"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce


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Thursday, 31 May 2012

BOOK NOOK; Moving On by Sarah Ban Breathnach

It is often said that a woman's home is a reflection of her soul and in her book Moving On author Sarah Ban Breathnach explores the psychology of home making and the nesting instinct in women.

I have always had a very strong nesting instinct; though there are areas where I fall far short of expectations!  I don't garden for a start, until its absolutely necessary and then I do so with much resentment as I think of good writing time being wasted.  I don't/can't/won't cook and as I eat like a bird and remain single and child free this has never posed too much of a problem for me personally, but I dare say it is likely to put off any potential beau.

I do enjoy putting together beautiful rooms and creating spaces which make the soul sigh in comfort and joy.  A little imagination can go a long way, and with a weekend of hard work a room can be completely transformed from a mediocre space into an enchanted realm of magic and wonder.

The place we live says much about our personality; our tastes, hobbies, work life and general interests.  Anyone can see from a tour around the rooms of my house that I am a romantic, a dreamer, a writer, a book worm, a music lover, a film buff, an ice-skater, dancer and equestrian; they would deduce that I am single, a home worker and that I enjoy my own company and have no difficulty in keeping myself entertained.  In Moving On SBB states that a woman's home is also a mirror of her psyche and her state of mind is revealed in the state of her house.  All that clutter could be a sign that you feel overwhelmed; a neat freak may well be trying to hide the fact that her life is not as perfect as it appears on the surface; a messy wardrobe and piles of ironing waiting could indicate a lost soul trying to find her way back to herself and her own identity; a disused vanity or dressing table could hint that you feel unattractive or invisible and so on.  Moving On is not a book about home decor or decluttering; it is about what happens when a woman reaches the point in her life when she is ready to settle into her own pattern as a woman in her own right, rather than simply being someone's wife, mother, daughter... when she is ready to move on and live life on her own terms.

There are some quite clever observations in this book; although it is a safe assumption that most women have a 'catch all' closet or cupboard (mine is the cupboard under the stairs - it is in desperate need of a clear out, but each time I open the door...I close it again and procrastinate!) other observations show more insight, like how using only the back door (as I do) is a subtle way of self-slighting, the back door traditionally being the tradesman's entrance.  I also have a large Gothic settle in the hallway which slightly obstructs the opening of the front door...could it be that I sometimes feel invaded and so I have created a subtle and beautiful barricade?  Possibly.  Could it also be that by using the back door and disusing the transitional space of the front hallway, that maybe I have an aversion to change and life transitions?  Absolutely!

I like the way SBB talks about the feeling of safety we expect from our home as this is something I can relate to - I try to ensure that my home is the safest place I know.  When this level of security has been compromised in some way; for example by a burglary, an marital indiscretion, a violent interaction or a betrayal of some kind; then the sacred space of the home has been violated, which may in turn lead the residents to hold onto the psychic residue of the violation. This residual fear will eventually begin to express itself in how the house is being kept and cared for.  As the title suggests Moving On has lots of tips to help you identify the problems areas and deal with them so that you can move forward in your life, even if you have no intention of moving house. It is a book which embraces the skills of the feminine nesting instinct and which honors the comfort those skills provide.  While it is not my favorite SBB book, that being Romancing the Ordinary,   it is an enjoyable and insightful read; the only thing I didn't like were the prayers at the end of each chapter which I found to be OTT and slightly nauseating, but that's just my personal opinion.   Moving On is a great book for those days when you know you really ought to be doing the housework but prefer to procrastinate and read about home-making instead!  It's a book to curl up with in bed in the middle of the night when you can't sleep, or in the middle of the afternoon when you're playing hooky from work; it's a book to inspire you to begin sorting out those jobs that have been niggling at you for ages, or just for taking extra pleasure in the beauty of the home you have created for yourself and your family. Curl up beneath the duvet, sip something festive and enjoy the comfort of home sweet home with this heart-warming  hearth- honing book.

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