343 Days ’til 40: Your OWN Space

15 Mar

My oldest daughter is the inspiration for this post today.  She was HORRIFIED to learn that I wrote about PMS yesterday, “Mom, that is SOOO embarrassing!”  she said.  She is 10.  I then asked her what topics she felt I should be writing about.  She replied, “What a great idea, I can come up with good things for you to write about!”  One of her first suggestions was to write about getting your own room.  This is very important to my daughter, as she currently shares a room with her younger sister.  My oldest is desperate for her own space.  Thus, the title of today’s post.

This past week I wrote about the need to hibernate, to get away from life.  I believe that having our own space can create an oasis of hibernation from the chaos that swirls around us in our daily lives.  Most individuals do not have the luxury of their own space, be it an office or bedroom or entire home.  Most people have to share a room – with a spouse, partner, roommate, sibling, etc.  Sharing spaces with other individuals can be exhausting, as each person brings with them differing habits, desires, and expectations.  Negotiation becomes the norm when co-habitating in a shared space.

However, sometimes we all need a space free of distraction, demands and need for negotiation.  We need a space where we can relax and unwind without input from others.  How is that possible when we live in small homes and are often forced to share work spaces in addition to sharing our space at home?

I believe the key is to create a space that is yours, no matter how small, and no matter how temporary.

  • The bathroom can be your own space during the moment you are in it.  Lock the door, light some candles, and take a LOOOONG bubble bath.
  • Your car is your personal space – blast your favorite music, and decorate the interior to be reflective of your personality.
  • The yard or garden of your home can be a personal space – add a special bench, blanket or stool to make it your own.
  • A desk in the living room can be yours – particularly if your family or roommates respect it as your sacred space (i.e.: they do not touch it)  and there are times when the room it is in remains quiet.
  • Plugging into your MP3 player and blasting music allows you to have your own space wherever you go, as you can tune out the world around you.

Why do you need to create your own space?  I believe it is a critical way to rejuvenate your soul.  In our crazy, fast-paced world we most build in breathing space.  If we do not catch our breath, we will suffocate.  You are too special, too important, too sacred to allow yourself to succumb to the chaos of this world.

Today, 343 days ’til 40 I am going to consciously remember my space.  I will work to create a variety of personal spaces that give me an opportunity to unwind, center, and replenish my soul.  By giving myself this space, I will be in a better position to serve others.



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58 responses to “343 Days ’til 40: Your OWN Space

  1. qathy

    March 14, 2012 at 23:01

    I soooo remember when I shared a room — with my brother! He was almost four years younger than I, but when I turned eleven, the stress was almost too much! Then my dad got a new job, we moved to a new house and voila! I had a room of my own. It was almost large enough for one, and it happened right before my twelfth birthday. My birthday present was a shopping trip to pick out a new lamp for my desk, the desk my daddy put together and finished himself late at night after a long workday, working after I had gone to bed, hiding everything away during the day so I would be surprised. My new lamp and my new desk in my little cubbyhole of a room turned into a private haven I have never forgotten. Everybody needs space. I hope you can help your daughter learn how to find space for herself.

    • 400daystil40

      March 14, 2012 at 23:07

      Hi Qathy,
      Yes, these spaces are SOO important! I had an opposite experience from yours – I had my own space until I was in high school and THEN I had to share with my much-younger sister. It was very hard giving up my personal sanctuary.
      Now, as adults, I find it is so important to still carve those spaces out for ourselves.
      PS – We are working on a space for our daughter, even if it is the size of a closet! 🙂

  2. qathy

    March 14, 2012 at 23:03

    Oh, I almost forgot. If you figure out life by age forty, please share your insight with the rest of us! 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 14, 2012 at 23:05

      Thank you Qathy!!!! I will!!! 🙂

  3. Janna Noelle

    March 14, 2012 at 23:33

    I can relate to your daughter’s need for her own space! Last September, I moved into my own apartment without roommates for the first time in my life save a brief period of 6 months back in 2004. It is such a wonderful thing; words can’t even express how much I love it. I’m still in awe over it all. I find myself having spontaneous moments of wonder and joy that it really is MY OWN place. Though my apartment is of good size, when a dear friend stayed with me for a week, it suddenly felt crowded. Her response was, “You just don’t share well”, but that’s not it. Once you finally get your own space, you fill it with more than just your physica body. Your energy fills it as well, and that too takes up room.

    • 400daystil40

      March 15, 2012 at 22:09

      Yes, you are correct, it is so had to share once you have finally found your rhythm in your own space – but, if you find the perfect person to share with, sometimes that space wants to invite them in!

  4. themiddlegeneration

    March 15, 2012 at 00:37

    Now that my kids are older, I have allowed them to have tvs in their bedrooms. They still tramp through the kitchen and family room, but they use their bedrooms for relaxing time. This year I redecorated my living room in bright cheery colors and bought new furniture for the first time in 5 years. I designed the room to be my space and to incorporate all the elements that make me happy. My daughter thought it was a waste of time and money; but I consider it my retreat. Give me a glass of wine and a book and I am very content.

    • 400daystil40

      March 15, 2012 at 22:09

      Ahh, my own space and a good book always makes me happy!!!

  5. Adrienne M

    March 15, 2012 at 01:45

    OH…my desk is my personal space…it is so needed and loved…;D Thanks for a great post!

  6. sanctimoniouslyyours

    March 15, 2012 at 09:44

    I absolutely agree that you can always create a personal space for yourself. I like a little spot near the window in my living room where I can write, or read, or listen to music. I do have to enforce a no-tv time while I’m there though!
    My sister and I had to share a room, so I know how annoying that can be too!

    • 400daystil40

      March 15, 2012 at 22:10

      We also have to enforce no TV moments in our house in order to make sure we can create those sacred personal spaces!

  7. knowledgemaven

    March 15, 2012 at 14:10

    I loved this post. With hubs and four kids in the house, the bathroom –is– sanctuary.

    • 400daystil40

      March 15, 2012 at 22:11

      Yes, I agree – even when all I am doing is sitting on the toilet itself!!!! 🙂

  8. iamanintrovert

    March 15, 2012 at 18:59

    Creating a space of love…yes!

  9. Clare Flourish

    March 15, 2012 at 19:23

    Yes, I am blessed to have my own living room. I make it beautiful, and when I invite others in they comment on this. A park bench can be your own space, too. Take some bulky bags so that no-one comes to sit on it.

    • 400daystil40

      March 15, 2012 at 22:11

      I love the image of myself on a park bench surrounded by large bags so that no one can get near me!!!! 🙂

  10. rachturner

    March 15, 2012 at 21:51

    We all need our space, a place to rest, be creative, and just breath. A space that is ours and ours alone.

    • 400daystil40

      March 15, 2012 at 22:12

      It is a very good point that personal space encourages creativity to flourish!

  11. Kate

    March 15, 2012 at 22:47

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I love the premise of yours and I love this post about personal space. The bathroom, car and MP3 are three of mine. Also, I just turned 40 in September. It’s not that bad as it’s just a number.

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 15:23

      Hi Kate,
      Thanks for your comment! I agree, ultimately 40 is just a number – if we can use the number to motivate ourselves to grow, I think it is a good thing! 🙂

  12. gretchen

    March 15, 2012 at 22:57

    I’m impressed that you really are posting every day. I love that your daughter is helping you with creative topics because it certainly can be a challenge to find inspiration every single day! Love your theme, too — works well with your format. Keep the momentum going!

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 15:24

      Thanks, Gretchen! Yes, it takes A LOT of self-discipline to post daily – particularly with a full-time job and parenthood – it is a good challenge though!!!!! 🙂

  13. letstalkaboutfamily

    March 15, 2012 at 23:20

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed reading about your purpose and today’s post about your own space. I agree it is very important to have a place to go when you need to be alone. It is also good to have a separate creative space that you don’t have to share with other family members. At 40, I achieved one personal goal and set new goals. I decided to have 5-year plans rather than trying to plan out my life. My whole life plan had changed suddenly when I was 35, so this became my new way to plan. It has worked for me.

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 15:27

      Thanks, letstalkaboutfamily, for your comment.
      I agree with you that sometimes shorter plans are much more realistic for us – sometimes my plans are only for 6-12 months – I think the key is to have SOME plan of some sort. I think if we plan our entire life, we will find that the plans will be changing constantly!!! 😉

  14. heroldsroses

    March 15, 2012 at 23:29

    Are you going to keep on blogging after 40? We gave each daughter a room of their own when we built our new house. And now that our basement is finished, my husband and dautghers spend most of their time in the rec. room so I get the livingroom to myself! I love It!

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 15:28

      Hi Heroldsroses – thank you for your comment. I may keep blogging after 40, I figure I have to get there first!!!!! 😉

  15. Angelita Woosnam

    March 16, 2012 at 16:56

    I was older than 40 when I realised I had never lived entirely on my own as I had gone from home, sharing a bedroom with sisters, to sharing with a partner, then having children, another partner…. When I moved into my first place that I didn’t share with anyone else it was an eyeopener! I have lived alone for a number of years now and I do like my own space and realise it can be a luxury.
    Good luck with figuring out life by the time you’re 40. I’m a bit older and haven’t figured it out yet! Will follow you with interest xx

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 15:29

      Thank you, Angelita, for your comment. Yes, I remember the freedom of the first time I lived alone – it was AMAZING for me – almost a spiritual moment! I look forward to hearing more from you.

  16. balancethroughthelens

    March 16, 2012 at 18:53

    This is a wonderful post! We all definitely need our space, to dream, to breathe, to just have the wiggle room to be ourselves and find our balance again. I really enjoy your blog- what a great idea! Thank you for liking my post “Learning Patience from Flower Petals”, it allowed me to find you! Keep up what you’re doing 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 15:30

      Thank you, Balancethroughthelens, for your comment! I look forward to seeing more of your posts!!! 🙂

  17. earnestbeauty

    March 16, 2012 at 21:48

    My garden and my swing are “my” space. Yes, at 38 I still love to swing!

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 15:31

      I LOVE your comment, earnest beauty!!! Swings are wonderful – in fact, maybe there would be less depression in the adult world if more people discovered that swings are not just for children!!!! 😉

  18. thefunnyfarmnm

    March 17, 2012 at 18:35

    Love your post. I do think we all need some place to be alone, even if it is the bath or in our own head. When you spend too much time with people one gets grumpy. My youngest daughter finally got her own bedroom and is so happy now. I was a bit worried that she would spend extra time in there and none with the rest of us. But she seems so much happier now that she has her own space. And having passed the big 40 a WHILE ago, yep it is just a number just wait til you are looking at the next big number. LOL. really though, birthdays are kinda like milestones. And yes you are getting older, but worring about them wont make them go away. I have found in the last few years that I have to stop and think, wait how old am I, I stopped counting. It is just a number anyway.

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 22:08

      Thanks, Thefunnyfarmnm, for your comment. By the way, even at 39 I often find that I have to stop and remind myself of my age (okay, maybe less so this year as I am blogging until 40!!!) 😉

  19. wordsfromanneli

    March 17, 2012 at 21:00

    It has been a long time since I’ve felt the need to lock the door to escape the world, but I do remember it well. After you sort through those hectic times in your life and assert yourself so your loved ones (or your job situation) give you the space you need, life gets a whole lot easier. It just takes time and working through things.

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 22:02

      Hi Wordsfromanneli, You sound like you have learned a lot in your lifetime. I agree, as we all learn to assert ourselves we indeed find our space in the world much easier! 🙂

  20. wordsfromanneli

    March 17, 2012 at 22:10

    I have a feeling you’ll get hooked on blogging and continue it past your 40th birthday.

  21. davmer2303

    March 17, 2012 at 23:25

    You are so right about the own space thought:)) Just to have a little get away amongst the chaos…sooo needed….On a side note, I’m 41 now and turning 41 was a walk in the park compared to the anticipation of the year before :))

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 23:27

      Thanks, davmer2303 for your comment. You are SOO right, anticipation often is more stressful than the reality we face! 😉

  22. John Paul McNeil

    March 17, 2012 at 23:26

    A Blog can be one’s own space. But a lot of other people show up (if you do it right). Right? I am new to this. But that’s OK I guess cause you create your own space and then welcome them in. And thanks for “following me”…I am not even totally sure what that means. I am following a particular post or two of yours, but you can follow a whole blog? Sorry to sound so…Newb, but that’s what I be. Was not sure I even wanted to do this blog thing, but people (like you) have been so welcoming. Thanks!

    • 400daystil40

      March 17, 2012 at 23:29

      Hi John,
      You are correct, a blog can also be your own space – and one that you share with others, but ultimately you set the tone for that special cyberspace. If you look at the side bar of my blog you will see where you can follow the blog via email – that allows you to be notified whenever a new post is up, this is following a whole blog. 🙂 It is quite an adventure and you will find a whole new community out there in the blog world of cyberspace! 😉

  23. John Paul McNeil

    March 17, 2012 at 23:36

    So thoughtful, thank you. I wanted to connect more on the net, but some of the forums, other spaces and faces (ahem), are often not so thoughtful, friendly, or open to much depth. So far, blogging through WordPress is a good thing….a very good thing. Thanks being a part of that.

  24. ramblingwithramey

    March 18, 2012 at 00:29

    Being empty-nester’s my husband thinks the entire house is “my” space! In a way that is true but I have always tried to incorporate his likes and styles too. I mean the guy is still a cowboy although stuck in an office and of course I said yes to having running horses in the toilet room of our master bath 🙂 The compromise is that they are blue horses because blue is the color of the walls! Even though I can pretty much choose where to land with my Kindle or a stack of magazines or quilting project I do have my own space. It has evolved over the years from house to house but having a place for all my sewing/quilting stuff has been a priority. Almost the entire basement is now my “studio”. All that stuff just seems to mulitiply! I would love to add a microwave and small fridge for diet Pepsi but Tim drew the line there 🙂 He feared I would never come up to the land of people if I didn’t have to get refills and an occassional meal! Like so many have said: a closet, desk, corner whatever amount of space you can call all your own is vital to your happiness.

    • 400daystil40

      March 18, 2012 at 12:06

      Wow, Ramblingwithramey! I would LOVE to have a place for my quilting and knitting stuff! My partner would also love for me to get it out of the way – when I start a project I seem to take over our kitchen table for days and days!!! (Not always good for a relationship!) 🙂 I think you bring up a good point, that together you have to create spaces with your spouse – which means sometimes you have decor that you may not find so appealing in order to make sure your spouse has their own sacred spaces too! I look forward t hearing more from you! 🙂

  25. kwm229

    March 18, 2012 at 15:58

    I just found your blog after you liked my post and I love the topic. When I started my blog in October it was only 5 months until I turned 40 and it was, like you, sort of “A quest to figure out life my 40” and beyond. As for finding my own space, I had to escape all the way to Florida for a few days to find it 🙂 I look forward to reading more!

    • 400daystil40

      March 18, 2012 at 16:18

      Thank you, kwm229, for your comment! It sounds like we are in very similar positions. 🙂 My personal space is often my home after everyone else is asleep – shared space during the day, but when they are all in quiet slumber I get my own space and peace!!! 🙂

  26. Zack Overlock

    March 19, 2012 at 07:48

    You are simply amazing! I have never read articles on this subject matter that made so much sense. Your points are right on and solid as a rock! Thank you.

  27. Wade Bassett

    March 19, 2012 at 10:52

    Awesome piece of information! May I reference part of this on my blog if I post a backlink to this webpage? Thx.

  28. hwaairfan

    March 19, 2012 at 18:03

    I’m in total agreement on this one… when we own our space, we begin to own our own thoughts, feelings, and see ourselves through our own eyes instea dof copypasting somebody elses’

  29. Gabby @ the veggie nook

    March 21, 2012 at 20:33

    What a good post. I love the idea of making anything from the bathroom to your car YOUR space. I think it will help change my attitude toward “me time”!

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 22:25

      Thanks, Gabby! I hope it does help you change your “me time” – it is so important to carve out time and space for yourself!

  30. CraftyStaci

    March 23, 2012 at 19:58

    I adore my husband and kids, but when he worked nights and the kids were small enough to stick in bed at 8:00, I didn’t exactly hate it. Now I can retreat to my craft room when I need a little time to myself. I think recognizing that you like to be alone once in a while and not feeling guilty about it isn’t really an attitude that’s fostered among moms, and that’s a shame. I’m a better person when I’m with them than I would be otherwise. THEY wouldn’t want to spend their time with ME!

    • 400daystil40

      March 23, 2012 at 23:55

      Oh yes I so agree with you!!! I too am a much better mom when I have my own space! I also agree that the need for your own space is not recognized enough and even looked down apron in some circles. Yet, it is so necessary for mental health and I really do think it makes us better. It is also good modeling – showing our kids that we can take time out for ourselves means that they will learn these skills for their future! 🙂


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