One of my very best friends called me up last week to see if she could drop in for a visit. When she told me she was coming into town, I suggested we meet at the coffee shop...she said "Is it ok if we just meet at your house?"...I said "Remember I have a dog...and she can be loud sometimes"...and she said "I remember. It's not a problem. I will see you tomorrow"...and then...I had a full-blown panic attack.
It's like I was seeing my house for the first time in weeks. One word sums it up...PILES. There was a pile of dishes in the sink, a pile of laundry on the floor outside of the laundry room, piles of bills and junk mail, piles of craft and project materials, a pile of paintings in my dining room, a pile of shoes outside of the foyer closet. I could go on...but I think you get the picture.
For a few weeks, I had justified this path to "Hoarders" by telling myself how busy I had been and how when I get a few things off my plate, I will do a cleaning overhaul on the entire house. And then suddenly a spur of the moment visit put it all into perspective for me. I will never be less busy. When I get one thing off of my plate...I will feel compelled to fill it with something else.
So...I threw out what I could, organized what I could, cleaned what I could...and shoved everything else into nearby closets : ) And when Ashley got here, I felt pretty good. We talked, she sat down, and she said how nice my house looked...and I said "Thank you. But, an hour ago, it was a complete disaster...You would have needed a Hazmat suit to walk in the door...and you definitely don't want to open any of my closets or my laundry room. And you can't go upstairs, because it's still a disaster up there."
That is me. I am the person who will almost break my neck trying to clean my house so my friend won't see the disaster I often call our home, to then tell her how nasty it was minutes before. I am also that person who hears "I love that shirt!" and then feel compelled to say "Thank you! You won't believe what I paid for it. $3.25!!! Can you believe that? It was a great sale! "
After Ashley left, I thought to myself about all of the times we have shared stories about how crazy, disorganized and hectic our lives are, but when it came down to it...saying it and having someone actually see it are two completely different things. Don't we all want to appear to have it together? Don't we all want to believe that we can have a happy and clean home.. we can have careers and tons of quality family time...we can have little sleep and still look perfect when we walk out the door?
Now, my house is still looking "visit ready" at this point, but I can already see life creeping in. And that is ok. For the same reason I don't decorate my home for other people's appreciation, and I don't make artwork with a buyer in mind, I do not live "visit ready".
Is that really living?
No one will ever walk into my home and think that life is not lived here. And I am good with that.