One of my favorite college classes was European women's history, 1500 - present.  There were 12 of us enrolled in the class, which was held in a conference room on an upper floor of the beautiful JFSB.  We sat around a table and talked about gender roles and wartime sacrifices, and how women's lives have changed over the last several centuries.

One point I remember distinctly was about the invention of modern appliances.  You know, labor-saving devices: washing machine, electric stove/oven/iron/refrigerator, dishwasher.  (For which I am eternally grateful.)  When these devices became widely used, the standard of cleanliness went up.  Women were expected to keep their homes and clothes cleaner and brighter than ever before.  Ultimately, those labor-saving devices weren't "saving" them any labor.

And so, I think, it goes with us.  A revolution is happening across the world.  The internet has given each of us a glimpse into other people's homes and lives.  We are all budding interior designers, building, creating, re-purposing, photographing, sharing.  It is truly a wonderful thing.

But we see only the beautiful things.  I come across organizational tips and numberless concourses of pallet projects and homemade curtains and kitchen makeovers and I think, wow, what a great idea!  The Type 2 in me finds all the details, all the things I could make better in my home.
Then the great ideas breed discontent.  I get irritated with my front room curtains (if only they were grommet top), and my bookshelf (if only I had a bunch of junk to "style" it with), and my laundry room (if only it was actually a room so I could make it look nice), and my bedroom (if only I could walk around in it), and my house (if only I had more space!).  I have lists of things I'd like to do here, oh yes I do.

But there's a delicate balance to be found, isn't there?
I was raised to use it up, wear it out .... and, at the end of the day, I don't have the heart to spend money on a new dresser for my room when I don't really need it.  Every once in a while I have to take a step back and think about what's really important here, what I want out of life and what it's going to take to get me there.  That dresser doesn't even factor in.

So I just keep quiet, and hope that if anyone enters my home, they don't judge me for my shabby couch pillows and mismatched decor, the many interior faux pas I've committed.  I know I could fix it, I just haven't.


Danielle said...

Precisely the reason I'm afraid of Pinterest! As soon as I got something refurbished or made-over I would just find another idea that I'd like better. Nothing would ever be good enough. Three cheers for being content!

Linnea said...

Great post. And so true. I keep pinning all these pallet projects and I'm sure I'll never do one. Along with 40 gazillion other things I pin.

And here Jeff and I are considering moving to an apartment that doesn't have laundry OR a dishwasher. Which direction will I be moving in then?? And can I survive??

Balance is the most important key...figuring out our true limits - how many projects we can truly take on without neglecting the more important things or completely overwhelming ourselves. And it's just so much easier to look, look, look instead of doing a single thing.

Jean said...

Dani - now is the time for you to be on Pinterest! You are remodeling a house!! In six months you stop looking, because it's all done and you have to live with it for a while.
Leia - if you move somewhere without said appliances, my heart will hurt for you. Because I'm lazy and dependent, that's why.