I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Stop and Do Nothing Once In A While…
A few months ago I was asked to fill out a questionnaire about myself for a secret sister program at work. Each teacher is given a form full of questions about themselves so that the person who draws their name will know a little bit about them. Throughout the school year we are asked to drop notes of encouragement, cards, small trinkets, etc. in our secret sister’s mailbox or in the classroom to let them know they are thought of and appreciated. Then in May at the end of the school year luncheon we find out who our secret sister is. One of the questions on the form was “what style is your house decorated in?” I cannot truly answer that because I am not so sure there is a set style to my house. After much thought I came up with an answer: modern country. Really what I should have written was “my style”.
When I was first married I would read every magazine devoted to women such as Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, you name it I read it. I found myself drawn to the sections devoted to home decorating and entertaining. I would sit for hours wishing, hoping and planning for the day when I would be able to have a home just like the one in the magazine. Here I am 22 years later and I still don’t have that quaint little cottage with a white picket fence and amazing backyard full of white wicker furniture and built-in barbecue grill. What I do have is a home full of things that reflect my life and what is important to me. As I type this, I am sitting at my grandmother’s dining table staring at her picture in a small frame in her china hutch with her china. The table and hutch are not grand by any means; some would say that it’s not nice enough or formal enough for a formal dining room. For me, it is not the size or cost that makes it grand, it’s the fact that my grandmother bought it when I was nine years old and she left it for me when she passed away. Having it in my home keeps her memory close to me and reminds me of her and the love she had for me. There are pictures scattered throughout my home in various frames, full of faces from my past and present. An old picture of my grandfather when he was a young boy holding his shotgun with his hound dog at his side is a cherished piece of the history that is my life. My parents, great grandparents, husband, children, and other relatives’ photos sit throughout my home to remind me of the many threads in my life tapestry that make my home and family what it is today.
What is your decorating style? Do you fill your home with things that have a special meaning to you or do you attempt to have that picture perfect home full of things that the experts say you should have? Our home should be a place set apart from the outside world that brings us a sense of comfort and peace. Life is busy; filled with responsibilities that require much of our physical and emotional selves each day. We should have a space that upon entering we can kick off our shoes, take a deep breath and be in the moment. After many years of trying to have the perfect home, I decided to give up and just live. Having older children helps keep the messes away a bit, but in the end, I realized that after a week of not cleaning every single day, my house was still pretty clean and I am a happier momma for it. Now every night after dinner I relax on the sofa with my husband instead of worrying about cleaning the floors, scrubbing the toilets or keeping the laundry hamper empty. I have learned that the laundry hamper has a purpose; to hold dirty clothes. Knowing that I cannot get any of the wasted time back, my goal is to enjoy what time we have together now.
The world around us is full of responsibilities that if we allow it will suck the very life out of us. I have friends whose lives are so full of responsibilities they are away from home nearly every night of the week. Home should be a place of comfort, retreat, safety and rejuvenation, but we must take the time to be home in order to receive those elements. In
order for us to be useful we must take care of ourselves first. Take time to evaluate the many responsibilities in your life; determine if they are meaningful enough to hang on to and release those that are not. Set aside time for yourself and your family to stay home and stay connected. As I told my son the other day when he complained that he had nothing to do, it’s okay if we have nothing to do once in a while. It’s okay to be in the moment and embrace a bit of nothingness. It is in the quiet time of nothingness you may hear that small whisper on your soul guiding you in the direction your life is supposed to take you. Who knows what you might be missing out on if you do not take the time to stop and do nothing for a while.