The Impact of Environment
How are you relating to yours?
This week I’ve been thinking about my environment. I posted a photo online of my art studio and mentioned some of the places and spaces I used to use for creativity. I’ve moved house 19 times in the last 30 years and have spent a great deal of time doing up places to make them nice to live in.
When you create an environment, be it a living room, bedroom, creative studio or fitness area, how do you go about it? Do you spend the least money and make it ‘make do’? Or do you buy the best you can and invite your friends round (when possible)? Do you get someone else to do it or are you more about DIY?
Is it ever done? In my experience it is an ongoing cycle, as soon as you are finished you have to start again. But how do you notice what needs to be done? How much do you care?
In the busyness of our day to days, it is easy to continually overlook something. We had a hole in our kitchen ceiling for over a year before getting it fixed, it has been another year and while I have decorated my hallways and stairs and our front room, had the outside repainted and tidied up the garden, plus I’m halfway through both childrens’ bedrooms (can’t do one before the other!) I still haven’t painted over the plaster on the kitchen ceiling.
What I’m interested in is our attitude to our space. When I moved out of my family home I was 17. Over the next few years I lived in conditions many people would run a mile from, thankfully not for a long time now but at the time I was content with it as it served a function, I made it as nice as I could with a lot of creativity and very little money. I didn’t think I deserved or could expect anything more. It is all about standards.
And satisfaction with those standards. As a child I had a tiny box room for a bedroom. It contained a single bed and a bedside table. A piece of wood served as a desk along one wall which rested on a baton and a chest of drawers. Despite the seeming lack of options, as a teen I rearranged it every week or so, usually on a Sunday night, there were a surprising number of ways it could be done. Looking back I think this was due to the fact that no matter how I arranged it, I wasn’t satisfied - mainly because my sister had the room next door which was massive and had Habitat wallpaper, so no amount of rearranging furniture was going to make me like my box room. But it became my standard.
Our environment is just one area of our lives, how you show up for it is how you show up for everything else. If you don’t take care of your environment, you are possibly not taking care of your physical health, relationships, career or money either, how much fun do you permit yourself?
In my social media post of my art studio, I remembered when I lived in a flat not much bigger than the studio, it was about 12-15 feet square with a tiny shower room attached. The kitchen took up one wall, a big window much of the other. I fitted in: a double futon, a settee, a clothes rail with shelf above and clothes shelving, I had a dining table and an industrial sewing machine. I lived there for three years. At the time I was content with it but I dreamed of having a whole house with a room dedicated to being creative and now I have that it feels wonderful. The only slight issue is that now I also have had a carpet upgrade and it isn’t as easy to get to the bathroom on the next floor down to wash brushes. So my next studio will be on the ground floor, with doors to the garden and a sink all to itself.
If you’d like to explore how you are relating to your environment, I’m sharing the first part of my five part course Find Your Future in Five Days. If you enjoy it I’ve taken 25% off the rest of the course, just use the code FUTURE25 at checkout. Click HERE to get the free course module.
Please let me know how you get on with it,
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Have a wonderful week, whichever room of your house you are in.