Well, tomorrow is the day that our house gets listed on MLS for all the world to see. And today was the day that the professional photos were shot. I walked in the house after work today to a sparkling clean, immaculately neat/arranged/staged house.
I’m not sure our kitchen has ever looked that clean! Not one item on the counters. Nothing out of place. Everything arranged just so - even the books on our nightstands by our bed slant perfectly. I feel a little anxious. Worried that this is the standard that I’ll have to keep up over the next few weeks. Concerned that Michael might become a little too fastidious about keeping things tidy. It’s just a little too perfect for my not perfect life.
The realness of my life is not Instagram interesting. Yesterday I spilled about 1/2 a cup of garlic powder all over the floor and my foot at Central Market. My dog has a weird skin thing going on where she has a huge bald spot on her shoulder. Instead of doing the laundry, I hid it in the closet. I’m excited about moving to smaller house because we value simplifying…and also because it means there’s so much less house to clean. I’ve cried approximately 15 times (including twice in different coffee shops, once at a restaurant, three times in the car, once at my sister’s house, twice while attempting to run, and several times at home) in the last 4 days because I have an injured leg and can’t run. I eat in front of the TV almost every night. I like reading young adult fiction more than Les Mis. I take melatonin every single night to get to sleep because I’ve struggled with sleep issues for the past three years…and I get in bed about 9pm like a granny because I know it might take me a long time to actually get to sleep. I’m an introvert and prefer to spend time with people one-on-one or in small groups… I don’t hate people, but I don’t love to go to parties… especially if those parties are late at night. I eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, & dinner (& dessert) pretty much everyday.
I’m actually okay with being imperfect. The people-pleaser in me wants more “likes” on Facebook or followers on Twitter. But when I take a step back and detach a bit, I realize I like the routines & rhythms of my life. I’m totally fine not having a picture-perfect life. What I find I’m increasingly not fine with is living a superficial life. I really want more richness - in relationships, in my marriage, in my creative outlets, in my home. I don’t really expect that to look prettier than life does right now, but I do think it will feel more wholehearted. Possibly a little more vulnerable. I hope it feels more inviting and approachable.
In the meantime, hopefully I can maintain the sparkling clean image of my house right now long enough to get an offer on it!
The very first big purchase that Michael & I made together after we got engaged was our dining room table. We found it at this store in Waco that felt like an antique store, but actually had an assortment of new & old things. Our table was actually one of the new items, and it felt like a true “find”. It’s really beautiful, I think. Square, a dark, rich finish, solid wood - each one of the legs weighs something like 30 lbs. It’s a beast to move. We’ve enjoyed it over our six years of marriage and I’ve loved the way it’s looked in each one of our dining rooms. But we’ve decided to sell it.
Initially the size is what made me consider selling it. Two people can easily fit on each side and it fills our current dining room. It’s hard to imagine it in a smaller space. In thinking about what kind of table I’d like to get to replace it, a farmhouse style table immediately came to mind. I pitched the idea to Michael, thinking that he would veto it in favor of something more sleek & contemporary, but he latched on to the idea. We agreed that a farmhouse table would be more inviting for dinners with friends and would also be great for bigger family meals. Right now Michael and I rarely eat at the table because it’s not super conducive for a meal for two.
The decision to sell our table and buy a new one with a different style got me to thinking about our priorities in selecting what we want in our new home. We’ve collected furniture to fill our house through the years. It seems like a lot of those purchases were just to fill space. Our new priority is choosing pieces - ones we already own or selling what we have a buying new/used - that we love and serve a purpose. My goal for a new dining table isn’t just to create a look, but to host family & friends easily. Beauty is super important to me and so is simplicity. Can’t wait to find the right table for our new place.
The question we’ve gotten the most is if this change has been something we’ve been talking about for a long time. It’s not. Well, it is and it’s not. We’ve talked about what in our life isn’t lining up with what’s in our hearts. And we’ve talked about how drained we are at the end of the day of just trying to maintain everything we’re responsible for. We’re both first-borns and are probably overly responsible people, so I don’t think we’re trying to run from being responsible.
We’re selling our house. We’ve owned it for about a year and half. In that time we’ve painted almost every room, planted a vegetable garden, and completely remodeled the master bathroom. But somehow we just haven’t connected to this house or to our neighborhood. So about three or so Sundays ago when Michael & I were talking as we drank coffee in the backyard about how we should start saving for a deck and for landscaping and for a new front door and possibly move our vegetable garden beds to the other side of the yard and so forth, we both paused and I wondered aloud if that’s what we truly wanted. We’re great at budgeting for things. Once we decide to save up for something, it’s only a matter of time before that thing becomes a reality. We started talking about if all the things we’d listed were what we really wanted in life and if they were really our goals or just what we as home owners thought our goals should be. What if we sold our house? What if we downsized? What if we lived in a neighborhood we loved and could walk to coffee shops and develop friendships with people who lived near us? What if we didn’t have to maintain a ginormous yard or keep a larger square footage house clean?
We’ve begun the process of paring down. I found this blog and wow - their story inspires me so much. Michael & I aren’t making this decision to live more simply based on our finances, but out of a place of not wanting the distraction of so much stuff. We want to focus on relationships and people we love. We want to give our energy to things that energize us back instead of drain us. And ultimately we just want a season of life - be it a year or 30 years - of learning more about what’s really in our hearts.
We are selling a lot of furniture and throwing away documents that have no meaning. I’m hoping there’s a well-worn path between our house & GoodWill by the time we move. Our house currently looks chaotic as we prepare to list it next week. I don’t really know what the next few weeks or months will look like, but I’m hoping to post here more of what I’m learning along the way.