“Today there are fewer places to discover, and the real adventure is to stay home.”
This sentence has given me food for thought since I first came across it in the nineties, in the introduction to a collection of G.K. Chesterton essays put together by Father Alvaro de Silva. I wanted to use it as the motto of The Bower (my original little homemaking magazine) and wrote to Father de Silva asking for permission, which he graciously gave. Two decades along, it is becoming the motto for what I feel is my work at the moment, to get back home in all the ways that can mean, but especially in how I work and spend my time.
Looking back on the last several years, since getting back to earning a living after caring for my mom ended in late 2012, I see that I became something of a wanderer in the online world…both in the participating and the partaking…Facebook, Google plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Etsy, free webinars, forums, teaching sites, email lists, group after group after group of one sort and another. Most all of this searching and experimenting was in search of new ways to find my people, as the whole pattern of my doing business had unraveled in the years I was my sweet mother’s caregiver…the devoted customers at the shows I did, the whole world of Small Meadow Press, my creative orientation, really.
If you are mostly online for pleasure and practical reasons, it may be hard to understand how far away from home one can wander in the online world when one is there-in the main-for one’s livelihood. If you aren’t finding the success you want, or are used to (as I was pre-2009) there are So Many People and courses out there offering help in finding your way. And I have an inkling that there are certain personalities (raising my hand) who are ever curious and hopeful and aspiring and are ripe for all that the interwebs now offer. Perhaps this is what they call “shiny object syndrome?” I certainly found some goodness amongst all the dross, but tho’ some of the places I ended up had looked inviting, in the end, they never felt home-like.
Some of what I am trying to put into words is just the inevitable swing of the pendulum that we experience in many realms of life. We go quite far in one direction for awhile, then we know it is time to correct, to balance, and we swing back aways. This happens often in the material realm, as the over-full thrift stores reflect. But the balancing going on for me now is in the spiritual and mental realms…and the down-to-earth realm of crafting a life, and a business. However it might be described, I see the mists of the last many years lifting, and have found the path home and am taking first steps.
What is home to me in the online world? It is this blog. And Wisteria & Sunshine (surprise! another blog.) This is what feels comfortable, sheltered and nourishing to me. Everything else these days is receiving my careful attention and…
How does it feel?
How do I feel about who owns it and how it works?
Is it an important piece of the patchwork of my life and work, or are there alternatives that fit more beautifully into the whole?
This is where my thoughts are in all the spare moments these days, when I am not watching swallows encircling the sky above fields, drinking in the sunsets, designing lovely pages in my studio, navigating the latest hormonal symptoms or resting on the porch sofa. It feels like a real heart & soul task, to untangle our earnest, loving lives and businesses from the snarled, artificial tangle so many of the platforms and companies have made it. I know it’s not very Lesley-like to say, but I feel my job these days is to “stick it to the man” as the phrase goes, in creative and gentle ways. To not become too much a part of the matrix. And, indeed, it does feel like an adventure, one which will bring me ever closer home.
Will you be joining me as I clear a likely path?