Why we can’t have nice things!!

I am plodding away in the home decoration department. I promise I will post pictures when it is done. However, I had something happen on Friday that fired me up for a blog post. Caution, this may cover a lot of territory!!
See those dogs? Cute, no? Well…let me tell you a story.
I am doing the front room in aqua and orange accents. I love these colors. So cheerful. Our walls are white, and the colors really pop. When we moved in, i had no idea what I wanted to do, but our carpets were either new or at least nicely cleaned. So, I bought some rugs to throw down. Sadly, the rugs were ugly. I have been trying to replace them as I go. I was at Ross and saw this lovely aqua rug there. Good for the front entry area. 4 X 6 and only $20!! Sold. I brought it home, wrestled with whether or not it was too much aqua, decided no, and laid it out. It is soft and colorful. Purchasing something new is always a big deal for me.
It looks something like this:
Felt good about my decision, and went out for a while. I came home, and one of those cute little monsters pictured above had puked up a hairball on it! Wait, you are saying, those look like dogs! Well, they are, and they are not known for their hairball skills, but this time? Oh yes. Hairball. On the very white part of the rug. Not even 3 hours after installation. I cleaned it, and it was still stained. A second go-over seems to have taken care of the stain. But now they are obsessed with stretching on it, and digging their claws into it. Again, I promise that these are NOT cats, they have simply turned cat-like with the introduction of this rug.
This is symptomatic of a larger problem. I know that “they” say nice things and kids (or pets) don’t go together, but it seems like a lot of people figure it out. It mystifies me. I think I am getting better, but for years I have never been able to figure out what my decorating style is, how to pull rooms together, how to keep things tidy, and how to pay for it all. I remember once standing in line at Lowe’s, and there was a lady in front of me spending $400 on flowers for her yard. It was mind boggling to me. $400 just pretty things for the yard. Even when I see DIY-on a budget stuff, there is still a significant chunk of change spent. We had a brief period of home ownership, and we were so strapped that even buying paint was a luxury.

We will never look like this
I am always amazed that people buy homes and immediately start redoing rooms-painting, decorating, adding bathrooms. Even apart from the cost of it, I don’t get the time factor, and just knowing how to decorate and what a person wants. I have been spending quite a bit of time decorating our house, and I feel so guilty about spending time and money on “frivolity.” I am also concerned that I am taking time away from my work. How do people survive that for months or even years? I am not pointing fingers or holding myself up as morally superior. I WISH that I had the patience and talent for nice things. But at least I have cute dogs. I guess I must take some solace in that.
When I look deeper and wider into my life, I must admit that this is widespread with me. I am plagued by feelings of frivolity. It happens in stupid places. When I walk out of a bathroom stall, I will see women grooming-fixing hair, reapplying makeup.

Me? I feel so sill and vain so I might give my hair a swipe after I wash my hands. I don’t judge the women who do it, I just see it as normal. But I can’t bring myself to do it. I sometimes go through three or four outfits before going out, but it is only because the others look stupid or bad. I swear I have no idea how to dress or do my hair. And I am a very messy eater.
I fall into this habit with events as well. When living life to the fullest, people can often be found on mountaintops during the day and in bars at night.

I do both of these things sometimes. But more often, I am consumed with guilt, and it drives me away from the activities. The guilt stems from concerns about money or about time, or both. I feel like I should be spending the money on something else, or I should be using the time to be working. So instead I stay home and read news on the computer. I read a lot of news.

These patterns are so engrained in me that I am not sure if I can change them. But I am going to try. It is time to start convincing myself that it is okay to have and do nice things.

4 Comments

  1. I have had nothing, and I have had a million dollar home with very nice things. Missing in that home was peace. The sense that it was mine.. and even though people said it was a beautiful home, it didn't fit. Like wearing high heeled shoes to a barbecue. I found myself apologizing to people I met about my home, or not admitting that I lived in the "harbor." I was judged for it, and I realized in the end, those friends weren't friends after all. I was never happy with the way my house was decorated either. I didn't like it. I just didn't know how to pull it all together so that I was finally satisfied. Now.. I have nothing. A garage sale table. A medley of pots and pans my new boyfriend got out of his last marriage. A bed a girlfriend gave us so we could have something. But I like my place. There is no art. But it feels more homey than my decorated harbor home. I guess the difference is love.

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