As most of you know, about a year ago I embraced a ‘rational minimalism’ concept and have been weeding out the items in my life I don’t really need or use anymore. Such items have included two bread makers, three pitchers (We had six! Only two people live here!), DVDs, books, and the list goes on and on. Seriously, the trips to the local thrift store seemed endless for awhile. The entire idea behind this concept is to only spend money on the items you really want or need, even if it costs more. Honestly, to me, Rational Minimalism isn’t about buying all your clothes at thrift stores and purchasing VHS tapes at yard sales for entertainment (although I do love me some good flea market finds!!). It’s about saving and waiting for the items you really need to make life more enjoyable – and having the money to buy the really good thing versus the really cheap thing.
So, this week I went through the guest bedroom (because now it is the guest room/office) and pairing items down to meet the basic necessities for overnight guests. I love the idea of having this ‘sanctuary of coziness’ for overnight guests, but in reality, I live in a three bedroom house and I need the room for something I do everyday – WORK! As luck would have it, everything I do these days seems to have a ‘life lesson’ attached to it and this process was no different. As I went through all the items in the room, I realized something about myself that never really occurred to me before, and I’m about to share that revelation with you. It’s actually not very pretty. I realized I used to care more about what others, who rarely see me, thought of me than those who give portions of their life to me every day to show me how they love me. In other words, I was saving GOOD STUFF for overnight guests and trying to pretend that old, worn out stuff was okay for me and my family. And I really do mean ‘used to’ because this journey has made me learn a lot about myself and life’s simplicity. Here’s the case in point:
As I organized the guest storage center, I came across ten beautiful, fluffy white towels. The white towels were purchased about two years ago when Kohl’s had a super-dooper sale on linens and I remember thinking to myself “I’m going to get these towels and save them for overnight guests so that they don’t have to use our old towels.” So, I purchased them. And I saved them – all rolled up neatly and organized within the guest room cabinet – proudly waiting to be used by overnight guests. And you know what? We only had overnight guests twice this year. And not one of them mentioned the pretty white towels. In fact, one only stayed a night and never used one of my pretty white towels. And, I noticed some of these towels STILL had the price tag on them which means NO ONE used them! What I realized this morning, as I took another look at those towels was this: I was saving these towels for people who really don’t notice while the man I love (and even myself!!) use icky old tattered and bleach stained towels. Clean…but ratty. So I took those pretty white towels…and I marched right into my bath room and put those towels in the family towel closet. And I’m going to use them myself and share them with my hubby because he’s really the most important person in my life.
Now, before you go and get all Martha Stewart on me, (“Umph! That’s not how you create a comfy guest experience!!!”) I will admit I left items that seem a bit unnecessary. I did leave the basket of ‘personal hygiene items’ for my overnight guests. I left the basket of note cards, pens and stamps (although I hope none of my guests really don’t stay so long that they need to write to someone far way!! LOL.), and there is still a small bedside pitcher for water. There’s a CD player, several paperback books and Better Homes and Garden magazines. I’m not completely inhospitable. But, I’ve given up some space to keep my overnight guest room…I should, at least, be able to have some really nice towels out of the deal, right?? What I realized is I want my family – the people who make my life complete and live with me every day – to enjoy some luxuries, too. You know?
So…if you come to stay with us…you will find along with my 8 plates and unmatched (cool, but unmatched) coffee mugs several nice towels in the bath room. And if you find that my towels aren’t quite ‘new enough’ for you or that my “Un-Martha Stewart Before Prison” like guest room does not meet your expectations, then I have to tell you this: The Holiday Inn is lovely this time of year and even has a swimming pool. And they have lots of fluffy white towels. We will meet for dinner outside on our deck. Bring your own chair because I only have two.