We’ve lived in the house we’re in now for about 10 years.
The paint on the wood around the garage doors is peeling. It all needs to be repainted.
The wooden columns by the front door are rotting around the bottom and I cringe every time I come home and see them. They need to be completely replaced.
All of the bedrooms still have the pool table-green carpet that, I can only assume, the previous owners got a great deal on. It’s got to go before we can even think about decorating nicely.
The screen door leading to the backyard is practically falling off its hinges. We dream of getting one of those fancy sliding “invisible” ones.
The railings around the deck by the pool have been eaten away by various animals. We’re saving up to have it them replaced with something prettier.
Most days when I look at the house all I see is what’s wrong and a million projects that I have neither the money nor the time for.
But you know what?
That house is where my family is.
It keeps my kids and my husband and our two guinea pigs dry and warm and safe.
Over in the corner of the living room by the window is where we my husband puts up our Christmas tree every year and the kids and I drink hot chocolate and decorate it.
The bathroom is where I gave my kids bubble baths when they were little, where my son has spent summers filling a thousand water balloons and where we’ve laughed in the mirror while putting on Halloween makeup every fall.
My daughter’s bedroom was the perfect dark and quiet space she needed to heal from a concussion she sustained while playing hockey.
And on the floor just outside the kitchen is where my husband and I cried and held our dog of 10 years as our vet put him to sleep.
Forts and sleepovers, laughter and tears, board games and Sunday naps – my house has held space for us to do all of those things.
I asked the people in my Facebook group the other day to tell me the first word that came to mind when I asked them to describe their bodies.
“Fat,” is what most of them said.
“Broken,” someone else typed. “Disgusting. Ugly. Bloated.”
It hurt my heart.
They only see what they want to change.
They see flabby arms, belly rolls and cellulite.
They don’t see the arms that squeeze their children when they’re hurt.
Or the feet that have carried them through cool forests, quiet museums and electric city streets.
Or the hands that have created beautiful art or music or food.
Or the belly where their children grew or that was filled with butterflies right before something amazing happened.
To judge a thing only by its outsides, the parts you want to change, the bits that bug you, is to disregard and diminish the immeasurable value, beauty and potential of that thing.
You are so much more, so much greater, so much more profound than the rolls on your belly.
Just like my house is so much more than its peeling paint.
Love your house.