Today was a tough one. My son has croup, and I’ve been worried about him. I changed this site over from Blogger to WordPress, and I’m not crazy about the way it looks. It’s going to take a lot of time and concentration for me to figure out how to fix everything. My body is cluttered. My house is still cluttered (although much improved, lately). I’m frustrated.
At the start of naptime, I saw a notification in my inbox that said there was a new post on one of my favorite blogs ever. It was a day-in-the-life post. It was beautiful, drool-worthy, perfect (while trying not to seem overly perfect), and full of pretty colors and awesome photographic composition.
Then I looked up from my computer and saw blah colors, dust, and me looking in the mirror with my seven-year-old sweater on. The sweater had snot smears on it.
It was not a pinnable image.
I know, I know. Bloggers work hard to get their images to look perfect. What we see online is only a small snapshot of a carefully crafted, imaginary life. It’s not real, I shouldn’t feel bad. Blah, blah, blah.
But, hey. I’ve been trying to make my home look good. I’ve used cleaning supplies. Lists have been made. Work has been done. There have been garage sales and trips to Goodwill. I was hoping for something a little more pintastic!
I’ve been working on The Beautiful Useful Project for about seven months. My home still isn’t living up to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
But I’ve been making progress. I’ve been paying down my student loan. I’ve stopped overbuying at Target (sorry, Target). I’ve done some serious decluttering. And I think I may have lost a pound this week – let’s say I have, even if it’s just water weight.
By embarking on this journey to declutter, pay off debt, spiffy up my house, and do this blog, I’ve changed my idea of what Beautiful and Useful mean.
When I started out, The Beautiful Useful Project was about achieving domestic and financial perfection.
Now, it’s about what’s perfect right now, and it’s aligned with what works in each person’s situation and season of life. If that means eating peanut butter sandwiches for days on end, so be it.
Although it’s not a pinnable image, I’m so grateful I was able to stay home with my son today while he was sick. I’m glad for every ounce of snot that’s smeared on my old sweaters. Being with my babies is probably the most beautiful, useful thing I’ve ever done.
With every ten-minute declutter, we are making our everyday lives more beautiful.We are making room for what we value and love.
While I will always enjoy the drool-worthy blogs, I have grown to appreciate the bloggers, authors, and online personalities who are keeping it real. Like FlyLady, who cries in a lot of her podcasts, and shares how she learned how to keep her home company-ready with baby-steps. Or Nony from A Slob Comes Clean, who wanted to start her blog to help get her house under control, until she realized that cleaning and organizing isn’t a “project,” but an ongoing set of routines and habits that she outlines in her book 28 Days to Hope for Your Home. Or Mindy Starns Clark, who wrote The House That Cleans Itself, and fully divulges her struggles with keeping her home clean.
You won’t find professionally crafted photographs on their sites. You will find real photos, understanding, and inspiration to move forward. And I love them for it.
So, I will continue to aim high, but I am letting go of the idea of perfect. I’m happy with progress.
Are you feeling Pintastic today?
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