Well, here we are in Southeast Denver in a bit of a holding pattern. We close on our new and very first home on the 28th which makes my said holding not for much longer. By and large this is good news as I MUST stop commuting north on a trafficky I-25. I know there are worse things. Yet the I-25 afternoon haul felt officially tiring oh, five weeks ago. Plus, somehow I always end up stopping for Chick-Fil-A. It’s Colorado so I’m sure I could find a “cleaner” sprout sandwich or the like, but I’m telling you this traffic pushes me to the nuggets. MSG and merging lanes aside, the up-side is we’ve found great freedom in limited possessions and limited space, and great kindness in the hospitality of our family. Funny how my western sensibilities are challenged by the notion that home doesn’t have to be YOUR house and groceries don’t have to be YOUR groceries and YOUR time can be interrupted by the ebb and flow of someone else’s routine. It’s nice and important to know this kind of curveball in our privatized lives. It’s also not all “hostess with the mostess-y” and imperfection puts me at ease. Open-homed and open-hearted these people are. We love them.
So: needless to say, I’m quite thankful and also quite excited–ready to land even, but also…not. Holding patterns work this way– poising us and containing us so much so that I wonder if this anticipation is even warranted. So, I’m trying to do what my holding pattern does on its own. I’m trying to keep myself in check.
When Luke and I have projects in front of us (house) we hit the ground running. Suffice it to say: the next few months promise to be super fun and super complicated. I don’t care how methodical or organized or type triple A you are. If you are going to build new things in your house AND be craigslist savvy AND compromise AND try to show your husband what exactly you mean by rustic-creative-farmhouse style it’s going to be complicated. I have lots of ideas and will neglect basic household duties to mull over paint chips. I love color. I also love quirky patterns and cozy throws and fun textiles. I like putting things together. Sometimes it looks bad, but sifting through bad makes it good and I take the process personally. Read: intense. Luke, on the other hand, has a lot of skill. He builds things. And by “things” I mean any-thing. Vans, houses, walls, wires, windows, boats. At the critical moment of construction, he always says, “Well, here goes nothing.” And then it turns out perfectly. Read: intense. See why we have DIY fireworks? On paper idea-master and craftsman sound like some dyanamic duo but sometimes it’s dicey.
In yoga, they talk about finding your edge and staying there. The “edge” is desirable because it means you are going deeper into the posture, and moving recklessly could make your form funky. When we talk about our home, we do this. We edge-find. It sounds small, and it probably is. Yet small things in relationships are just code for big things, so it’s good practice for us. We find our edge of late on the topic of home-owning. We can tell it’s our edge because I’m enunciating my words and moving my hands like chops for no good reason, we’ve eaten too many Ikea meatballs and have circled the same showroom four times. We try to push the edge and then we look at each other mostly irritated and say: No. Not today. No more words on this today. No more words and no more cheap Swedish furniture and cheap Swedish meatballs. Let’s go home. Edge-finding is, I suppose, just another one of those blessed holding patterns: a way to be contained and keep our egos at bay.
So, we’re leaning in and trying to love a little more gracefully. It can be annoying to live life carefully, but the opportunity to be intentional is probably the most privileged kind of challenge there is. So, for me, perhaps part of this is remembering that before we dive fingertips first into home renovation, we might shine our hearts a little bit OUT instead of getting all glow-y over Benjamin Moore’s Olive Moss. We have neighbors to meet, a community to learn, a church to serve and love. And didn’t I just say something about how hospitality trumps perfection? I did. And I also made some hostessy with the mostessy comment as if to imply that image and appearance is kind of annoying. I think, in holding patterns, you are supposed to listen to yourself a little better. And sometimes, in holding patterns, you just suppose that painting the walls olive is more important.
Before I forget– I think I also should remember and show you, these: pictures of my 30th birthday trip to Breckenridge. It was awe-inspiring. Really. I wanted to sit in these mountain woods and look up at the cathedral sky ceiling forever. And of course, I didn’t want to re-arrange or re-color or re- anything a thing. That would be silly. After all, there is a great deal of beauty and creation that is a great deal beyond us.