A new year and a new perspective

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a long time since I wrote on my blog, and I’ve really missed writing. It’s the one part of Mrs Goodness that really fulfills me, even though it can hurt my brain a bit these days (I seem to have lost some parts of my brain since becoming a mummy… 😞). However, my December was really taken up with shop orders and making more Mrs Goodness kits, quality time spent with the family, as well as Christmas preparations of course!  If you want your family to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, mostly-organic, low-sugar, with low-waste, then it’s pretty reasonable to expect you will do most of the cooking; which I did, and fortunately it was greatly appreciated by everyone!  Everyone was so incredibly thoughtful about gifts that I’m proud to say we had a very-close-to-zero-waste Christmas without losing any of the fun that comes with gift-giving at Christmas.

But as you may have noticed, it wasn’t just December that was low on Mrs Goodness blog posts.  We sold our house in July last year, and since then my stories have been few and far between.  After selling our beloved home in the city, we bought a piece of land in a little town just out of Hamilton, and moved across town and into my father-in-law’s house with him.  Our plan is to stay here while we design our dream (sustainable) house and build a workshop on the section.  We can then move into the workshop so that my father-in-law can sell his house, the proceeds of which will fund the house-build – he will have his own self-contained living space in our new house.  With my background in architecture (I studied architecture at university many, many years ago…) I feel like I get to realise an old and mostly-forgotten dream of designing and building my own home.

As you can imagine, we are all very excited about our future in the beautiful little town of Pirongia, and my husband and I are very impatient to move out to our section as soon as we can.  However, life doesn’t unfold as quickly and easily as we impatient people would like, and so progress has been a lot slower than we imagined (no surprise to my father-in-law of course, because he is wiser and has built two houses himself in his lifetime!).  My husband broke his collarbone in October, and it has been re–ally slow to heal (x-rays show it’s only just starting to knit together now) so he’s been in chronic pain and discomfort for 3 months already, and he’s been feeling frustrated and often grumpy as a result.  I, on the other hand, have been frustrated by our living arrangement, which is perfectly comfortable but…  how can I explain it?  …it’s just not my house.  And it’s not my kind of house either.  This wouldn’t have been a big deal at all when I was in my twenties but now I am heading for the big four-O in a couple of weeks and I have my own family, I yearn for my own space (I have none atm; it’s driving me mad) where I can express myself – my personality, my interests, my loves, my hopes and dreams – through my home and garden, as I did in our old place.  I miss my furniture, my photos, my artworks, my books, my plants – they’re all packed away in boxes, and most of my plants are being babysat by my parents.  I’ve struggled to feel inspired to write about anything other than food, which is something I’ve been able to continue here, in spite of a kitchen which also drives me mad, haha.

I’m sure all of you reading this already know that I just need a good dose of perspective, and thanks to my friends and family I have been reminded of this fact regularly.  But what better reason to come to this conclusion myself and embrace a shift in perspective than a new year? A few days into this (promising) new year, I had a bit of an epiphany.  I realised I’ve been avoiding my Mrs Goodness writing because I’ve been pining for my old life and the Mrs Goodness blog I had planned in my mind. The one where I write about how perfect my home is and how I love living in it (sustainably).  But my New Year’s resolution for 2018 is to accept the changes I’ve chosen to make (and the ones I haven’t) and allow Mrs Goodness to evolve honestly, with the changes.  Although progress has been slow with our new house design, we actually have made progress!  (And I guess slow, thoughtful progress is probably the best, most sustainable kind really…🤔) I’ve done lots of drawing and design work on the plans and elevations, we’ve made decisions about how we’re going to organise our waste water, electricity, and heating (we farewelled the idea of a fireplace just recently), and just before Christmas we signed up with the very experienced rammed earth house building team of Terra Firma to help us with our big project. So this year, instead of avoiding writing about anything other than food, I intend to share with you stories of my house plans, garden plans, sustainable lifestyle plans, and hopefully moving-in-to-a-big-garage stories too!  I also have some more zero-waste experiments to share, like my new love affair with salt!  I expect there won’t be any Perfect House blog posts for a good wee while, but hopefully you will be happy to read along with me as I document my daydreams and schemes with all their imperfections, successes and failures, in this blog called ‘Mrs Goodness’.

Here’s to a wonderful 2018 and a new decade in my life that might just end up being my best!

xox Esther

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