“My business is to preach to you the beauty of suitability.” – Elsie de Wolfe
The results of the dicey but necessary hard work that represents the contribution, the fruit of having shown up, should be a ridiculously blissful blend of contentment and dissatisfaction, a gentle tension that urges to do more because we know we can do better. Whether we are raising a family, a goat herd, or venture capital, we are hard-wired to strive. As long as we take moments to rest and appreciate what we’ve got, that’s just fine. Trouble comes when we’re striving for the wrong things, or even the right things for the wrong reasons. Then we stall, and hide, and rationalize. We can neither give nor get what we want, so why bother with any of it?
We try too hard, spend life blood and countless dollars, without taking into consideration what will actually work for us, what we might enjoy, or what will make us more accessible and useful to others. All this reaching for what is not meant for us is exhausting. It leaves too little of the “real” us – the part the world needs – to share.
Our homes are meant to be soft places to land, sometimes as the soothing backdrop for the life being lived there, and sometimes as respite from necessary time away. It is a place we welcome others to share food and growth and sadness and love. It is wildly difficult for our space to accommodate us well when we have been careless with either its upkeep or its furnishings. Not just neglect – like the flower beds are covered in weeds or the trim needs painting – but also placing things in our homes that are not useful in the life we live. The objects become obstacles, taking up room and displacing what we DO need.
As I look around the ten feet of space surrounding me right now, I see dusty blinds, haphazardly stacked books, an empty coffee cup, a chair that needs painting. Distractions from my work, reminders of things left undone. I do not see a pen, nor my sketch book, nor a cushion – things that would make the space in which I’m working more functional, more comfortable. Making my workspace suitable – user friendly, attractive, convenient – is a mere ten minute journey, and yet the resistance to set out has lasted for over an hour. An hour of creativity lost to fretting. Shame.
I suppose, if my business is to preach suitability, my life should be in the practice.
With love and optimism –