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My Favorite Place

I want to write, but once again I don’t know what about, so I looked through one of my collections of journaling prompts. One prompt that stood out to me was to finish the following thought: “My favorite place in the whole world is…”

As regular readers of this blog may know, I’m an inner wanderer. What this means is, I rarely if ever truly feel at home. The most safe I’ve ever felt was in the institution in Nijmegen but that, too, wasn’t home. I wasn’t supposed to stay there for life, after all.

I don’t even know whether the fact that I never feel at home anywhere – no, not even in my current home with my husband -, is a thing related to the physical place I am in. Of course, there are things my dream house has that this house doesn’t have – a bathtub, for example -, and of course there are many, many things I’d want close by that this tiny village doesn’t have. However, even in my dream house in my dream town, I’d probably still feel like something’s missing.

What was it in the institution that had me feel closest to home? It was, in part, the fact that I had support I could rely on, who saw me as I was. Then again, my husband sees me as I am too and tries to support me as much as he can when he’s home. Would I feel better if I had support nearby whenever he’s not home? Yes, I think so. But would that fill the void of never ever belonging anywhere? No.

This evening, I was sad because I don’t have a meaningful life. I mean, sure I go to day activities, but we barely do anything that has any sort of meaning beyond sensory stimulation there. That’s what the group is for, after all. My husband mentioned my blog, but I have little to write about. I have long let go of the illusion that I’ll ever have a real job, but I’d really like to make soap again. I know, I will never do it fully independently, and that’s sort of okay with me, but I haven’t done it in months at all. My husband said I could ask him to help me. Same for making smoothies or the like. That helps.

To conclude, I’d say my favorite place in the whole world is not a physical place. It’s a state of mind: that of being sort of content with my life.

Home: Describing My Dream House #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the #AtoZChallenge of random reflections, day 8. While on the phone with my sister today, we were talking house hunting and the A to Z Challenge and she suggested I pick this as my word for my letter H post. That’s a fabulous idea! For today’s post, I’m going to describe my dream house.

First, I’m going to describe my dream house in a mostly realistic way. In other words, I’m going to describe a house we will likely be able to afford in the foreseeable future. I did a post describing my dream house on an old version of my Dutch blog several years ago. Then, my husband and I still lived in a second-floor apartment. Well, I didn’t live there, as I was institutionalized, but I did pay part of the rent and intended on moving in there sometime. I never did.

I mentioned three things my dream house would have. These were a garden, a room just for me to be my office and a bath. I have two of these things in my current house: the garden and a larger office than I imagined back then. However, by contrast, my husband’s office is really small. In my dream house now, there would be three bedrooms like in our current house, but their size would be more evenly distributed. I, after all, could do with a somewhat smaller office while my husband deserves a larger one.

My husband would like our house to be at most the size of our current house to save on cleaning. He once said he’d like a larger garden, but I’m not sure he still wants this. I want a garden big enough to plant some berry bushes and an apple tree or two in, but I don’t need a lot of space.

The kitchen would be larger and/or more efficiently modeled than our current one. And yes, there’d be a bath in the bathroom. Or there’d at least be the possibility of remodeling the bathroom so that a bath can be placed there. I know this is the least likely wish to come true.

Now as for my dream house if I won several millions of euros in the lottery. In addition to all the things my “realistic” dream house would have, there’d be an additional fourth bedroom that I would model (or have someone else model!) to be a sensory room. It’d have a waterbed in it and lots of tactile and audible sensory materials. Because with the upstairs having four bedrooms, there’d be more room downstairs too, so I’d create a gym room with a large trampoline in it. I’d also like a pool. My husband would of course get a large garage.

What does your dream house look like?,?P>

Fifty Years From Now

In the future… This is this week’s prompt from Finish the Sentence Friday. The future could be next week or next month or next year or fifty years from now. As I am currently in a bit of an anxious mood regarding my physical health, I am more than aware of my finite existence here on earth. This however also got me to buy a book, really to distract myself but it ties in nicely with the theme, about women who survived breast cancer twenty to fifty years past diagnosis. (No, I don’t think I have breast cancer.) Even though I am not the healthiest person in the world, it is very well possible that I’ll live for fifty more years. For this post, I am going to pretend I am 79 and look back at my life.

It is currently 2066. I am 79. I have lived a much longer life than as a twentysomething I expected to. There have been many times I thought I wouldn’t live for another year. Yet here I am in old age.

I look back on a happy marriage with my husband. We have been living in our home in the tiny village for fifty years. When the housing corporation wanted to get rid of it and my husband earned enough money, we bought the house. It now has a bathtub, which was pretty much the only thing I wanted to get added to its interior fifty years ago. Of course, now that I’m old and my mobility is failing, I can’t use it anymore.

I look back on a nice volunteering career for myself. In fact, I still volunteer. I am a language-learning buddy for an immigrant, just like my grandma was when she was my age. I haven’t earned any sort of royal recognition, but that could be because I changed volunterring careers so often I can’t say I’ve served a particular community for long enough. nO, that was a joke. If I live for another twenty years, five months and twelve days, I’ll meet the mayor because of my 100th birthday. I do plan to live that long now that I got this far, just like my grandma did, only without the cognitive decline please.

Speaking of fame though, I did get some international recognition by publishing my memoir. It wasn’t titled Some Former Preemies Will Go to University after all, because that title was ironic, referring to my lack of successful college studies. As it turned out, I did earn a college degree. It was in language and cultural studies at the university I tried studying linguistics at too. The same professor still taught the intro to linguistics class that I had completed half of just before I ended up in the psychiatric hospital in 2007. Since I didn’t go to graduate school, my sister is still the only one of our generation to have earned a Master’s degree. I don’t care about that graduate degree though, as I mostly studied for the fun of it and to prove myself that I could. After graduating, I now regularly attend sit-in classes in education, psychology and sociology. My heart’s still with the social sciences, but I still can’t do statistics.

I just mentioned the psychiatric hospital. It’s a place I’d rather not revisit. Its treatment methods have “advanced” to a level worse than they were 100 years ago. Instead of getting a sembleance of care, psychiatric patients are just drugged into submission. We have better psychiatric drugs now, at least by the sane population’s standards. There are more of them too and much more people taking them, whether they want it or not. Unfortunately, the neurodiversity and mad pride movements are dead now. The curebies got their way. I can’t say society is a better place for it.

Technolgy has evolved quite a bit in the last fifty years, obviously. I can now easily take pictures with a camera that gives me spoken directions. Oh, this probably doesn’t sound that advanced to my 29-year-old self, but it opened quite the world to me. There are great imaging tools that work with screen readers now. Still doesn’t sound advanced, but I lost pace with technology several decades ago. Even though I was pretty tech savvy as a teen, I was quite a bit behind fifty years ago already, let alone now. Thankfully, I did learn to use a smartphone or I would’ve lost track much sooner than I did. My husband still keeps pace with technology, of course. He’s 77 now and “drives” an autonomous car. He didn’t like it at first, but now that he’s getting old himself, he finds it quite relaxing.

As I look back to 2016, I’m glad I made the choices I made that year. It took more than just 2016 to get physically healthy, but I did set my first steps in the right direction. I also finally left the psychiatric institution. As I said, it isn’t a nice place now, so I’m so glad I left before it deteriorated. Besides, if I hadn’t, I might not have lived this life with my husband.

My Happy Place

This week on the prompt, we’re talking our happy places. I had to think about this for a bit. A happy place could be a literal space or a state of being. I choose to go with the former. My happy place, unfortunately, is not yet in my and my husband’s aparment. It’s still got to be my room at the institution.

I have two happy spots in my room in particular. One is my desk, at which I write. I have quite the messy desk, with my computer space accumulating a lot of dirt from my computer being there all the time and my rarely cleaning the desk. I did just clean it last Wednesday, so hopefully it’s relatively dirt-free now.

My other happy place definitely has got to be my bed. I love covering myself in blankets, listening to an audio magazine while my AromaStream® essential oil diffuser on my nightstand dispenses a lovely vanilla scent. Of course, vanilla is not an essential oil. I got it in a set of scents from the local supermarket two years ago and am still looking for some other scents that are not the organic type of essential oil but can be diffused in an AromaStram® anyway.

In our apartment, I will of course eventually create my happy place too. When I leave the institution, I’ll be taking my AromaStram┬« and digital talking book player with me (obviously). I think now I’m going to place the essential oil diffuser on my desk in the living room, but am not 100% sure. I’m not yet sure where I’ll place my digital talking book player either, as it’s not too comfy having to sit in front of my desk while listening all the time.

I’m looking forward to my husband getting his stationary bike moved from his parents to our apartment, so that I can exercise without being disrupted (when my husband goes running himself, for example). I think it’s definitely possible to turn our apartment into a place that I’ll feel happy in too.

mumturnedmom
Everyday Gyaan