November 05, 2009

Letting Go


My dear friend Shannan is coming to see me on Friday and it got me thinking about this subject that has been on my mind for awhile. I thought this would be a good time to bring it up. Shannan, feel free to print this out and read it several times before you get here.

Dear Friends,
I've decided to quit trying to be perfect. I'm not and neither is my home. I really gave it my all for awhile but to be honest, it was exhausting. I assume that if you are coming to see me it is because you care about me and want to see me and don't really care that my carpet needs to be cleaned and that I still haven't refinished the kitchen table. I assume you would rather sit with me and visit over a cup of tea in a cozily cluttered room than to sit uncomfortably in a perfectly clean museum. Here are some things I would like you to know:

-When you come to my house it will probably be a little messy. A real family with real messes lives here.
-It will probably be a little dusty. I love to vacuum but dusting? Not so much.
-Don't bring your white gloves.
-If you drop food on the floor I suggest you skip the 5 second rule and let the dog eat it.
-I like piles of things. They make me happy.
-I was going to clean for your visit but I decided my time would be better spent in the studio. As my friend I'm sure you agree since you want me to be happy.
-Never come during that time of day when the sun is streaming through the front windows and you can see every streak in my house. We will both be horrified.

I'm embracing my life. The real one. I'm sure we will both be better off for it. I know I am more comfortable in a house that isn't spotless. Now if only I could stop apologizing for the imperfections.

Pic from Country Living

43 comments:

  1. Love this...I always tell gals when they come over and have to step over piles of stuff that I just want them to feel 'at home'. 'Cause the majority of us don't live in magazine-airbrushed size 0 homes.

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  2. omg this is soooo me. i loved this post.
    love it,love it..thanks for posting it.
    Silvia.

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  3. Jen, this was very timely! I have two guests coming today to visit and things are not perfect around here, and oh well.....I'm almost 50 now, and I think I am FINALLY 'getting it'. I used to just about kill myself, you know?

    Have fun with Shannan! I only 'know' her from blogland, but she seems like a keeper.

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  4. I need to print this out and post it on my front door! :) Love it.

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  5. oh dear! If only my mamma could have read you back then...it'd save us from a LOT guilt/trouble/running/guilt!
    I loved your post because I really like your subtle sense of humor.
    I wish you and your friend the happiest of times!

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  6. my invite must have gotten lost in the mail...because i'm sure i would have come and just hung with you and shannon.
    xo

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  7. Girl, you're talking to the lady who finally put her mascara on during a mid-point bathroom break, who wore orange popsicle on her shirt for most of the day, who refused to mop her floors for you and who burned the bread.

    It's all good.

    I do sort of like the idea of showing up in white gloves though, just to mess with you.

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  8. This reminds me of 2 sayings:
    If you're coming to see me, come anytime. If you're coming to see the house, make an appointment.

    And...

    What you can't see from a galloping horse, don't worry about!

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  9. Beautifully put, now I just need to remember that next week when my mother in law comes to visit!

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  10. Welcome to my house! You'll fit right in!

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  11. Perfection? That's a synonym for impossible. Ever wonder what Martha Stewart isn't showing us - and, hey, she has a staff on hand to help out!

    Live, Laugh, Love. That about takes care of the important stuff.

    Enjoy your day, Jen!
    Zuzu

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  12. love it!!!!
    thanks for sharing....and reminding!

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  13. Isn't that liberating? I have been able in my "older" age to let go of many of those OCD goals in my home for visitors, holidays, etc. And I also decided anyone who "judges" isn't a friend anyway!! xoxo

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  14. Don't you know that what blogs are for. So we can show just little snippets of our homes and skip over the big picture which in my home is usually not pretty. But a happy family that has a lot of fun lives in my house and that is all that matters. You have got it right!

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  15. Hi Jen,
    Long time blog visitor, first time commenter. I love your blog and every new post you leave is like a little present. I'm glad you got most of your Christmas shopping done before you decided to quit trying to be perfect! Now you can relax and enjoy the season and point the rest of us in the right direction.

    Speaking of which, I couldn't find the mushroom weave thing -- I remember having something like that as a kid - an old spool with four nails driven into it -- and I loved it! Would you mind telling me the site where you found it or what it's called? Thanks.

    Kris Connell

    www.myfabulous40thbirthday.blogspot.com

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  16. I LOVED this so much..I liked the comment about posting this on the front door.All the comments were GREAT.

    I had a "friend" who I ran into one day at a farmers market and I said we need to catch up ! I followed her home and she said, "Oh, wait here just a minute." I sat in my car for nearly ONE HOUR while she "set it all up". By the time i got inside..a fire was built in the fireplace, candles were glowing in every corner, tea was on the stove...and she MADE SCONES. All while I SAT IN THE CAR ! ALONE. I haven't seen much of her lately......I prefer the more "came to see you not your house kinda friends"

    More later,
    Kary

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  17. Oh, Jen, this is what I think in the logical side of my brain that knows perfection isn't necessary, but then when someone unexpected drops by, I give myself such a hard time for not being more diligent with my housework. There's a sink full of dishes right now and I'm certain there are balls of cat hair in the entry (she deposits them nightly... like there's a little hair factory spitting out puffs while we sleep!) and I'm pretty sure I left a big pile of books somewhere last night. If someone showed up right now, I'd be horrified! Gotta go load the dishwasher now!

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  18. Oh, I LOVE this! So honest...and I KNOW we all feel that way from time to time if not always! I strive to keep a spotless house, but with a husband, a 2-year-old, and a retail business, it's just impossible. I can totally relate! Enjoy life instead of trying to make it something it's not! Love your blog!

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  19. very well said!!!!!!!!! I feel my friends know me....know that I am always involved in some project...this is me.....if they are my friends...they just over-look all the started projects, jewelry makings, etc. LOVED THTE POST

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  20. Well I absolutely loved this post, of course, because I did a similar one last night! Imperfect, here we come! I've decided that since many things I value in my home aren't perfect, I don't have to be either. Enjoy your visit with your friend!
    ~Michelle

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  21. I am definitely printing this out! This is so true...I go crazy cleaning before people come over, drives my husband crazy!

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  22. Good for you. I used to obsess over messes but have let it go. Now if I could just get my husband to!

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  23. Love this post - I am a longtime reader but haven't posted a comment in a while. I feel the same way - I vacuum and swiffer every day, but we live here along with 2 longhaired dogs and that is going to be evident. I confess - I like piles, too!

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  24. I think this should be printed and framed as this is EXACTLY the way I feel!

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  25. Well said! I never judge my friends homes by how clean they are so why do I always expect that they will judge mine - I'm sure they don't. Its time for us all to drop the perfection quest!

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  26. I recently discovered your blog, but have never commented, but today I needed to say a BIG thank you for this post! Thanks for the reminder to let go & enjoy life & what we love instead of obsessing over making our houses perfect. I laughed out loud over the "we will both be horrified" line!

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  27. you girls have fun tomorrow!

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  28. jen,

    let's here it for crafty messes and scuffed floors!

    xo

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  29. do you mind if i copy this letter and pin it to my door for the whole holiday season! it'll take sooo much pressure off :)
    xo,
    LuLu

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  30. Yea, being carefree and our true selves with friends is so important. Well said!

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  31. Love your blog, so creative and witty, and gorgeous pics. Can't wait to come back and see more. And i agree, a home is to be lived in. Mine is not a show home.

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  32. Love this Jen!
    Have a great weekend.

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  33. Beautiful! None of us are perfect, and it's exhausting trying to convince each other we are. I love going to a friends house and seeing it "lived in", and now know they feel the same about visiting me. It took me a long time to learn that, though. Thanks, Jen!

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  34. Jen-Just what I need to read.......I am already stressing about Thanksgiving! I keep telling myself its not about the food but the people!!! Now I just have to follow through with this thought process. Thanks for the post..........and helping me put things into perspective! See you at SIlver Bella!

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  35. Love this post! Especially the one about... I was really going to clean, really, i mean it... but we both know I want to be in the studio...so perfect.

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  36. Oh my goodness, Jen!! I just love this post!!! I always get anxiety when people are coming over. I know that I would never judge a friend by how clean or dirty their home is. The reality is that we have kids and pets and dirt and dust. I once read a quote that basically said "If you want to see my house please call first. If you want to see me, come on over." I always loved that!! Thank you for this post. It's perfect for this time of the year!! :)

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.