I had a new friend over yesterday. She had never been to my house. It was an impromptu situation where I bit my lip and invited her over, fully knowing the state of the house was kinda trashed.
In a home where most foods are homemade, meals are cooked daily, and recipes are tested and re-tested the kitchen takes a beating. I am a registered dietitian, so cooking is a big part of my life. Cleaning is not. It’s not that I don’t love a clean kitchen. I do. I really do. But I don’t love it enough to always sacrifice other things for that aha moment of a gleaming sink and cheesy 1950’s housewife smile.
I am not that housewife. I am working. I am taking care of farm animals. I exercise. There are things on my to do list that would make my soul sing more than seeing the bottom of my sink. And my sweet husband is not Mr. Clean himself. This means he does not care about having a perfect house (AWESOME!) but also that he is not striving for it regularly either (NOT AWESOME!).
I’ve felt that the my 20’s were about learning more about myself and others, and my 30’s have been an extension of that, focusing on who I want in my inner circle. What are traits of people that appeal to me? One of the traits I appreciate in people is their ability to be raw. With emotion, with reality, with themselves and others. Straight up real deal. Who are you and are you willing to show me?
Lucky for me this comes somewhat naturally (not in all aspects, of course! I’m working on it!). Honestly I think it takes me more effort to mask myself than to just be me. So it’s more of an energy expenditure default rather than an intention. That being said, my main focus with our home is for it to be cozy; warm and welcoming. I want kids to be able to eat popsicles in a different room than the kitchen, and for people to be able to take a breath if they spill something. Nothing in the home is too nice, nor wouldn’t be able to weather some wear and tear that comes with living. I never feel totally comfortable in homes where you have to take shoes off, everything is perfectly in it’s place, and crumbs are being picked up promptly by the homeowner.
So, back to inviting the friend and her daughter over. They had a free hour before pickup and I live near school. It was a no brainer…Come on over! But…. On the short drive over I realized a few things: 1. the shoe box sized sticker box had been emptied and was strewn about through the house, complete with stickers stuck to random surfaces 2. My husband’s pizza night mess was still strewn about the kitchen from 2 days prior 3. Every evidence of breakfast was still out on the kitchen island. Blender. Toaster. Supplements. Mess! 4. The trash and recycling were overflowing.
After the initial shock of oh crap my house is in a state, and after straightening up a tad for the first few minutes I decided to let it go. My friend said one thing that put me at ease, she said “I feel so comfortable here.” MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
There was no front, there was no faking this. I had a few opportunities to clean the kitchen the few days prior, but instead I was in bed close to 8pm. I could have stayed up even just 30 minutes to improve the state of the house. I had a virus I was trying to rid my body of, so forgoing house work was a part of that. But to be fair, I rarely do housework after the kids are in bed. It is not worth it to me. For if I did when would I shower, work, work out, drink tea or wine, blog, or watch Downton Abbey? I would rather have the messy sink or home and a happy heart/mind. Life’s too short to let dirty dishes get me down!
I have released the stigma of a first impression. Plus if she comes over again and it’s even remotely more clean she will have the funky version to compare it to, ha! My 30’s are about being raw. In emotion, with reality, with myself and others. Say it with me now!
Dishes can wait, Life won’t.
This photo was taken from another day, evidence of many home cooked meals where the cleanup crew went to bed early. And I’m good with that.