We live in an HGTV world filled with perfect pins and incredible instagrams. Does this ever make you feel like your home just isn’t good enough? If you aren’t content with the little things, you won’t be content with the big things and vice versa.
A couple years ago I was attending a conference for creatives in Chicago with my husband. The format was similar to a Ted conference and all kinds of arts were represented and presented. Each new presentation was like candy for the senses. To this day I could not tell you who the musicians were. I can only remember two visual presentations but I could not tell you who presented them.
The biggest take away from that conference for me was one sentence. I think it had something to do with the place I was at in my life. Isn’t it interesting how we can read something, hear something, even know something at its core but not really comprehend it until we are ready?
Actor Tony Hale of “Arrested Development” fame was speaking about his journey to success. This is all I remember of his talk, but I have not forgotten it. “If you aren’t going to be content with the little things, you won’t be content with the big things.” That is probably paraphrased, but he was referring to the success in his career. Someone once told him he would never be satisfied or content with the next big thing until he was satisfied and content with where he was at in his career.
This is so much how I feel about my home. We didn’t buy our first house until we were thirty years old. Many of our friends were already settled in their houses or even moving on to their second one by then. All I wanted was a house of my own to paint, decorate, and nest in. Once I achieved that, then I wanted a bigger one, and then a bigger one.
I thought I had arrived when we purchased our “dream home.” It was a brand-new house and it was seven bedrooms big. It was a perfect slate and all new. I could paint and decorate to my heart’s content without having to worry about repairs. But something still wasn’t right. I still wasn’t content with it.
I had everything I always thought I wanted. Then started becoming obsessed with tiny house living and simplifying my life. I had too much stuff. The house was costly to heat and cool. It was expensive to maintain. Remember when I thought I wouldn’t have to do repairs. Well, things break even in new houses.
Okay so wait. Let's recap here. I wasn’t content in the small house and now I wasn’t content in the big house. Hmm. Maybe the house wasn’t the problem.
Timing is a weird thing. It just so happened that while we were attending this conference in Chicago, my husband was offered a new job that would include a relocation. One year later, we moved and began looking for our new home. Shopping for a house this time, I had a whole new perspective.
After nine months of house hunting and missing out on six different houses, we ended up in our urban cottage. This house is not perfect and we are committed to fixing it up with cash. So that means I need to be content with it just how it is.
Don’t get me wrong. There are SO many things that literally bug me about the current state of my house. As an interior designer, many days its imperfections make me antsy. I see the five different kinds of window trim. My bare feet turn on the chunky Saltillo tile. The light sockets are in the weirdest spots. My kitchen countertop needs to be vacuumed because it is too hard to just wipe off. I have a cobalt blue sink!
So here is the reality. Most of the people that I have into my home don’t notice the trim or the light sockets. Everyone says our floor is adorable and thinks we should keep it. As for the blue sink, it will be replaced one day. In the meantime, I am embracing it and throwing in pops of blue here and there to help it feel not alone.
If you are finding yourself not content in your current home, I would take a good hard look at why. Maybe your reasons are completely justified. However, in this HGTV world filled with perfect pins and incredible instagrams, you may just be longing for the wrong thing.
Here is an exercise to help reframe your perspective on being content with your home.
House Contentment Exercise
- Write down all the things that bother you or make you discontent in your home.
- Cross off the things that only you notice.
- Star next to the things that you don’t like but other’s seem to rave about.
- Underline the items that you could do something about but just haven’t done them yet.
- Circle one thing that you can’t change right now, but if you thought outside the box you could make it work for the time being. (Like my blue sink.)
After you have done the exercise, I want to hear from you. Tell me if a little perspective tweak helped take the pressure off or what out-of-the-box design shift you made to help you live it. Comment below or pop on over to this article on the facebook page and join the conversation.
I am content with my blue sink. Because, I know if I’m not content with my blue sink, I won’t be content with any sink and so on.