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My retreat

by Kelli Sheckler-Amsden 3 months ago in coping

cozy corner

This room has changed and evolved as much as I have in the past three years. I would go as far as to say, in a strange way, we are connected.

When I first came to live in this place, I was broken beaten and looking for a place to feel safe. Did I find it the moment I moved in, hell no! Far from it!! I loathed it from the moment I moved myself into it. It was small and cold and lonely, the rooms were empty and plain. My furniture barely fit and it felt very unwelcoming. It was drafty and almost uncomfortable. Cozy was a word adopted by the relator to describe tiny and drab. The only room even remotely welcoming was the sunroom, and unless the sun was out, didn't live up to it's name. It was all windows that couldn't keep the cold out or the heat in. Deceiving

I was no better, I was cold and bitter and unlovely I had just lost my mother my marriage and my children were newly graduated and off to college, I was all alone. It seemed, we were a good match

Despair settled in like a deep heavy fog, the kind that cancel flights and shut down towns, keeping people away.

As I began to get acquainted with this new life, new house, new me, I cried. I cried and I was angry, angry at life, angry at this stupid little house and angry at myself for ending up here.

After many months of just existing and complaining all about the things wrong with the house, I decided it was up to me to make it better.

So, I put on a sweatshirt and gloves and crawled under this tiny dirty cramped space to insulate it and make it more comfortable. There was barely enough room for me to fit, let alone the insulation board I had to cut into small squares to make fit under the porch area. I was covered in spiderwebs and spray foam, but at last with cut cold red fingers I had accomplished the task. Because the room was intended to be a three season room in a lake cottage, I needed to put in heat runs- the house was so small and I needed the space, so I added heat runs to make the room warm and to include it as part of the rest of the house. Thanks to stress and overthinking I was not sleeping, so I would spend hours white washing the unfinished pine walls in this room, intended for summer guests.

As I made all these changes to the house in the dead of night, I began to notice I was also changing, I was beginning to appreciate all the ways the house was helping me heal and change. Unaware of all the changes that I needed to make in myself as well as needing to make the house adapt to me, and the needs I had as a single mom of two girls. It had also begun an adaptation in the way I viewed myself. I was less angry, less sad and I was now fully aware of the person inside me I had yet to meet.

This woman with perseverance and drive, this woman who discovered she was enough.

This room is now the coziest room in the house. It is the warmest and most welcoming. It is comfortable and charming. It is the heart of the home.

Its the room I use to celebrate every season. In a way, this cozy area has made me learn to celebrate all of my seasons as well. The good the bad the sad the hard. Every moment in my life is now recognized and welcomed with a hint of grace because of this adventure. I find myself remembering the journey and know I have grown into someone better.... because a house, a room, a person is not whole without a little love and care and a whole lot of grace. This room that I worked so hard to make change and make livable, actually changed me and brought me back to life.

coping
Kelli Sheckler-Amsden
Kelli Sheckler-Amsden
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3

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