I cannot believe it’s been a year since I last posted. In some ways, the past 12 months have been a blur. In many ways, it’s been the hardest year of my life.
I had every intention of finishing this master bedroom makeover just a couple of months after pressing pause. When that didn’t happen, I thought I’d just jump into the Spring One Room Challenge. But I was fighting battles behind the scenes that only my closest and best knew about, and those battles haven’t followed my preferred timeline.
In my last post I shared about how I believe grief can heighten gratitude. I still believe it with my whole heart. Unfortunately, grief can also suppress immune function. I knew this about stress, both personally and based on the research, but I hadn’t made the connection with grief until my Mum passed away. That’s when the tide of the battle my body was fighting against Lyme Disease took a sudden and overwhelming turn that almost pulled me under.
Lyme is a fierce opponent. It attacks more than just your body right down to the cellular level – it attacks your career, your capacity, your confidence. Similar to grieving a loved one, grieving the “loss of quality of life” that comes with decades of Lyme Disease is a process that requires honest and mindful intention. And I’ve been so determined to not be defined by it – to tap into my resilience and to not admit defeat – that I truthfully haven’t given myself permission to grieve it the way I’ve needed to.
Here’s the thing: an elastic band that is put in a constant state of tension and stress will eventually snap. Its resilience is found in its ability to both stretch and release. The release is as much a part of the resilience as the ability to be stretched. Up until recently, I wasn’t giving myself enough space for release.
I can’t say I’ve won the war just yet. Sometimes I feel like I’m just putting out fires while spinning plates, but I still believe that I will make a full recovery. I just don’t know how long it will take, and accepting that is a part of the release.
So what does all of this have to do with my master bedroom makeover, you ask? Well, in the virtual PhD in Wellness I’ve gotten through researching all the ways to support my recovery from this horrible illness, I’ve become even more passionate about how our built environment can positively or negatively contribute to our well being. It’s been my growing passion for many years, and it’s why I garnered the nickname “The Canary In The Design Mines.” My sensitivity to toxic materials and my passion for making the healthiest design choices possible have been hallmarks of my design career for many years. But this is personal.
Finishing our master bedroom is an act of self care.
The space will be as non-toxic as financially possible, but it will also be our cocoon for rest, a sanctuary for healing and recovery, and a space dedicated to the restorative powers of sleep. Design is not frivolous. Design has the power to play a huge role in nurturing wellness, and I will be using it as one of my weapons in the fight against this disease.
I hope you’ll follow along over the next 6 weeks as I share the process and the non-toxic products behind the pretty finished product of this One Room Challenge transformation. I promise future updates will have more pictures and fewer words! But I also promise (myself, mostly) that I will let you in on more of the behind-the-scenes of the reality of the road I’m walking, not just because it might help someone else, but because it will most definitely help me to share it, too. Fighting a long term illness can be isolating. I’ve never been intentionally hiding, I’ve just been busy surviving, but it feels like the right time to invite you all into the healing journey a bit more in the hopes that it might just help all of us.
She’s kind of a basic b at the moment if you know what I mean, but the goal is to transform her into a sophisticated sanctuary for sleep and connection. We’ve done that thing I tell all my design clients not to do and left our bedroom as the last space in the house to be designed with love and intention, but it’s more than time. It will be a fast and furious 6 weeks to go from basic to beauty, but I really hope you’ll follow along.
So much love to you all for being here for this.