Space Matters

ApartmentdeckviewI’ve begun to realize that space matters. By this I mean where I spend my time. I used to think I could live just about any place and be fine. Then I moved into the “condo”. It’s called a condo because people own the units. I’m renting one of them, and it’s really like an apartment. It’s nice. I have underground, secured parking and a gate across the front of the place so I have to let people in when they come over. Sometimes that is a hassle when it’s cold, and I’m tired and already in my PJs and a friend comes over. It has a pool and jacuzzi area where I can relax in the evenings. Except when Ralph is down there. I’ve learned to avoid times when Ralph, “the jacuzzi creeper” is hanging around.

Apartment clocks, pin lightsMy favorite part of the condo though is the deck. Well, the deck and the closets in my bedroom. The deck is small, the closets are huge! The deck overlooks a tropical kind of man-made forest with a running stream that flows through it. Ducks fly in to live there in the winter time. There are three of them now. I like to sit out on the deck on Saturday mornings and drink coffee, read, or just be quiet. I like to sit there in the evening and listen to the waterfall. But sometimes the water feature gets irritating. The water flows too strongly, and it’s loud. I think it is meant to drown out sounds of the city and my neighbors. It does a pretty good job at that. But it also keeps me awake at night and makes it hard to hear the tv or cell phone.

But the real trouble with this space is this: It. Is. Dark.

I kind of knew this when I decided to lease it. I thought it would be all right if I just added a few extra lamps. But it isn’t. And I have brought in a lot of lamps; mood lighting floor lamps, table lamps, even automatic candles. Still. Dark. Finally, at Christmas time I bought boxes of those little white pin lights. I hung strings and strings of them like crown molding all along the ceiling line. It has helped, but it hasn’t fixed the darkness problem. It’s pervasive. And in winter when sun is in short supply there is less of it to seep in through the sliding glass door.

WaterfallsatapartmentLiving in the loud-waterfall, great-closeted, deck-with-a-view, jacuzzi-creeper, locked-gate, too-dark condo for the past year has taught me some things about myself.  First that I need natural light in a place. It affects my outlook. Next, that I can adapt. It has taught me I can figure outhow to be happy just about anywhere. That when I don’t like something, I can set out to change it. I can effect change in my small part of the world and make it a better place. I can learn to appreciate things I didn’t before. Like this last little bit of sunlight streaming in through one small space in the trees, so fleeting it is gone in the time I type these words.

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About Be Strong. Be Courageous. Be You

Principal at the Sweetest Little School by the Sea at the south end of Los Angeles Harbor. Working to make the world a little more awesome.
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12 Responses to Space Matters

  1. franmcveigh says:

    Dayna,
    Love how you are making this space work with “little white pin lights”. I’m spoiled because I like “dark” when I am sleeping and “bright” when I am awake and I’m very happy when free, natural lighting fills my spaces (I’m very cheap, er frugal)! That Iowa farm background creeps out! Looking forward to seeing you at the end of March!

    Like

  2. Lori says:

    Ralph, “the jacuzzi creeper” , I’d bet big money there’s a great slice about that!!

    Like

  3. Your strings of lights may not brighten your condo, but they look warm and cozy. I thrive on lots of natural light, too, and I love that you’ve done your best to make your “small part of the world…a better place.”

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  4. chiaraslice says:

    I saw your place as you were describing it. I then realized that there was a photo (how could have not noticed!). I’m picturing the big closet. Maybe it’s to overcompensate for the lack of natural light. A big closet to put stuff in it. I like the way you are not too sentimental. Great learning too. Thank you for sharing!

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    • daywells says:

      Thanks Chiara, it’s been a year. Moving next month. Can’t wait! This month I get to show it after work to potential new renters for the landlord. Should be a story or two in there, huh?!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tara says:

    I loved your last paragraph! I recently moved into a new place and I miss my last apartment so much- it had so much natural light and was so bright! This place is much darker and it definitely affects my mood. I’ll be shopping for lamps soon, myself!

    I hope as the spring and summer approach you get more light.

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    • daywells says:

      Thank you Tara. It’s been quite a journey this past year. This was the easiest part to write about. Next apartment overlooks the pacific! Can’t wait.

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  6. jarhartz says:

    I had no idea there was a jacuzzi keeper. Sounds like it could be a type of plant. I love the realizations you came to. Love your presence here at SOL. Glad you are coming into the light!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jarhartz says:

    I meant creeper…

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  8. Mindi Rench says:

    I chuckled at Ralph the Jacuzzi Creeper. He sounds like a character in a crime novel. We’re in the process of looking at houses, having outgrown our current space, and I actually saw a house this weekend with TOO MUCH natural light. It had these crazy huge oddly–shapted windows that would have been impossible to cover with window treatments in the bedrooms.

    Good luck with your move!

    Liked by 1 person

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