We are still enjoying an amazing family vacation in the sunshine state. Although it’s MUCH warmer then at home, it’s still been freezing here, for Florida temperatures. Nonetheless, I’m still sitting poolside, under a blanket, basking in the sun, writing you this post!
I’ve been able to get a little bit of reading done on this holiday…which is a luxury for me these days! One of the books I love bringing with me anywhere is Myquillyn Smith’s “The Nesting Place” (she is also known for her blog called “The Nester”). My dear friend Ange recommended this book to me last summer and I find constant inspiration on every-single-page! It reads more like a magazine, filled with beautiful pictures on each page.
I just re-read Chapter 4, “Signs of Life” and it speaks right to my perfectionists personality. And I wanted to share this with you guys…as I know many other women resonate with wanting to have the perfect home.
Do you ever find yourselves apologizing for the things in your home, when you have guests come over? I sure do. I have always been that way…especially with friends that I know are more into interior design. If I haven’t had the time to tidy or clean really well…if there’s something that’s been left unfinished…if there’s a project I know I’m going to be working on but haven’t started yet…I apologize for it all. Have you found yourself doing that before? The perfectionist in me always wants my home to be in perfect order when I have guests over. And when it’s not…I can’t handle it. Instead of seeing my place for all the good things that it’s filled with, I focus on and even worse…I highlight the things that are wrong with it!
What I didn’t realize until reading this book was how ridiculous that is! And that my perfectionist behaviours were actually making people feel less comfortable in my house…the exact opposite of how I want them to feel! Smith says “The imperfections play an important role: they put people at ease…[they] bear witness to the fact that we are normal, approachable, real people.”
I always love entertaining and having mommy dates at my place. People have often commented about how my house is always “clean.” Truthfully, my house isn’t really that clean…rather, it’s tidy. I cannot handle clutter and things not put away. And I find that taking a few minutes after each meal or each playtime to quickly tidy, it really makes a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your home. A few years ago, I remember chatting with a close friend of mine, who was living with extended family at the time. She used to always come to my place for playdates or lunches with her kids. I had made the comment to her that as much as I love entertaining, it would be nice to be invited to other peoples home more often than we had been. She then went on to say that they have talked about inviting us over but there was a fear that their house wasn’t as clean and tidy as mine was and therefore, they were somewhat embarrassed to invite us. That honestly broke my heart a little bit. Had I really put off such a sense of perfection in my home that people were fearful to invite me into their own space? That’s the exact opposite way I want to portray my home. Although I want my house to look beautiful and be filled with pretty things and be somewhat tidy, I never want people to walk away feeling like I’ve set such a high standard of perfection in my space where they then feel inferior about their own home.
What I’m learning is that it’s ok to let your home look lived in. It’s ok to have little messes or unfinished projects. I don’t need to fret about a little pile of laundry or crumbs on the floor. Or my kitchen backsplash that hasn’t been tiled yet! I don’t need to apologize for those things. “Instead of seeing imperfections as thorns in my decorating flesh, I want to open my eyes and see them as signs of life. These messes all stem from gifts in my life…My home is a reflection of our life, and life’s messes can be gloriously beautiful.”
That’s my new challenge for 2015…to stop apologizing for the imperfections in my home. They are signs of life being lived. They are signs of the blessings I’ve been given. They make people feel more comfortable and at ease. They can help foster a more welcoming environment where people feel free to just be themselves and enjoy your company fully!
If you find yourself constantly apologizing for your space, join me in making a conscious effort to stop and start focusing on what you do have and celebrate that!
* Images used in this post are not my originals