When our friend Christine visited our home in January, she made a comment to me that she had never met someone who was so obsessed with her walls. I was getting input from her and the others visiting about how to decorate our house throughout their stay. In addition, I was on Pinterest searching for ideas constantly. I evaluated each room in our house for the next thing to do on a nightly basis. I looked at paint sample after paint sample. Christine was right on and her comment has rang in my head since that time - I couldn't relax about making our house beautiful and useful.
This obsession of mine isn't new. I've felt it for the most part of the last year, since we purchased our first home in March 2011. The house didn't "latch" for the first few months, and we were balancing wedding planning with getting settled in Smyrna. Working alone also makes it difficult to get things done.
Something changed in January, though. After help from our family and friends during visits, as well as a dedicated effort on our part to make progress on the big items in the house - basic furniture, curtains, making functional space, further safety measures - I am finally feeling settled. Jenna and Barb's visit in January, which helped me finish our office, really sealed the deal. Our little blue house has become a home. And I am so relieved.
Now, I can sit still a little more often (this is generally hard for me, though!), and there are some nights I don't log onto a home design blog or even Pinterest (I know!). The house projects feel less like "must do" and more like "nice to have." For the most part, John and I are picking things to do during weekends that we think are simply fun. This is such a nice change.
This weekend is our 1-year anniversary of home ownership. As I look back, I'm a bit amazed by how far we've come here. I knew we worked a lot on this, but I did not necessarily realize where we started from. Overall, while this experience has had its ups and downs, I am truly glad we did this when we did.
I recently read an article by Jen Lee that made me say, "Yes, exactly." It captures so much about this home experience and how it reflects all things about life:
I am in the throes of an Apartment Love Obsession. It's been going on for weeks or months now, I'm not sure. My days are punctuated by small bursts to epic projects as I purge unnecessary things, curate and tend all of our spaces...
There are few things as satisfying as home makeovers, really, the pinacle being the Before and After Pictures. I keep kicking myself for not taking more Before Pictures so that I can have that satisfaction--that proof of progress--at the end when you get to step back and say, "Look: once a mess, then transformation, now beauty." But the Before and After Pictures are not the whole story, because minutes or hours later toys and blankets have made their way from their assigned homes onto stray surfaces or floors. One room sparkles while another is neglected.
This is the whole picture: A Life in Progress. Minor victories and major defeats, and sometimes the other way around.