Monday, April 9, 2012

Loving what you already have - by Georgina (Nans Common Sense)

Welcome to this week's guest blogger - the lovely Georgina Kalwak. She is known to many of us as the 'owner' of the inspiring Facebook Page - Nans Common Sense. 

As I sit here and think of what to write (after having worked an 80-hour workweek in the past 8 days), it has slowly and surely dawned on me that simply being at home is wonderfully serendipitous. Now, please don’t get the impression that in the past being at home was not at all a pleasant experience.  What I rediscovered was the longer you stay away from your home, whatever shape that takes, the more you long for all the wonderful and even unappealing qualities that reside there. Every day during the past two weeks thoughts of our comfy bed, our 18lb not-so-mini dachshund, gardening that needs to be done, and even overdue spring cleaning was foremost on my mind.  Yes, even cleaning seems appealing.  

As I continued to reflect, I found that I am thankful for things that are not tangible, but are to most of us, representations of luxury.  They are: freedom and autonomy, an amazing husband, intelligent sons, newly acquired friends, other people’s wisdom, family traditions, the availability to pursue education, gifted health practitioners, security of employment and a soon to be and much needed retirement from the military.  These things are acquired throughout life as the journey brings us around all the twists and curves of a life well lived.  None of these (tangibles) can really be purchased except by way of experience and interaction.  Their stations are what I hold dearly to my heart as my life enters it’s fourth decade.

The value we place on our treasures and belongings is each singularly unique.  As we de-clutter our homes, and often attitudes and minds, we essentially come to the core of what we really need in order to appreciate this gift we call life.  My grandmothers used to dispense sage advice in the simplest of terms when we had tea together; and there was lots of tea.  There were long afternoons of sorting out the mysteries of relationships and what goals to pursue next. The message that both of my “Nans” conveyed was very often, “Punt.” Meaning, don’t overlook the important things now in order to see too far down the road. Relax. Breathe. Appreciate. 
Over the years there were many times we needed to manage with less material possessions than desired.  But as time wore on, incomes have climbed to a comfort level that reflects very little about lack. As I look back on those days, I cherish those long talks. I cherish the creativity that abounded afterwards and while during tough times. I cherish the moments that cannot be retrieved now that both grandmothers are no longer here. Their legacies permeate my being every day.

Lessons now to my adult son are about holding those moments close to your heart. I strive to be a better mom and confidant for him as he finds his own answers in life. I try to be the wife I need to be to keep a wonderful marriage strong.  Both of those things could not and would not flourish if those quiet moments had not happened with either grandmother.  As my husband and my life continue to incorporate simpler and more meditative beliefs, I find I love what I have been blessed with in ways deeper than previously known.  Travel is sweeter. My mind is quieter. The house is more settled - all the while life speeds past the rest of the world at a seemingly incredulous pace. 

One thing still resonates after all this contemplation…the simpler life is what we all yearn for in one form or another. I know my grandmothers are looking down on us these days and are (hopefully) saying, “You got it, gal.  You got it.”

Georgina Kalwak


  1. I tackled overgrown weeds higher than the newly blooming roses and found a great joy in this simple task. I was able to vent some recent frustration on the weeds with an admirable outcome of success. I started seedlings and continued my purge of books, knick knacks, unused costume jewelry parts (to be given to a talented recycle artist I met over the weekend)and a hidden stack of mom's old magazines in a cupboard. I enjoyed the simple time in my home and even made time to play ball with the dog. Thanks for the insight into your life Georgina and the wisdom of your grandmothers.

  2. I'm with you Ellen. What a blessing to have you here! Asta x