Guest Post Sunday – Sandra Kelly.

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I’m a quote girl! Not all quotes do it for me though. I’m a bit picky. The beautiful picture that accompanies this post was actually taken from my massage room I created when I practiced Hot Stone Massage Therapy at a lovely old cottage in my home town.

I miss the mood and atmosphere of that room; the mesmerising influence of flickering candles; the inspirational wall quotes framed in soft lamp lighting; the scent of oil burners and aromatic essential massage oils; the chairs draped in comfy throw rugs and cushions; Willow Tree angel figurines adorning the shelves peeking through fake ivy and pale pink rose garlands; the imitation log fire heater exuding warmth and ambient glow; the soothing music calming the soul; and my lovely massage table dressed with cosy blankets and snuggly pillows. It was a blissful haven.

You couldn’t help but breathe a deep sigh and feel your shoulders droop and loosen the moment you walked in.

I wanted to create a space where people instantly felt different as soon as they walked in. Not necessarily feel better straight away (hopefully that would come after the massage) just different once they crossed that threshold from the world they were leaving behind on the other side of the door to the peace that lay welcoming them.

It became my safe place. I too felt different as soon as I entered that room and I miss it… terribly.

Before I had my beautiful massage therapy room to visit there was always the bathroom at home. Yes, I said the bathroom. We have a rather large en-suite to accommodate my husband’s wheelchair and in one corner I placed a small wooden rocking chair that was used for holding towels and fresh clothes and my butt when I wanted some ‘me time’ and wasn’t able to leave the house.

While the noise of televisions, computer games and the loud witty banter of seven people and of course the glorious sound of teenage children harmoniously chatting and laughing while agree-ably doing the evening meal dishes filled the air (Yep… Nope, that never happened), I would often escape to the loo.

There I would sit… on my rocking chair… not the loo!

There I would sit… quietly rocking, eyes closed, head cushioned, arms relaxed, feet gently touching the floor, breathing slowly and deeply as I smiled, marvelling at my own resourceful genius.

At my feet would be opened bottles of fragrant shampoo. The window would be ajar just enough for the easterly breeze to play with the lace curtain. I could even hear the peaceful sound of a trickling fountain thanks to the basin tap being nudged on just a tad. Ahhh the serenity of woman made sensory bliss.

I might have only managed two minutes of rocking back and forth in my happy place; sometimes I’d even manage ten! More often than not the sensory perception and happy place image would go “poof” shattered by an annoyed voice bellowing “MUUUM?” or “AUNTY SANDRAAA ?” or “Knock, Knock… I know you’re in there dear!” But it was long enough to save my sanity… or someone’s ears being ceremoniously ripped off.

I’m sorry to tell all you young Mum’s out there that even teenage children (and husbands motorised by battery operated wheeled contraptions) follow you to the loo. It just takes them a bit longer to notice you are missing but at least they progress to yelling talking to you through the bathroom door… mostly.

Now that a few children have flown the coop and only return home occasionally to roost, I am in the process of claiming a room in the house all for myself. I’m slowly surrounding myself with all my pretties and favourite things. I have heaps of scented candles as opposed to open shampoo bottles and TWO chairs to choose from for those ‘kick back happy place’ moments.

As all mums, wives and carers do, you just go about your day and steal moments of quiet where you can to recharge your batteries. But after having the luxury of a beautiful haven to work from for a moment in time, I have managed to push my guilt aside at my perceived self- indulgence and I’m enjoying creating a hideaway to welcome that different feeling once again.

So tell me if you have your own safe happy place to retreat too?

If not, have I inspired you to create one?

Are you about to tip hubby off the couch and drag him out to the overflowing garden shed with tape measure in one hand and credit card in the other ready to storm Bunnings on a Sunday arvo to create your retreat or off-limits ‘bat cave’?

Men have their sheds. Kids have… well every damn room in the house if we are going to be honest. And if you are a resourceful genius like me you will at least have a rocking chair in the bathroom… or walk-in wardrobe… maybe the cupboard under the stairs?

“Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person
Is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian!”-Shari R Barr

About Sandra

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I’m a wife and carer to my chronically ill and very cheeky husband, a mother of four delightful children (a cherished one of our own and three more we chose to own and cherish) and a breast cancer survivor.

Already a seasoned soggy rain dancer I invite you to join me as I share my stories of caring, surviving and living life as I learn to dance in the rain again after one of the stormiest years of my existence. Visit my blog here.