For a while now, I've been keenly aware of the need for a space of my own. Somewhere I can spread out all my work stuff or photography stuff and really concentrate on it. At the moment my space is the dining room table, and having all my stuff out there really contributes to a constant state of clutter and disarray.
I used to be able to handle it a bit better, but lately it's been grating on my nerves. I don't know if it's the new way I'm thinking about things, or the drugs even, but it's making me a little stressed.
Anthony and I had talked about it a few times, with me emphasising that he doesn't really know what it's like, as he has his massive shed out the back as well as his aviaries. Eventually he got the message and suggested that I use Samuel's room.
But after thinking about it for a few days, I told Anthony that I wouldn't really feel comfortable using Sam's room for that. So he suggested that we move in there. And that's what we did.
Oliver was busy with his friends all weekend, so I decided I'd at least make a start. I started by emptying Sam's room. I liked the idea of having memories of Sam with us in the lounge room area, rather than enshrined in his bedroom, so I created a shelf in the lounge room:
My apologies for the quality of the picture, it was dark and I was tired. I'll take a better one soon and replace it.
This is what I've put on there:
- On top: His Broncos football and stand thingy. He was a Broncos fan, but didn't really watch rugby much. His friends were quite into footy, so I guess that's where it came from (certainly not from us - we're not big sports fans in this house).
- Top shelf: Gritty Kitty, the stuffed tiger he'd had for years (for a while it was a bed partner, but even though he was well into his teens, it still stayed on top of his cupboard, with a bunch of other stuffed toys; mostly tigers as he had a real thing for them); a lego ship he built; and a little penguin he made in high school textiles.
- Next shelf: A photo of him as a baby, sitting in his high chair at my parent's place; his key rings, including a bit of twisted plastic he made in year 6; his rip curl beanie; his sunnies; his watch and his wallet (it still has $5 in it - I'm surprised he had any cash!)
- Middle Shelf: His ashes (wrapped in his Green Day concert shirt); a Living End t-shirt and his year 8 school photo.
- Second from bottom: His money box (we still out change in it); his Aussie glitter hat; A photo of him with Anthony, his Nanna, Oliver and Jonathon (his half brother); a model guitar we bought for him when we were in Perth.
- Bottom shelf (not in photo): the clothes he was wearing the day before he died (in a box); the cards and paperwork from his funeral; his baby album.
I got the idea for the shelf from Kate, a fellow blogger and grieving mum (thanks Kate). The rest of Sam's stuff I packed into a cupboard in the spare room. I'm not going to get rid of anything yet, and it's all arranged in there so we can look through any time we want. I felt a bit funny doing it, but I guess the pragmatist in me decided it was an important step.
As for the other rooms, as I said I (single-handedly - Anthony was busy) moved the furniture and vacuumed and arranged. All weekend.
Anthony and I have moved into Sam's room; a bit smaller, but we really only use it for sleeping (etc!), so it doesn't really matter.
We moved Oliver into the master bedroom and gave him Sam's old double bed. Some people might not agree with this move, but we've actually done it before. When Sam was younger, he had the master bedroom until Oliver came along. We figured that while all adults do is sleep (etc!), kids actually use their room: they play, have sleepovers, etc. So it makes sense that their room is bigger. Of course that's difficult when there are two kids. We had intended to extend Sam's room at one stage, so both the boys could have big rooms, but hadn't got there yet. So for now, Oliver gets the big room.
And Oliver's old room is now my study. It's the only one I haven't finished arranging, but then again, I've got lots of stuff to arrange (I feel a big purge coming on!)
I feel a bit better now (and will even more when I've cleared the clutter from the living room), apart from the absolute exhaustion I felt yesterday (I was asleep by 8:15pm last night). I've had a couple of really good night's sleep in the new bedroom, and I think Anthony's happy with it too.
The only problem now is, I want to repaint and buy some new furniture! We still have the same bright blue and yellow paint in the bedrooms, and an odd assortment of bits and pieces we've always had, and I'd like to do a bit of updating. The first item on the list is a couple of big bookcases for my study. I'm thinking a dark brown, tall sturdy......
We'll see how we go.