(image from my home)
“I design and hand-print goods for the home and sell them on my online shop.” This was my quick and dirty answer to people I was just meeting who would ask the cliché question … “So what do you do?”
For the past three years, in between the work of planning and cooking daily meals, cleaning & organizing my home, walking my Beagle and Pit bull, running errands, helping with school projects, etc., I have worked on my home-based business, work that I really enjoy. So why did I so often feel uncertainty and somewhat discomfort when asked what I do?
Feeling somewhat “stuck” in my business, and lacking a clear focus about which direction I should take, at the start of the new year I decided “clarity” would be my word that would guide me through 2013. I began to practice yoga and simple meditations almost daily. During my practice I hoped that each breath would help me slow down long enough to notice where in my life I should be putting my attention. What became clear to me was a bit startling, and eye-opening yet not completely surprising.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a nester. I take great pride in creating a home that not only feels welcoming and nurturing to my family but also to anyone that visits. Therefore, it was not surprising to learn that those very tasks that I sometimes felt were getting in the way of me growing my online business were really where I was putting most of my attention, where I felt the most success and what felt like my most important work, even if I was not earning a living from it.
My days were full and fulfilling at the same time. I created daily meals with healthy, whole foods. This provided me and my family with foods that not only tasted good but also nourished us. I cleaned my home with eco-friendly cleaning products so that we could live in a clean and, non-toxic environment. I designed and handmade items which I hoped would help foster in my son the love of creativity and an appreciation for design and doing things yourself. I recycled in an attempt to lessen waste. I composted. I made it a point of thoughtfully bringing items into our home that had a soul and a story to tell either by being hand-crafted, thrifted or made by my own hands.
Everything I did for my home was intentional and done with an awareness and reverence to the art of Homemaking.
I was not only hand-crafting goods but most importantly I was also hand-crafting a home consistent with my values.
This new perspective to homemaking turned everyday tasks into meaningful experiences. In my heart I knew that my role as a Homemaker was important and valuable. Yet, I wasn’t convinced that much of society saw it that way. So I just kept it to myself. I was a "closet-homemaker" because I was afraid that some folks would see my endeavours as unambitious or as a slap in the face to all those woman of our past who worked so hard to get woman out of the role of traditional homemaker.
I am not saying my ideas are for everyone.
However, where I am today in my recent self-journey feels much more aligned to what feels right for me and my family. Just as yoga and meditation help me to connect to my breath in order to quiet my mind and body, taking pride in being a homemaker and “heart-crafting” a home helps me to connect to my most authentic self and with the ones I love the most. At my core, home is truly where my heart is.
I’ve also come to realize that no one was judging me just because I preferred the job of homemaker over the job of entrepreneur. The only person judging me was ME. I still consider myself a maker of handmade goods but I am also a maker of the Home.
With all that being said, this year I will begin sharing posts that I will call HOMEMAKING MODERN.
Here I will honor the tradition of homemaking but in a somewhat untraditional sense. Homemaking Modern will be about introducing a perspective of gratitude, & creativity around caring for your home. Through my journey I have learned that the day to day “chores” do not need to merely feel like distractions or something to dread but can be seen as opportunities to make deliberate, mindful choices to help create a healthy, happy home (it doesn't hurt to have some well-designed, pretty cleaning tools). Homemaking Modern is all about living Simply and living lovely through design, healthy, easy recipes, healthy non-toxic cleaning products, hand-crafted goods and art and simple green living.
In essense, Homemaking Modern is about crafting an environment that is your most intimate expression of who you are!
I hope you will join me on my journey to crafting a home by my own design!
P.S. I hope you will share your stories, ideas and products that help you create the place you call home. :)