Over the last 31 days, I traveled to Canada, Chicago, and Ohio, hosted new friends for dinner, and filled my home with a couple dozen peeps for a potluck.
Through all of that, I’ve been reminded that simple is beautiful, bread is awesome, and the best way to beat perfectionism is one mismatched dish at a time.
Hospitality Lessons From October
1.) Someone else’s couch can be the perfect place to end the day.
Provided that it’s covered in a handmade quilt, abuts the bed of a friendly (yet super low-key) dog, and/or has chocolates on the pillow. Couches can be made cozy. I will no longer feel sad for the guest whose only option is ours.
2.) Simple seasonal decorations really are the best kind.
There is just something wonderful about seeing a pile of pumpkins, gourds, and branches on someone’s mantel. For me, fall was inaugurated by those simple adornments.
3.) Homemade (or fresh from the bakery) bread is the highlight of any meal.
Despite my dabbling in eating grain-free, I will always chose a baguette and butter over most other options. Thankfully, this month, I dined with some like-minded folks.
4.) No one cares if your dishes don’t match.
I don’t have empirical evidence to support this claim, just an absence of complaints from my last potluck dinner in which none of the dishes matched.
But I’m pretty confident it’s true. And using those mismatched dishes was one more step in my recovery from perfectionism.
5.) Help with dishes is the ultimate act of kindness to a mother of small children.
After the potluck, I surveyed the mountains of (mismatched) dirty dishes over the heads of the two babies I held. (Really? They both needed to be held?)
And I decided to break my cardinal rule of cleaning the kitchen before going to bed.
But then a blessed voice asked, “Are you sure you don’t want any help with the dishes?”
“Um, no, I’m not sure about that at all. I would love help with the dishes. Knock yourself out.”
And bless that sweet boy’s–and his fiance’s–heart, they did all my dishes.
6.) Say yes to help. Really.
I proclaim this regularly, but am still tempted to decline assistance, even when I’d really like it.
But I’m never sorry I when I say yes. It reminds me of my own limitations, need of others, and gratitude for friends.
And thus ends our 31 Days of Real, Simple Hospitality. Thanks for sticking around!!
Have you learned anything new about hospitality this month–from experience or otherwise?