Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Opening The Door On Imperfect Days

Years ago, Tom and I went to our friends' house to give them something they'd said some mutual friends needed. Now, my friend was a neat-freak (like I was) who prided herself in her always-presentable house (like I did) and well, on this day, she was baking and every inch of her countertop and kitchen table was covered with mixing bowls, bags of flour and sugar (and bits on the floor), measuring cups, bottles of oil, pot holders, cartons of eggs, cannisters, baking pans, cookbooks and a sink crammed with dishes. Never, ever had I seen her kitchen like that. Never, ever would I have guessed that it could.

My poor friend. When her husband opened the door and let us into the kitchen, I could tell she wanted to die. Just die. How could I tell? Besides the fact that she said nothing and let her husband do all the talking, she and I were so much alike and I would have felt the very same way. I would have welcomed the kitchen floor opening and the basement swallowing me had anyone seen my kitchen like that, too.

Well, times have changed. And thank-goodness, I have changed. And just to prove it to you, remember our cozy room, the one in the picture above? Well, this is how it looks today:

And this:

Now, before you faint, let me explain... Both Tom and I are still (does it ever end?) decluttering our house in case we move, and well, guess where Tom is doing the majority of his decluttering while he watches tv? Yes, in our used-to-be-cute cozy room. And mostly I am trying not to trip over those boxes when I step in and out of there while the commercials for 24 and American Idol (etc.) are airing.

Why share this? Why come clean? Because it wouldn't be honest of me to only share with you the pictures of my house when it's at its best. Today I'm letting it all hang out (well, sort-of) so that you'll know that I, too, have messes around my house.

And the best part? I don't even want to die. I don't even want the cozy room floor to open and swallow me, either. After a whole bunch of years I've realized it's okay to relax and enjoy my home, even when it's not under control... that I will survive if anyone drops by because--although my house is a reflection of me--we are not the same thing.

And remembering that keeps me from biting off Tom's head (so often anyway) when he leaves things here, there, everywhere.... which leads to much more peace around the house.

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