed painting where our old deck had been two years ago.
It’s now a joy to go out to our retreat’s back garden to sit on the restaurant patio. We love to read on a blanket on the back lawn in the sunshine as we did late yesterday afternoon before the dinner hour.
We also have a wildlife program at our retreat. Every morning slightly after our own breakfast time, our animal guests consisting of squirrels and bluejays come to enjoy a buffet of peanuts in the shell.
My husband is our wildlife director as well as a floor cleaner and grocery list keeper. He created a peanut buffet for the squirrels inside of a flexible dryer hose that he puts a few peanuts in every morning.
Recently, he added songbird birdseed to a metal birdbath that we have hanging on our maple tree. With this new bath, we hope to attract even more birds to delight us as guests.
Our other wild guests include hummingbirds. Bees and butterflies can be spotted enjoying our property as well.
We look forward to future residents such as mason bees and butterflies moving into our insect home we attached to an apple tree earlier this spring.
Our restaurant program is well organized and delicious! Our possible dinner offerings are listed on the refrigerator in the chef’s kitchen. It is discussed at lunchtime what offerings are preferred by us, as guests.
We keep a running list of groceries and supplies needed by our kitchen and our household on an online grocery order. This list is adapted daily and kept up to date. We remain creative in the kitchen. We love to create new recipes as well as old classics.
The dining area is adaptable as it is our office center from after breakfast until lunch. Then, a workstation is stored for the dining table to be set for us. We always include eco-friendly cloth napkins and placemats.
On weekends we welcome virtual guests to our brunch, lunch, or dinner hours. These are a fun opportunity to share our experiences with friends and family.
One example brunch we prepared was homemade eggs benedict, vegetarian style. Our virtual guests enjoyed a similar meal in their own retreat home, and we had fun chatting with them.
Other weekend entertainment options include enjoying stories by the backyard fire pit, and sometimes smores feature there. Last weekend we took a field trip out to pick up pizza from a local pizza restaurant.
Although we love our home retreat’s meal program, it’s a nice treat to support a local business and take a short drive from our retreat in the comfort of our car. It’s often the only time of the week that I drive our retreat’s vehicle.
Our usual daily outings are walks around our retreat’s neighborhood. We love to see how nature is unfolding in this spring season.
One of our favorite parts of our retreat days is when we are getting ready to go to sleep, we will gather and chat and laugh about things.
Last night we had such fun reminiscing and laughing about moments on our trip to Japan last summer. We were laughing so hard and having so much fun!
It reminds me of times we have on vacations, but now we get to enjoy those times daily.
Our life at the retreat has slowed down so that we can enjoy it like a daily vacation even though we do work and school work every day.
Can you see the perspective shift of treating your home as a resort?