This year’s “birthday princess week” (don’t knock it ’till you try it) was pretty low-key, but filled with simple pleasures like a date night with Hubs, a short personal retreat, gifts from my parents, coffee with a new friend, cards from loved ones, and cake with my sweet little family.
I could easily make this a “what I’ve learned about life” post, but in the interest of staying on the topic of “homemaking with intention, beauty, and mirth” :), here’s what 31 years have taught me about making a little haven wherever I happen to be.
31 years Worth of Lessons About Home
1.) Home is wherever I am.
Moving 6 times during my childhood and 11 times over the course of my marriage (with a cross-country move to college in the middle) has taught me to embrace wherever I am for whatever length of time I have there.
Rather than wishing for someplace else, I’ve found that attempting to bloom where I’m planted is better for contentment, joy, and relationships.
2.) Company makes a house/apartment/etc. feel more like home.
The sooner I invite people over and share a meal, the quicker my home feels warm and, well, homey.
3.) The more I like my home, the more I’m apt to open it to others.
Filling my space with beauty makes me enjoy it more and helps me feel more comfortable sharing it with people.
4.) If I wait until my house is perfect to invite people in, I will always be waiting.
Better to invite them into the imperfection. What better way to learn that home and hospitality are not all about looks anyway?
5.) Zero mess is not a prerequisite for enjoying my home.
Do I like my house to be relatively tidy? Yes.
But am I ever going to stem the tide of Megablocks, food thrown from the high chair, and reusable stickers? Probably not.
So, to save my sanity, I’ve come to terms with a continual sprinkling of all of the above.
6.) Zero mess is not a prerequisite for having company.
Do I typically clean before having people over? Yes.
But sometimes? I don’t do much–as a kind of reminder to my recovering-perfectionist self that a few (or a lot of) crumbs are not going to make people like my home (or me) any less.
7.) Making a home a haven for family and friends is a worthy endeavor.
I used to wonder if it was materialistic to spend time/energy/money on my house. In the pursuit of purposeful simplicity and good stewardship of my resources, should I just leave the walls bare?
Then a wise interior decorator friend asked me if I thought it was truly more noble to have a “frumpy” house.
After realizing #3 above, I had to answer: no. A home filled with beauty blesses my family and (I hope) others. At the very least, my enjoyment of it makes me want to share it.
In decorating, can you go overboard in time/energy/money spent? Yes.
But the same could be said for pretty much everything in life.
And I’m sure I go overboard at times. And I do stuff I later say “meh” about.
But I’d rather do something and learn as I go than do nothing and have bare walls.
What have you learned about homemaking over the years?