Opening your home say’s “you’re welcome into my real life”.
I wish I was the kind of gal who swung open my front door freely, but I’m not. I don’t really like unannounced visitors. Firstly, because I will be in my around-the-house-clothes which fall very much under the “for comfort” category and are neither flattering nor stylish. Secondly and the main reason, because the house wouldn’t be “visitor-clean”.
Before you come over, (after being invited of course), I will need to do a mini spring clean and there will be some kind of elaborate menu planning. All hands will be on deck in preparation for your arrival. Instructions will be given (sometimes barked), there will be huffing, puffing and eye-rolling, but you won’t see any of that, because by the time you knock on the door, everything will be in its place and we will be all smiles, happy to see you.
And that’s the reason why I don’t jump at having people around and why I love Jen Hatmaker’s quote.
What if I could invite you over mid-week and the kitchen table looks like it does now? Books and papers at one end and placemats strewn, there are cobwebs in the window and remnants of potato chips under-feet. What if when you went to the bathroom, you saw the soap scum on the shower door and you saw flecks of toothpaste on the mirror? Would you notice the floor needs vacuuming? Would you see the dust film across the furniture as the afternoon sun hits it?
How wonderful and liberating would it be to say, “Come in. This is how we really live”.
One of my goals this year is to be more hospitable. I truly want to achieve that in a carefree and relaxed kind of way. Currently the need for the house and the food to be perfect, means a dinner party can take a good 12 hours to prepare for. No wonder, at the end of a busy week, I talk myself out of it.
But this idea that the wonderful Jen Hatmaker talks about, seems so much more do-able. Of course, its going to take a major shift to move into that gear and even just writing about it, I am scheming how I would invite people over, but on Saturday (after the housework is done). Aaahh its like a terrible disorder, I’m not sure I can shake it.
The other thing I stress about is food. Anytime someone comes over it has to be something fabulous. Why don’t I invite some friends around to enjoy the veggie pasta sauce that I make in bulk and freeze and serve it with some garlic bread? So simple and no stress!
My wonderful Aunty Margaret has a good tip on cleaning which I try to keep in mind. That is, you can look like you have a clean house, simply by tidying things away. If surfaces are clear, it gives the impression that the house is clean.
Maybe I should start with these two things – tidy surfaces (no mad housework marathon) and my veggie pasta.
Dear precious readers, if you have any tips on how to be a groovy relaxed host, please do let me know. Or even better, if you are a recovering uptight host who has successfully transitioned to being cool and groovy, please can you let me know how you did it.
If I say “welcome into my real life”, doesn’t that also invite you, to welcome me into yours?