I pretty much always have music of some sort on the brain. Sometimes my own, sometimes classic oldies’ rock (yesterday’s song out of the blue was 38 Special’s Second Chance – “When love makes a sound, a heart needs a second chance”). And I often sing worship songs including old classics, like “How Great Thou Art”, or recently “Count Your Blessings”, a very simple song lyrically, but a good reminder of what I strive to do every day.

I count my blessings for having a home. It’s a small place and I’ve honestly found it takes more maintenance than previous larger homes, funnily enough. Maybe because there are fewer hiding places. Or areas that serve more than one function, unlike in the big house where I had a whole floor as my fun, artsy, musical place. Yes, I was spoiled.

So I organize and organize. And just when I think things are set, and I get back to square one, more needs to be done. I’m still purging from my “bigger life”. Giving away things I’d had no plan to let go of just a year ago, but now that just don’t fit into my somewhat pared down, but still cozy, artistically cluttered kind of place. Or releasing perfectly nice items that hold memories that I no longer need to hold on to.

Areas that seemed good enough may suddenly be not quite so. I don’t know if that’s a Western culture effect, or a side effect of watching too many home renovation shows, but my eye is often looking around for what can be improved.

The great thing within my slight restlessness is that I know how little it can often take, both work and expense wise, to make significant changes. My bedroom wasn’t quite at its peak so I went about making a few modest changes. The dark brown curtains made the room, well, dark. The two antique brown side tables were also too dark and outdated for my true style. And some of the large pieces of art, while still nice, were of a life that has since past, so it was time for them to bless someone else.

I donated the curtains and art, among many other items from the rest of my place. In the bedroom I made some slight shifts of pieces and removal of a couple of pieces, tossed in a couple of bright blue cushions and a scarf over a chair. And set about making three basic changes that have had a substantial effect. I got one solid new art piece that states “All You Need is Love”’, one set of lovely bright cream coloured curtains, and some healthy, really bright turquoise paint for the two side tables that now add “pop” to the room.

In total, I spent less than $140 (with tax) for those three things, and the effect has been noticeable. My bedroom is pretty close to being home stage worthy, with just the need of a bit of surface decluttering and removal of trinkets and stacks of books, if I was actually selling my place.

The only challenge is that the lighter curtains don’t fully block out the sun quite as well as the dark ones did so I wake up early to bright light. I know, woe is me.

It would be great if, like the art piece (from the Beatles’ song), all we truly needed was love.

A home, of some kind, is of course something that not all are fortunate enough to have. But homes can take different shapes and sizes. More and more, I’m noticing motor homes and camper vans that seem to be serving as more than just holiday vehicles, as the housing market slips out of reach of so many. In this part of the world, the cost of living, whether owning or renting, is far out of whack, so a home of any size can be considered a blessing.

As I sit in my sweet, modest, but brightly infused, funky piece (and peace) filled apartment, I know when I lay my head to rest tonight, and when I awake (in my too bright bedroom!), I am so very lucky and I will aim to count not just my savings but my blessings, count them one by one.

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