I have been reading Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. It is a follow up book to The Happiness Project which I loved and through reading I really felt I learned from her experience. In the first few chapters of this book she explores her goals for change at home and the first revolves around her possessions at home. She talks about this concept/goal of creating little shrines of beloved objects at home. I find that I have a tendency to do that. I really always have. I was always doing that with my toys, in my playhouse, and later in my dorm rooms in college. I thought I would take a look around my home and see where these little shrines have developed. We have only lived here since mid-October so they are new. Some have carried over from our apartment. Some are new. I hope you enjoy them!
This first shrine has collected on the top of a bookcase in our hallway. It has wedding memories. Our sand frame we used at our ceremony for the sand ceremony - it now holds a wedding photo. A (now empty) flower pot that was one of the centerpieces - we had potted herbs and strawberries lining the center of the tables for our Sunday morning brunch reception. The candlesticks were a gift, the Claddagh was our wedding cake topper, and the candle was lit in memory of our loved ones who had passed and couldn't be there on our special day. I see this shrine of sorts every morning as I come down the hallway and start my day. A good reminder of keeping things in perspective.
The next little shrine is a less focused on one memory, day, or thought. It is a collection of sorts. The oldest books I have. A Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that were my Dad's when he was a boy. My grandfather (and then Dad's) Bird book. It has little marks next to the birds he saw. My Flower Fairy books - a find as a child when family was cleaning out a great aunt's house after she died. They are still my favorites. A print my dad brought me from San Francisco, an owl to remind me of my grandmother who collected them, a jewelry box from the MOMA that my mom got me. It has lilacs on it. A favorite and reminder of childhood. And another wedding photo - of our hands during the ceremony.
This little shrine is pretty simple. It is a shrine to our dogs! My husband's dog Ginger was truly a mother of sorts for him as a boy. His first friend. Maddy was my family's black lab who was puppy-like her whole life. She might have been a dog but she taught me how to be courageous and lighthearted when you are in pain.
The last little collection was the very first one I put together in our new home. It is in what some may consider an odd place. Our half bath. But we painted it a bright aqua blue which is a color I associate with summer, the beach. My favorites. This little gathering is mainly of pieces that I got in California on one of two trips to the San Diego area to visit cousins. Shells in a glass jar, a photo of the sunset over the Pacific, a cactus plant. It has a few other ocean momentos from my hometown on the East coast as well. A piece of driftwood, a starfish candle I got at church on my first Mother's Day, and a framed photo of a schooner I took this past Labor Day. Looking at this collection makes me happy and gives me good energy.
I loved reading about this idea of shrines and was really surprised by how it resonated with me...even more surprised to realize that I was already doing this in my home without realizing it...all along.
Do you have any little shrines in your home that bring you happiness, peacefulness, or energy?