I’m in a tidying mood, I’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and clear up the cupboard under the stairs…the hats, scarves, shoes and gloves are now all lined up in an orderly fashion, it won’t last, if only we put things back where they came from.
I honestly can’t believe the amount of ‘stuff’ we have! Every time I come into the house with bags full, having been shopping, I always wonder if all of this is coming into the house, how come I never seem to leave the house with as much stuff..my house is a Tardis!! I won’t even start with the state of the attic, it took me over two hours to find my Christmas decorations!
Which reminds me…
a couple of years ago, I was walking the dog on a cold, dark evening and could see quite easily into people’s homes, it was Christmas time and I was admiring the festive decorations I could glimpse through the windows.
As my dog stopped to sniff, there was one house in particular, a beautiful, detached house with a driveway and double garage, the neat garden at the front with a tree with glistening lights. Through the front door I could see the hallway and to the left, a bay window framed by lush, heavy, ivory curtains through to the lounge, at the base of the stairs was a beautiful tree with colour coordinated decorations, bows made of fine, gold ribbon, baubles and twinkling lights. The lounge was so tidy and ‘cream‘ ! A handsome Norway Spruce was decorated in the same rich golds and greens and the mantlepiece was strewn with a thick and no doubt very expensive garland. It was a picture, and I remember thinking, ‘One day I’ll have a beautiful home and coordinated decorations just like that!’ and as I continued my walk, I thought about this and came to the realisation ….. I will never have a home like that!
It was a Eureka moment!
Now please don’t take it that I was feeling sorry for myself. Not at all, I simply understood who I am and was realistic about my expectations in life. There are so many reasons that I will never have a house like that.
And here are just a few:
1- Firstly, apart from winning the lottery (which I never play) I will never be able to afford a house of that size, on that road!
2- I’m not that tidy!! I could never live in a cream house, with cream walls, cream sofas, cream carpets and ivory curtains!! For starters, I have a black dog! I’m not overly houseproud. I’m not saying I’m a lush but I do tend to drop things and not put them back where they belong. I hang my coat on the back of the chair…well I’ll need it later, no point in putting it away!!
3- If you’ve read some of my other postings you’ll know that I like change….so far my walls have been sunshine yellow, sage green, grey, a lovely crushed raspberry, purple (that was a disaster!!) and I’ve tried the trusted magnolia….I have busy rugs that don’t go with the curtains and a sofa that matches neither. My house is a home, it is definitely lived it, it is eclectic and it could never be featured in a magazine!
4- I like to think of myself as relatively artistic, and so I will make decorations out of biscuit dough, I will use old ribbon to make bows and until this year insisted on using the old Christmas lights that had every colour of the rainbow!
Believe me when I say I felt a huge relief when I realised this. It removed so much pressure, and makes me so grateful for what I have, I’m not saying that we can’t aspire to better things (after all – this year I too have white lights twinkling on my tree!) It’s just so lovely to know that a part of me isn’t always wanting more, I’m quite happy with what I have and am certainly spoiled rotten compared to an awful lot of people out there.
It has become clear to me that there is more to gain by investing time and energy in people, rather than trying to accumulate material goods, it’s just a shame I didn’t understand this sooner as I can remember so many times when I have envied other people’s belongings. Not any more, and given the tough times that we are going through at the moment and I believe it will get worse before it gets better, I am just so appreciative of what I have and the immense pleasure I get from the simpler things in life. This doesn’t in anyway knock the people who have wealth and all the trappings, it’s all relative. I just hope that they too are happy.
And so, on the occasions when I find myself wistfully saying ‘one day’, I check myself, it’s TODAY that needs to be enjoyed because it will be over so quickly.
We have just one life, live it, love it and enjoy every day.