‘To fall into a habit is to begin to cease to be’ Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life
In my home I have things how I like them, where I like them which means I do a lot of things automatically. As a Type A person, I’m always busy at home: cleaning, cooking, gardening. I rarely have nothing to do. So it was a treat to leave home and housesit my friend Gwen’s apartment while she was traveling in Cuba. Her apartment is across the Harbour Bridge in Rozelle about 10 kilometres from where I live and has a wonderful sunny balcony with lovely water views.
Small wonder most people stay within the same area when they move home: it’s risky to make a big change to where you live in without actually living in a new area. Housesitting is a great way to ‘test’ a different location.
I read (especially Gwen’s great cookbooks), did sudokus and crossword puzzles, watched DVDs and enjoyed the Bay walk and bike ride. I appreciated small differences and new things: the caesarstone kitchen benchtop, really sharp knives, wonderful natural light (and a bright bedside light), a huge laundry sink, the sunny balcony with views. The only things I missed were: gas for cooking, my daily newspaper delivery and my bath tub.
This was an excellent way to change my daily habits and to ‘try out’ a different suburb with it’s unexplored shops and restaurants. I noticed things like aircraft sweeping overhead (I got used to them and liked spotting the A380 each evening) and the neighbourhood (a friendly and a very mixed community). It shook me out of my domestic comfort zone and gave me a chance to reflect on what I need to live comfortably. Living in a more compact space with less stuff freed up a lot of time.I had the freedom to just ‘be’. I happily had a minimal wardrobe of clothes which made me keen to pare down my wardrobe along the lines of Fashion Project 33. Finally, close access to the Bay Walk reinforced how important it is for me to be walking distance from a recreational area like a park or beach: if I can’t walk to it, I’m less likely to use it.
See the Change Explained tab for more on: EXPERIMENTING