Reclaiming a space and making a commitment to use it
My front deck was a space I rarely used. When we first moved in several years ago the deck boards were beige and the front door was brown. A few years ago, at my request and selection, we painted the floor purple and the door yellow. Some summers I hung potted plants from the veranda but often they ended up neglected and drying out. The best they ever did was the year I decided to put sanitary napkins in under the bottom of the soil to retain water better. But overall, the deck wasn’t used much. A hammock hung from one end but often sat empty.
This year I was determined to make better use of the space. For a few years we had a patio table and chair set on the back deck, but it never got used, the umbrella often blew over or I would find it too hot to sit in the sun. The front deck had excellent potential in my opinion. It was fully covered, shaded, and I did always enjoy the wildlife that came to the feeders.
I have a few sunflower seed feeders that feed the birds over the winter, the feeders come down long enough to convince the raccoons or bears to move on. One spring, bears batted down the feeders so they came down until I feel like the raccoons have moved on elsewhere. I also put a motion detector light under the feeder when the raccoons refused to leave it alone, which helped significantly. I monitor the migration map of the hummingbirds each season and always look forward to moving the hummingbird feeders from the downstairs storage shelves to their post on the front deck. So while the bird feeders, the purple boards, and the yellow door have always existed, I admired them from inside the living room. However, this year in early spring I began looking for a conversation set for the front deck.
I’m a researcher and often want to find the best, most perfect, or at least most suitable option available whenever I purchase something. I want to be sure about my decision. It took some time to come upon a beautiful set with high reviews that were on sale at Canadian Tire. The only negative review was that a screw hole could sometimes be out of place, it was a risk I was willing to take. I ordered the set in March and picked it up curbside at Canadian Tire. The set came with some dented arms but they were replaced with relative ease through customer service of the company that made the furniture.
Since March, the space has developed into quite the oasis. I made a pallet planter for some of my favorite herbs and greens. I found the most perfect yellow pillows cases that would match the front door to adorn my patio furniture with. A big plush white blanket, a gift from my nieces keeps me warm, and I even purchased a mat for under the coffee table of the conversation set, though it’s more like a blanket than a mat. I also found two ferns on Marketplace that are enjoying the summer heat, they make me think of tropical places.
Sometimes you need to make the commitment to yourself to relax and enjoy the spaces that you love. When I purchased that conversation set, I did so with a commitment to myself to eat out there often, to relax and read there, and to enjoy the little things from that perch. Over the summer thus far I have done just that. My family also helped me renovate the front garden beds which breathes fresh life into the space, and into the hydrangeas! I have enjoyed seeing a wide variety of birds at the feeders, followed by endless hummingbirds. I have eaten many meals, read many pages of my books, and have even enjoyed Netflix out there.
I love how the purple clematis climbs through the railing, how my dog Bailey likes to curl up under the love seat, and how Rosie’s black fur contrasts against the rainbow-colored mat when she lays down under my feet. If I refer to my “I love lists” (A list on my fridge of the things I love), the outdoor space ticks many of the boxes: plants, nature, birdfeeders, reading, food, sleep.
Perhaps ponder a space that you would like to reclaim, that would increase your happiness. You don’t need to purchase big-ticket items, but perhaps you could take some time to make little adjustments to a space in, or around your home that would allow you to enjoy it further.