House For Six

Letting Your Messy All Hang Out

Deme Crinion1 Comment
So, remember yesterday?  When I yammered on about how amazing the Edel conference was and how we crave authenticity in our relationships?

I was texting with a friend yesterday and I could tell the auto-correct was having a field day.  It just made me smile, because it's the picture of our friendship.  She happens to have excellent command of the English language, but whenever she texts with me she just doesn't care to go back and fix or proofread.

Her emails are the same way.  She knows I don't need her to do that with me, and after awhile I found myself wondering why I don't do the same in my messages to her.  I mean, all good friends appreciate typos, right?

So, I did.  I stopped worrying about whether my texts or emails to her were perfectly composed or spell checked.  She's one of the few people I do that with, and it's a sigh of relief.

She's also one of the only friends I don't feel I have to tidy up for if she needs to drop by unexpectedly.  I will at least try to straighten up the front room if someone's making a surprise visit....but with this friend, I know that if it's going to require flailing or breaking a sweat to make it happen, I can just skip the clean up.  She won't judge.  She knows what my house looks like all tidy and she knows that we live real lives with real kids and that we all make real big messes. 

Her friendship is totally freeing.  She allows me to see her messes and doesn't feel any need to put up a perfect, have-it-all-together front with me.  Which gives me permission to do the same in return.

For a long time I had this issue with not wanting to have people over to the house if it wasn't clean/decorated/organized/etc.  Then we bought a fixer upper of a home and I realized if I ever wanted to actually have people in our house, I would have to welcome them into the less than ideal. Sometimes into some down right ugly.

We wrapped up our kitchen makeover right before we learned we would be making a surprise move to Ohio for James' work.
before and after 
This transformation happened at a pace of not fast.  I think it took a total of 8 months.  Chipping away, one little project, one painted cabinet door at a time.  Which meant for 8 months my kitchen looked like this (actually much worse - I had "cleaned up" for this shot and for 6 months the upper cabinets had only a thin coat of primer)....

And before our old breakfast nook looked like this... spent a loooong time in this wallpaper-stripped state of glory.

And we actually had people over here.  Often.  We hosted several things for our mom's group in this home, James held coaches meetings, and we loved sharing meals and holidays with friends.  Sure we could have waited until the work was done to have anyone over, but we would have missed SO MUCH.

It took me awhile to stop apologizing for the state of our house (something I'm still working on).  But just like my friend's unproofed texts, owning our imperfections can be an invitation for others to just be themselves.

My living room curtains are still unhemmed.  I still shove the unfolded laundry and random piles of toys into our room with the door shut when people come over.  I lose my patience with the kids more than I would like to admit. 

But you know what?  It's OK.  We're all trying our best, and I'm always thankful for friends that let me be my less than perfect self.  So, go for it.  Let your messy show a little. You'll take some perfection-pressure off yourself and maybe off of someone else too.