Material and Spiritual: My Saturday

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Today was delightful on two counts. I participated in a conference on women and spirituality. And we moved into the basement of our home so we can get the renos done.

First, the conference. There were representatives of 9 different faith traditions, responding in turn to a series of questions about why we believe, how it affects our lives, and the role of women in our traditions. It was inspiring to hear others speak about their experiences – just like me, though different – and I felt that renewed spiritual energy that I always have after discussing spirituality. I often find I’m even more inspired after interfaith discussions than those with just members of one faith. Discussions across faiths enables me to recognize the universalities that are true religion, deepening my commitment to them and broadening my understanding of what they mean. Interfaith dialogue is so valuable from that perspective, enriching our understanding of our own faith, even while it connects is more to others.

I also saw some old friends and acquaintances there, lovely given my limited social life of late.

The other major activity of the day was the move. We came to the inspired decision a couple of months ago that in order to move ahead in any direction, we need to complete our house; and the most efficient way to do that would be to move into the basement (already complete), leaving the main floor free for my husband to work his magic. Our tenants decided to move out at just about the right time, creating the perfect opportunity for us.

Husband and a helper moved most of the big things down over the course of the week; then today, they moved the bed, coffee table, and ALL the rest (okay, most of it: dishes, food, fridge/freezer, clothes, front door mess, etc.) Baby was in heaven! Finally able to get down into the forbidden basement place; a cozy, fun retreat full of her favourite people and things. She was laughing, playing, running back and forth. I’m so eager to see how she likes things in a new, smaller space. I have the feeling that children often like smaller. It’s cozier, their things are closer, their people are nearby … it’s more kid-sized.

I’m also kind of in heaven. Strange, given that we’re losing several hundred square feet, plus some functionality (the only interior door is the bathroom, resulting in a need for quiet after baby’s bedtime). However, we’re finally getting our things into an even more compressed, manageable space. With less storage, we want to HAVE less and so are going through and getting rid of more.

The space already feels kind of together after barely a day. Still some sorting, purging and organizing to do, but it’s approaching functional. Admittedly, we haven’t moved everything down. We’ve left a few furniture pieces, and, notably, our books + one cabinet of videos (we really need to purge those!!). However, the bulk of what we have or use is here. We will then go through what’s left upstairs, deciding if we really need it.

Though I don’t love basements, ours feels really cozy. There’s a wide ledge around most of the space, creating a sense of roominess greater than it is. It’s open, and has pretty good light. The bedroom is SO cozy and nook-like, I hvae a strong urge to cuddle in and stay there.

And oh, having less space to lose baby and things! I won’t have to run around the whole house getting things or seeing where she’s playing. Her toys will be more manageable (plus we’ll put away a few). We will need to buy fewer things, because we have less space to put them. These all feel like huge positives.

I look forward to providing updates as this new adventure progresses. I am sure there will be challenges – accessing our files & some of our surplus goods; the noise (that will be a real problem); missing our gas stove and front-loading washer. However, I am embracing the positive and celebrating the opportunity to downsize like we’ve discussed forever.

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