A Welcoming Home

For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of. We don’t have enough exercise. We don’t have enough work. We don’t have enough profits. We don’t have enough power. We don’t have enough wilderness. We don’t have enough weekends. Of course, we don’t have enough money – ever.

Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds race with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to the reverie of lack.

What begins as a simple expression of the hurried life, or even the challenged life, grows into the great justification for an unfulfilled life.
— Lynne Twist
From a trip to Joshua Tree, taken by Mary Frances

From a trip to Joshua Tree, taken by Mary Frances

In my diffuser is Vetiver and Geranium because I want the house to smell like spring, even if you wouldn’t guess it by the weather. The living room is somewhat tidy but I can still spot out-of-place-toys underneath the chair across the room. I surprise myself by staying seated with my coffee in hand. This is a small victory. Harper is gluing strips of paper to another piece of paper— I think. It could be that he’s gluing strips of paper to the table. Still, I stay seated. Another small victory. The morning is full of these…moments I could have gotten up to tidy more or moments that could distract me from being present with the boys.

A friend recently said trying to keep the living room clean with kids is much like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. Haha. For you parents out there, I’m sure you can agree. What's worse is (with me anyway) is the tendency to focus on getting the house “just so” especially when I know a friend is coming over— even if only for a casual morning hang. My house is never clean enough, theres not enough room. (I only really think that when having guest over, otherwise I think we could always live smaller.) I walk around and notice the curtains, I need new ones, the dining room, this floor needs a good knees-to-the-floor scrubbing, and don't even get me started on tasks in the kitchen. 

So here I am, my diffuser going, the living room floor *mostly* picked up, coffee in hand with a sense of rest settling down in me. I think this is what Lynne talks about when she goes on to define sufficiency:

We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mindset of scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don’t mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn’t a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.
— LT

It is just that — a small victory. Just previous to sitting down to write I thought of all the things I wanted to buy to “get the house ready” for Harpers birthday next week. Baby steps. 

Really though what I want for my home is for it to emanate rest, easy breathing and peace. I want others to feel it. A dear friend who passed away a few years ago, Kim, ran a home like this. Sure, her messes here and there were due to dogs not tiny humans and her home was nearly always magazine ready. I know she had this is not enough moments but for me, when I walked into her home after the initial loud greeting from the dogs, I felt at rest. It’s an energy that we put off.  If we’ve been stressed up until someone walks into our home, it lingers. If she did, somehow it didn’t linger. It felt like a home where you could be present. We called it the time-warp, because you’d almost always leave one to five hours later than you planned.

Stringing these small victories together, choosing to be present and at rest over perfecting all the things, creates the life I hope to consistently lead.