Monday, July 11, 2016
Some days I love my house. Some days I look around my house and feel like a failure. I want one of those HGTV houses with pristine walls (my house hasn't been fully painted in a decade; handprints are everywhere) and artfully unmatched furniture pieces and a designer kitchen with cupboard doors that are not forever coming off their hinges.
I want a gleaming finish on hardwood floors, not these scuffed, battered boards underfoot. I want a farmhouse dining table to replace the rickety one by the window that my father and husband screwed together while I held my now 24-year-old firstborn as a babe in arms, and chairs sturdy enough for people to actually sit and dine comfortably, rather than balancing dinner plates on their knees while perched on lumpy matching brown couches in front of the TV.
I want storage space in this small New York City apartment, so that everything lined up on my counter or on chairs in the corner or just out of the way on the floor can have a place to live. I want. It all feels too much, this wanting, this feeling that somehow other people are able to manage these things while I just sit here feeling overwhelmed. Not knowing where or how to start. Feeling that even if I started my choices would be all wrong. Wishing one of the Property Brothers would just come in here and accomplish this home makeover feat for me. So many emotions. So much self-judgment clouding the fact that everything I truly need, I already have.
Here's what I really want. My children to be happy. But sometimes they are not. This is called life.
And so I obsess on the things that theoretically are within my control—the state of the house—to distract myself from the things I cannot control—the state of our hearts, the reach of our dreams, the proportion of light and shadow in our days.