Being home and having time to focus on my home has been a great joy, and also given me new eyes to see lots of possibilities...and lots of flaws. I've been struggling the past week because I keep seeing all of the things about my home I am not happy with, and sliding down the slippery hill of comparison that inevitably dumps me into the pit of coveting. What is coveting? According to dictionary.com it is:
–verb (used with object)
1. to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another's property.
2. to wish for, esp. eagerly
I'm starting with evaluation and reflection. Actually, these are two very distinct things. First, as an evaluation process, I am forcing myself to recognize, is the particular thing I am griping about a "felt need" or a "true need". This usually brings me up short. Many of my "needs" are not needs at all...I just want something different or better. Which isn't a crime, but it does tell me that in order to legitimize a change, I better be very creative in bringing it about. This is where the 'refection' part comes in. I've been spending quite a bit of time poring over great blogs of some incredibly creative and talented women who seem to be able to work magic when it comes to turning 'trash to treasure'! I've been taking 'lessons' in learning to see thrift store shopping as treasure hunting and seeing past the surface to the potential. I'm also picking up tips about how to do the very same with plain old things I even have around the house. I'm trying to spruce up and make the most out of what I've got. Right now I'd love new furniture...but it's soooo not in the budget. So I spent all of yesterday trying different upholstery cleaning tricks I found online and mending the tears and frayed hems in my couches and ottoman in an effort to 'make the best of it'. I feel sort of guilty about the time I am spending on these blogs, and gazing at the decorating books I checked out at the library. However, I must say, I've been very inspired, and have taken action because of what I'm reading, so I'm choosing to think of this reflection time as investment time. It is making a difference in my attitude, and beginning to (albeit, slowly) reflect in my home, so I'm thinking it's actually time well-spent. The family has been noticing (now and then - though, the boys just ask "are we having company or something?") that there is a bit more of this strange sense around the house...something called...'peacefulness'. It's a bit of a new thing for the Clemmer household, but I think we're all liking it.
An additional thought on reflection: taking time to stop and think and dream is something that I have rarely given myself to. There's always so many things to do that it seems like a waste to just sit and think of what could be. But more and more I'm realizing that it's such a worthwhile thing to invest that time and cultivate who I want to be, and let what I want to do flow out of it, rather than letting my doing make me into who I am - like it or not. And I actually accomplish more anyway when I have a specific goal in mind rather than just doing whatever pops up in front of me. (Coincidentally, I just gave a packet to our leadership team as 'homework' for them to reflect on the past year of their lives and list out goals and dreams for the next year, and gave a big pep talk on how important it was to do this. DUH! Apparently I forgot to hit the "apply to self" button!)
And if you're interested, much of my inspiration can be found on my sidebar blogroll; I'm trying to remember to add these great blogs over there so you can go check them out as well!