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Sunday, April 23, 2017

3 Ways to Achieve Island Calm at Home

When I began writing this I was sitting poolside at Villas by the Sea on Jekyll Island. You're probably wondering why I'm sitting poolside and working/writing. The answer is simple: Island life sparks my creativity.

It could be the relaxed nature of being on an island... You know, in such close proximity to the ocean... which, by the way, I could see from my bed. And listen to its soothing sound as I fall asleep. I mean, how can one not be inspired? This isn't the first time I've vacationed on an island/near the ocean and every.single.time I realize my desire to permanently live the island life. Or at least along the coast.

What's keeping me from moving? Number one: I have minor children who are from my previous marriage and their father would not be amiable to me moving out of the country and out of the state with them. No worries if I go on my own. Number two: I have an adult daughter and a granddaughter who I would greatly miss. Right now, I see them - at minimum - once a week.  Number three: The rest of my family. Although I don't get home to Maryland very often at least when I do I don't have to worry about making arrangements to fly across countries or spend more than two and a half hours on a plane.

Jekyll Island seems like the best of both worlds. It's about a five-hour drive Atlanta, but once on the island I can take slow, leisurely drives to wherever I want to go. Thirty-five miles an hour mostly.

One of the top things to consider when moving is the cost regardless of whether you're moving to an island or within the same state. Moving is hella expensive. And, the cost of living is often high. For instance, even though Georgia is cheaper to live in compared to  the average United States city, Jekyll Island ranks at 128. The marker, or average, is 100.

The one place I've always wanted to live is Jamaica and I read on that it's rated as one of the top places to retire to in 2017. As an added bonus, the cost of living as it relates to U.S. dollars is affordable.

It's possible my sights aren't set high enough, so to speak. I came across an article on about the 5 best islands to live on and it opened my eyes to other locations I haven't considered. I'm sure you can image the possibilities.

Right now, that's a distant goal. However it's possible that all I need is more vacations to island locales to keep my creative juices flowing. In the meantime, what can I do to recreate that vibe in my everyday life? Here are 3 ways I think will work for me and hopefully they'll help you as well:

Change of location: One of the main problems is my current location. I have a strong dislike for the apartment and area where we live. It's a semi-long story about how I even came about living here, but it's supposed to be temporary. We've been here about a year and a half, and my goal is to move within the next six to 12 months.

Create a relaxed environment: I love twinkly, strings of lights, candles and lots of pillows and I need to incorporate that feel throughout the apartment and not just in my bedroom. Speaking of bedroom: When you move from a larger space you tend to have too much stuff for the smaller space. That's the case here. Even though I have put quite a bit of our belongings into storage it's still a tad too cluttered. Nixing some of this by selling it or moving my most wanted to storage may help the creativity flow.

Fill space with items you love: The lights, candles and pillows are a good start, but as I look around my current space, think about the d├ęcor I'm going for, and being mindful of the colors and schemes that soothe me - I may need to go in a different direction. I love reds and chocolate brown, but that's very dark. My mood seems to be lightened by whites, tans and, gasp, even blue. I'm willing to give up the chocolate brown, but red is my favorite color so it's a matter of finding balance without every room looking like an American flag.

That's a lot to consider, but it's worth it in order to nurture the creative mind.

What do you do to nurture creativity?

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