A Season of Questions

Another Monday, another busy week.

Although the beginning of the week often sends people in a tailspin, I’ve been fortunate this year to have a wide number of easy Mondays to contend with. Many of which involve sleeping in, cozying up with coffee and a book, and mapping out the rest of the week in my planner. This Monday has been no different, in terms of activities, but I’ve found myself coming to a revelation that was much needed.

It began when I finished reading The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ first book that recounts the journey of their life together. I found it to be a pleasant and easy read when I started it the other day, and by the end of the book, I found their words to be truly inspiring–and a bit eye opening. Chapter thirteen, Surviving or Thriving, turned out to be just what I needed for this particular season of my life.

thriving

Mike and I moved into our new apartment in Pasadena about five weeks ago. Since then, we’ve been pretty busy with work, errands, family get-togethers, and our wedding venue search that we haven’t spent a great deal of time turning our apartment into a home. Most of our belongings are still in boxes scattered around the apartment! And the more I look at how much unpacking we have left to do, the more discouraged I become towards this apartment.

Although we haven’t made progress with unpacking, I’ve been dedicating an hour a day to finding inspiration on Pinterest for how we want to design our new space. Now that we’ve moved to a new city, it seems fitting that our home should look “new” too. Most of our furniture in our San Diego home were hand-me-down pieces from my parents, Mike’s parents, or Good Will. So when we packed up the old place, we decided to sell most of that furniture so we could purchase pieces for this apartment, pieces that we would pick out together to be “ours.”

This process has drained me, mentally, physically, and emotionally.  Mike and I have joked a lot lately that we are on a string of no-hitters; every time we drive around town to a store, hoping to find a particular item to add to our apartment, we walk out finding nothing. Sometimes the problem is not finding things that suit our current taste. Other times, we just can’t seem to find items that fit into our budget. The struggle to find things we need–a sofa and chair, a TV unit, night stands, bookcases–has been difficult due to not having thousands of dollars to shell out at once. I’ll spend hours a day combing through the sale section of most furniture sites and come away having found nothing that works for us. Even more discouraging!

So this morning, as I read on the couch and tried to escape responsibility for a few more hours, I came across this part of chapter thirteen, from Joanna’s perspective, that really struck a chord with me:

So what if my house wasn’t perfect?

It was perfect just the way it was.

I realized that my determination to make things perfect meant I was chasing an empty obsession all day long. Nothing was ever going to be perfect the way I had envisioned it in the past… It all came down to a mind shift in which I asked myself, “What am I going for in life?” Was it to achieve somebody else’s idea of what a perfect home should look like? Or was it to live fully in the perfection of the home and family I have?

This. This is what I needed to read during this season of my life full of questions, doubts, and concerns about quickly creating the perfect space for our new home. I needed clarity, a moment to find sight of what truly matters. I’ve been so busy focusing on what our future will look like in Pasadena that I haven’t taken the time to appreciate the present. To take in what we have accomplished and the roads that have led us to where we are now.

From this moment forward, I’m making it my goal to stop stressing about this perfect vision I have in my head of our home and our life. Instead, I’m going to enjoy the mishaps and frustrations, as they’ll make the successes feel more rewarding. Will I make good on this goal? Not always. I’m sure they’ll be times when I’m stressing again over my own high expectations, but I will have this post to help keep me centered.

In the end, I’m not just trying to create a visually perfect place for Michael and me to live. I’m trying to create memories of home, imperfections and all, that will last us throughout our life together. Because that will be our story someday.

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