I have kept a little white bookshelf in my kitchen for the past dozen or so years. It represented my Life As Homeschool Mom and was filled with all sorts of books; current curriculum, references, and my favorite childhood reads.
A few weeks ago we chose to put our youngest back in school. It was the right decision, one born out of much thought and prayer. He’s happy and thriving, is reconnecting with friends and loves his teacher. It was clearly a God-inspired leading. Whew! One major transition executed pretty painlessly. That makes me a happy mommy.
On the heels of Little Squirt’s re-entry to school, I moved the bookshelf down into the basement, and replaced it with my tea cart. I wanted to mark this new season of Retirement From Life As Homeschool Mom with a bit of purposeful decorating. My tea cart is more than just a carrier of tea things. It represents my new life season. My Year of Space.
On the bottom shelf of the tea cart I placed my art books. I have collected these over the years, and love to peruse the pages, soak up the beauty, and share my favorite pictures with my kids. I come from a family of artists. I have an artist’s heart, and dabble in drama and writing. I’d love to take some time, now, to explore the visual arts. Perhaps I’ll draw or paint. Or maybe I’ll take a class. During My Year of Space, I have the space to find out if this is a new love or hidden talent of mine. Or maybe I’ll resurrect my drama skills. We’ll see.
In my tea cart’s glass case I display a few favorite china pitchers and tea cups and my crystal creamer. Some were gifts, and one was a trinket from our honeymoon in London. Coffee is my drink of choice, first thing in the morning. It wakes me up and stimulates my mind. But tea is my drink of choice when attempting to unwind. I love a late afternoon break with Earl Grey, sipping and pausing, breathing deeply. I reflect with envy on my U.K. ancestors who settled down ceremoniously for afternoon tea and scones. That, my friends, is living.
I also associate tea with friendships. I remember coming home from school as a little girl and seeing my mother enjoy a “cuppa” with a neighbor. I’d do my homework to the sounds of their conversation and laughter, feeling warm inside. I, too, love to meet friends for tea. And in this season of my life, I have the space and time to invest more into my friendships…to linger over that jasmine green while fully being present to them, without one eye on the clock. I have more time to deepen some friendships now. That is always a good thing.
On the top shelf of my tea cart is one of my favorite pictures of my children, taken years ago. I was homeschooling two at the time, with a toddler in tow. It was a crazy, busy season of life, but I loved every minute of it. I was born to be a mom. I adore mothering my children. I have two young adult children in college now, and my relationship with them is changing. My mothering is transitioning into mentoring. My role as mother is changing into one of friend. It’s new for all of us. I’ve never done this before! But we’re learning together.
So, in this season between Homeschooling and Job, I am living in My Year of Space. It is my time for a bit of ME…to think about what I want to do with the rest of my life, explore some new territory, take some pauses, enjoy my friendships, and learn to parent adult children well.
If you are over at my house, feel free to browse the art books on my tea cart. Then I’ll pour you a hot cup of lemon zinger, and we can sit, relax, and talk about life.