Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Happiness and Furnishing a Home

Funny how things work out. Back in NJ and then CA, it seemed simple. Anything that would cost as much to move as to buy new, I should leave behind. Which means I’m fine on linens like towels and sheets and silverware, fabric and clothes, but I have no furniture or pots or dishes or glasses or a vacuum cleaner? Yet. And the thing is that WAS the sensible decision to make. I have one set of dishes for me and time to find a larger set I like for company. But it’s a little unnerving to come back, day after day, to a house with no furniture. (Well, okay, one tray table and one folding chair fit in the back of my car...)

It would be simpler if I liked what was in the stores. I don’t. At least not so far. And everything is open floor plan so what goes in the dining area has to go with what goes in the living room which has to go with what goes in the study/den/classroom area.

Worse comes to worse, I’ll sew slip covers. But I’d just as soon not have to do that. Thing is, I’ll be living with this stuff for a very long time so it matters that it’s what I want. I’ll check Ross and Marshalls and TJ Maxx stores for dishes and Bed, Bath, & Beyond plus Linens & Things for pots and pans. But...I’m still looking. And checking ads in the paper every day hoping to spot what I really want.

I did get the home security system in place today. Got some more small things I needed yesterday. Will you laugh if I tell you that adding to my set of tools (another set of screw drivers with short handles, tape measure, etc.) was a priority yesterday? (I want to reverse the direction of the door on my dryer and the screwdrivers I have weren’t the right size.) But it’s part of reinforcing that sense of competence—of being able to take care of the things that need to be taken care of in my life.

We all need to feel competent, to know our own strengths. Knowing that, we can find the courage and faith in ourselves to learn new things and deal with what once would have seemed impossible.

One reason I am so picky about my house and what will be in it is that this also is a statement of faith—that I can and deserve to have a lovely home with things that bring me peace and happiness. It is a statement of faith that it is okay to be ME, that who I am and what reflects that identity is good enough and perhaps much more than “good enough.”

I grew up being told always to buy the cheapest thing that would do the job. I grew up being told I wanted the wrong things. I grew up being told I wasn’t good enough. Now, as an adult, it is a joy to know, to affirm to myself that I can choose what is right for me—not just what is cheapest. I can choose what I love knowing it IS the right choice—for ME. I can choose knowing that I can trust myself and the choices I will make. As I said, decorating this house isn’t just a matter of choosing furniture and dishes, etc. It is an affirmation of faith in who I am and who I have and who I WILL become! And I smile each time I add another piece to the setting00even if it is something as small as the right set of screwdrivers for the job I want to do.

The funny thing I am realizing is that the more faith we have in ourselves, the more we let go and reach inside to listen to what we KNOW is right for US, the more likely we are to make choices we do not regret and which are actually GOOD for us as well. (Okay, how many here have ever bought something they KNEW was probably a mistake but couldn’t resist rebelling just that little bit—especially if you couldn’t dare let yourself get what you really wanted?) I believe, for example, that shopaholics may in fact be buying lots of things they don’t really want to make up for the things they believe they aren’t allowed or don’t deserve to have in their lives. Buying one thing, or creating a space or relationship in our lives, that makes us truly happy can head off the purchase of a dozen things that are okay but not what we really want. Faith in ourselves matters. A willingness to allow ourselves to be happy matters—so much hurt and wasted money could be avoided, if we do.

Wishing all of you faith in yourselves and the choices YOU will choose to make!