“All nature works, and then rests; works and rests. I caught its rhythm and worked and rested with it. When I felt that inertia stealing over me, I rested; and while resting my power recuperated – the tide rose in me.”
-Elizabeth Towne, 1904
There is a quote on money that is similar to the one above. I’ve read it once, twice, a million times. It’s popular enough that I’ll read it again next month, but for the life of me I can’t find it online or in any of my books. Roughly paraphrased, money ebbs and flows much like the ocean’s tide. It goes in and out of your life in varying degrees every day for the rest of your life. The goal, then, is to respect the process and respect your money. When you pay bills, know that it will return to you in one way or another. Life is a meticulous balance we try in vain to control.
Money, much like weight, is one of the great taboo subjects of our society. And while posts from earlier in the week suggest I’m about to open a second can of worms, I’m not. We have more than some, and if we didn’t decide to put the boys through private elementary school, we’d probably have more than some plus one, mainly because we are conservative with money. We would like to have more, though. We want to take vacations, fix the air conditioner in my car (buy a new car, really), do projects around the house, and go out to eat every Friday night. Until then, we’ll respect the process and respect our money.
We bought this campaign dresser off Craigslist for $60 two years ago. The Mister went to pick it up and came home traumatized. The family was actually several families living in a commune environment in an otherwise ordinary track house. There was more furniture than even five families needed. There was furniture in the garage, furniture on the lawn, and furniture in the driveway. It was obvious this was how the families made their money, or at least part of it. When he tried to leave, they gave him pages of church material (Church of the Goddess Light or something) and business cards for every single parishioner with a job. Need a haircut? Call Eva Luna. Need insurance? Abaddon is your man.
While the Mister was dodging business cards in a dark corner of a stuffed garage, I was at home emptying out the green secretary where we normally kept our bills. Once the campaign dresser was in place, I quickly realized that the entire contents of the secretary fit in one drawer of the dresser. So, I did that.
I had every intention of organizing it, and since I never did put a time limit on the chore, I can beat myself up too badly for taking two years to tackle one drawer. Really, when you look at most of the projects I’ve done this year, two years of procrastination is a success! This project is a success.
I bought a letter holder and a pencil tray from Target in a hideous, ordinary metal. I convinced myself to buy it because I thought it would look nice spray-painted brass to match the brass handles of the campaign dresser. When I got home, however, I found myself feeling tired and weak from the diet coke/caffeine/artificial sweeteners withdrawals (my blood pressure is really low for some reason). So, I scrapped the idea and embraced the ugly metal. That’s another great thing about abstaining from caffeine and artificial sweeteners. Not only do you improve your health, you no longer have freakish bouts of energy to tackle pointless and frivolous tasks.
Yep. This project ended up being 100% pure practicality.
This drawer is where we have kept our bills and stationery for the last few years, and while I knew where everything was, it didn’t give off an air of respecting the process and money. I cleared out random items we didn’t need to store in the drawer, like the music CDs and medical equipment (?) and limited the contents to bills, church tithe envelopes, stationery, and school supplies. Bills are on the right, stationery is on the left, and school supplies are in the middle. (The check box holds odds and ends for school; we keep our checks in a lock box somewhere else). The deck of cards are also for school. Mikey’s teacher likes to teach math concepts and speed arithmetic using cards. Ask me about the drills in the fall because I can’t remember now. I keep them there because it’s somewhere they remember to look when they need them, but not somewhere they are likely to go when they are bored.
Kind of boring, but satisfying all the same. The drawer is much easier to open and close now, as if that’s a great surprise. All told, I’m pleased with how respectful everything is looking in there. I fully expect the tide to change any day now.
This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.
Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment. A few guidelines:
- Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
- Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home. I have a delete button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
- No links to giveaways, please.
- Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.