Sunday, January 25, 2009

Letting Go Of Pretty

For those of you who have been regular followers of this dandy diary o' mine for any length of time, you are well aware of the fact that I am totally hooked on decorating porn (Mary Anne- I love you so- thanks for giving me that term. It is right on, sister). I cannot get enough of HGTV (porn TV) and magazines like Southern Living (courtesy of my Ma-In-Law, Rose) Better Homes & Gardens, and anything else that will give me the graphic details of how to make my home more perfect than it is. Unfortunately, this habit of mine feeds into a real lack of contentment with reality and I struggle with accepting things as they are and constantly wanting a more ideal space. Three weeks ago, when we arrived home from our holiday travels, Tom and I immediately set about rearranging the house to achieve a more reasonable bedroom lay-out for our children. Basically, we live in an uber cute stone bungalow, circa 1937, chalk full of character but lacking the serious square footage needed to raise four children, three of whom are boys, one of whom is a nut and must be in constant motion- preferably in mid-air. Though I am constantly reminding myself that our brothers and sisters in third-world countries live in much meager abodes- a/k/a mud-huts the size of my laundry area, and seem to get by just fine, I find little comfort in these truths. Well, people, my mental state didn't handle the switch very well, and suddenly I found myself in major anxiety mode over my one year-old's new room being two shades of purple (he got Lily's bedroom) and my master suite being the family room with ripped up carpet and an assortment of beat-up worn-out furniture that we can't seem to get rid of. But Lily has a much better set-up, as do Benjamin and Liam- so it really had to be done. For a week after the big move, I sat crying to Tom that we just had to paint Seth's room- he COULD NOT sleep in a purple bedroom (and NO LINDA- WE ARE NOT COVERING THE WALLS WITH MATCHING PICTURES OF PRINCE OR BARNEY!!), and we had to get new carpeting and fix the garage as a playspace once and for all and the furniture needed to match and I was just not going to be well until it was fixed. Then I took some klonopin and settled down a bit. Now, I'm sitting in my baby's room, surrounded by those awful purple walls, and I'm feeling a bit shaky, like at any moment I could really lose it, then I talk myself into numbness by saying- just let go of pretty and get on with it, JUDY, the fine living police won't be here any time soon (except they live in my head and are constantly threatening punishment for the sins of our current decor). My utopia resides in a pottery barn catalog, with a little bit of Restoration Hardware sprinkled hither and yon. I would like to end this post with some happy cliche' that I've wrapped around my troubled mind- but no, instead I will continue to dream that I can walk away from all of this and start over in a house that makes sense, in a climate of no extremes, with sparse amounts of good-looking furnishings and walls painted a nice shade of neutral beige.


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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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