I returned home a few weeks ago after a three-week absence, the longest I had been away for a few years in one stretch.
I suddenly saw the bedroom, robin’s egg blue, with fresh eyes, and I wanted a change, a big one.
Now it’s soft, warm gray — the same color we’ve had in our small dining room for a few years. It’s the exact shade of cigarette ash, soothing yet clean and crisp without being cold. (It’s called Modern Gray from Sherwin-Williams and the owners of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie [one of my favorite stores] have the exact same color in their country home.)
One of the great challenges of everyday life is being able to see things with fresh eyes. It all starts to blur after a while into a haze of comforting, familiar, routine sameness.
Putting my mother into a nursing home jolted me — hard — out of this stupor.
I sat with her at dinner, a silent room filled with nodding gray heads, and came home desperately grateful for my sweetie’s laughter and loud music and even the noisy small baby downstairs.
We sorted through boxes of her belongings, lovely things she had acquired from all over the world, from hand-embroidered dresses from India to a folk art wooden animal she bought in London. I came home determined to toss everything without meaning or serious value to me, from my old wedding ring to the armoire that’s been in the garage for three years.
The cost of her care every month is as much as we, combined, earn. Now we’re looking into long-term care insurance.
What has sharpened your vision lately?