With this in mind, and because it's a topic of special interest to me right now, I wanted to do a post on rekindling love in a different relationship: between you and your home.
So what are some of the reasons why a person might find themselves falling out of love with their house, or at least stuck in a stagnant spot in their relationship?
I can think of a few...
1. We're going through a rough patch. Sometimes every home will surprise you, and it's not always in a good way. Hidden leaks, surprise expenses, rodent or insect damage, broken systems or appliances...the list could go on and on, it ain't pretty, and often times when it rains it pours.
So what are the solutions to these predicaments of falling out of love and into discontent with your home? Well, once again like the language used when describing romantic relationships, each will be a different journey. But here are a few ideas I've thought of to try that might help.
1. Find old posts/messages about your home. In this digital age, likelihood is when you decided to move into your home you left a message trail. Go back in time and try to find some information from when you first discovered your home. For me this was a post I did to my LiveJournal account in 2010, talking about how smitten I was with this new home on the market we'd already named Catty-Corner Cottage. You might not have a whole blog to look back at, but I'm betting you probably sent an email or a message to someone talking about how excited you were for this new home. Even if not, just close your eyes and try to put yourself back into that moment. Remember when it was all new and exciting, full of possibilities?
2. Think of all the ways your home has been there for you. Yes, perhaps you're going through a rough patch at the moment, but think of all the times your home has been there for you...the nights you've curled up under a blanket with the smell of a candle burning as you read your books, a gentle spring rain that fell on your garden just when you needed that extra burst of growth, the stove that helped you bake that perfect cherry pie for your husband's birthday. Truly there's so much for which to be thankful.
4. Get away for a little while. It can take as little as a few hours or a single night away from your home to see it with new eyes when you return. I'll find corners I forgot to clean, and funky smells I didn't notice, but I'll also get a reminder of how pretty certain rooms look.
5. Remember...Pinterest shows every option. Remember when you were a little girl or boy and you decided every week you wanted to be something different when you grew up? You were going to be a rock star astronaut veterinarian fashion designer, and no one would tell you different. But as you got older, you understood that although it's good to have dreams, it's also important to remember that you're only one person, and you can't put too much pressure on yourself to do and accomplish absolutely everything that comes into your mind.
Pinterest triggers that little child tendency again. We create gorgeous boards called "Someday" and "My dream home" that couldn't possibly exist in the real world. You can't simultaneously live in a caravan, mansion, cottage and Hobbit hole. And any one house that included every piece of stained glass, tree sculpture, gothic carvings, etc. etc that you may pin would be...well it would be amazing, wouldn't it? But it would also be overkill, and often an eclectic mess. Your senses would be constantly overloaded.
The process of decorating one's home is by its very nature the antithesis of Pinterest. Instead of choosing five lamps for that corner, one to represent each side of your personality, you are forced to choose one. And frankly I think that makes each of our homes, and the narrowing down of what items we choose to display and decorate it with, even more special than any Pinterest board could ever be.
Remember...eating every flavor of ice cream eventually makes you sick. Choose your favorite and eat it mindfully. And then walk around your house and see each favorite you chose. Remember the stories behind each item...the strange iron doorstop you found at a flea market, the candle you were so excited to see on clearance at Target, the portrait a friend from Australia drew and sent to you as a total surprise. Remember how exciting it was when those items were new. And feel that excitement all over again. See what a wonderful story your home tells about you. And don't scoff at that story or reject it for a bunch of disjointed narratives, just because they're pretty.