My Sanctuary at Home

Now more than ever, it is so important to have a feeling of calm and peace at home. Now that we have gone into our 6th lockdown in Victoria since the start of Covid, we literally cannot go anywhere but stay home. I find it so crucial now to make sure that we enjoy the feeling of just being at home, and that home has everything I need to make me feel happy and fulfilled.

Little things like keeping it mostly tidy makes a big difference. Studies have shown that a chaotic and messy home can lead to anxiety and stress. Little touches to make home feel like a retreat also helps – I have most definitely invested in a lot more scented candles and pillows and throw rugs to give our home that “AirBnB feeling”. Little treats like an outdoor pool in summer and a firepit in winter also keeps us pretty happy whenever we can’t travel anywhere to experience these things.

Most importantly, we each have our own personal space and “happy spots”. Originally a three-bedroom home, we have built internal walls and have added doors to turn our home into a five-bedroom house – allowing the front room to be my home office, and the original dining room to be my husband’s study. The kids have their own bedrooms and yes, their computers are also in their bedrooms. Before anyone goes judging, or worrying about the kids having unmonitored screen time, we have put things in place so the kids can’t actually log on to their computers without our permission, and they are restricted by the number of hours allowed – and they definitely cannot have any access at all between 6pm – 8.30am.

Just over a week ago, I spontaneously decided to walk into a music shop and bought myself a new guitar. It wasn’t because there was anything wrong with my old guitar – I just wanted a new toy. I wanted to be newly inspired to sing, play and write music. So I bought a new acoustic guitar – my Tanglewood Blackbird. Then, what started as a spontaneous decision to splurge on a new guitar got me wanting a whole music room. So, I started looking at keyboards and digital piano online. When I first mentioned this idea to my husband, he just somewhat dismissed it and said that I should play my new guitar first and enjoy it. I didn’t really argue with the fact that it makes sense to just spend more time with my new baby first.. and thought I’d just bring up the keyboard idea again the following week lol.

Two days later, my husband woke me up on a Sunday morning and surprised me with a whole shopping day planned. He had looked up not only keyboards, but drum kits, bass guitars, and other musical accessories online! Long story short, we spent our Sunday driving around picking up my new keyboard, and drum kit, and clearing space in my home office to set up my music corner. Oh, I am so happy with how my room has transformed into my ultimate sanctuary. We got a couple of microphone stands, a new drum stool, a selfie ring for when I decide to film myself playing and singing… haha (for now it works as a desk light for when I need more light to read music sheets on the keyboard), my husband got the drums all set up on the amplifier and speakers, and he is still trying to work out how to connect everything to the computer for recording. He’s like my personal Sound Engineer, lol which makes sense since he used to actually do Sound Desk stuff at church many years ago and he is really into getting things to work and figuring stuff out. I am still waiting for my guitar stands to arrive, and we may be getting a bass guitar next but for now, I am more than happy.

After almost a week, it is pretty clear that I am the only person in this family who actually has any rhythm and the ability to play music by ear… lol. But, like most things, practice makes perfect. So, slowly the rest of my family will be able to pick some skills up. The kids haven’t played much – probably just 10 mins a day, but it’s a start. Hubby is determined to catch up to me, lol it’s that competitive side of him. As for me, music is in my blood. I grew up with music, and although I haven’t really had much professional training, I pick things up very quickly and it really does help to have natural rhythm and coordination lol. Playing the drums has been so much fun, and I amaze myself at how quickly I pick things up in just a few days of practice. As for the keys, the more and more I play, the more I discover I can actually do… so it’s a work in progress. I haven’t gotten far in the songwriting front, that will probably take the most time. I have just been brushing up on some of the old songs I wrote from 20 years ago – and playing covers and also some Christian worship music.

What more can I say, I miss travel. I miss being able to hop on a plane back to Malaysia anytime I want and see my family and friends – but since we can’t do any of that right now, and doesn’t look likely that we will be able to anytime soon – home is where my heart needs to be. We all have to stay strong and stay positive during these times, and the only way to cope is to be content and thankful for what we have.

I am SO thankful and so content. I am home. I love my home. My family is healthy and we are safe. That’s all that matters right now.

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