Monday, March 31, 2014

I Think I May Have A Problem

Hello. My name is Sara and I am an addict.

I didn't know my problem was this bad. I thought I could handle it on my own. But I've come to believe that I cannot control this myself. I need help.

I am addicted to throw pillows.

It was harmless fun at first. I would buy a fluffy pillow thinking it would solve my decorating problems. But I'd get the pillow home and after a brief high, I'd realize that I was still unhappy. And so I'd go to Home Goods or Target thinking that I could handle myself. I could get out of there without a pillow. I'd just avoid the pillow section.

But we all know how that works out. You think you are strong enough and that you can just stroll through the pillow section and take a peek. You won't buy anything. Because you definitely don't need a throw pillow. You can get by without a throw pillow.  Throw pillows don't rule you, you rule throw pillows.

And then you see it. The color is perfect! The texture is divine! You have the perfect spot for it! And you say to yourself: Oh what's one throw pillow? I'll just get this one pillow this one time and then I'll quit. So you buy it and take it home and put it in the spot that would be perfect for it and you look at it and it just... isn't. Oh well, you think. It's just a pillow. I'll put it in the closet and when I re-do the  next room, I bet it will work in there.

Except it doesn't.

And you promise yourself you will just. stop. And you do.

Until the next time.

And you keep going this way on this crazy throw pillow train, collecting pillows and tossing them in closets and collecting pillows and tossing them in closets.

Then you discover that you can make a pillow using place mats.

And you think to yourself, this is it! This is the solution I've been waiting for! Place mats are cheap! Fiberfill is cheap! I can totally make a pillow that will be the perfect pillow and all of my problems will be solved!

Place mats are like the methadone for throw pillow addiction. Soon you find yourself addicted to them as well.

So now you find yourself trolling all your old haunts and instead of just being drawn to the pillow section, now you are also drawn to the tableware section.

You find your children pulling you by the arm and hustling you away saying "NO! Mom. Come. On. You do not need another pillow or place mat. This is not okay. It's time to stop."

And you are embarrassed because you have been found out. You thought you had hidden your little addiction so well. But now your kids are on to you and things are just going to have to change.

So. You force yourself into your closet and you pull out your stash of pillows. And it looks like this:

And your face flames in shame as you realize that none of these pillows have solved one decorating problem for you. So you go through them one by one, pat them lovingly, and relive the memories of their purchase or creation. And then you force yourself to choose. Some of them must go. You will allow yourself to keep a few which come into play around the holidays, but after that, you will make yourself be brutal and get rid of the rest. Even--horror of horrors!--the matching ones that came with the couch that is now covered with a slip cover and don't even match any part of your house anymore. Yes. Those, too, must go. You were holding on to them "just in case." But you have realized that just in case never happened. And even if it did, you would be okay without those pillows.

So here are the last throw pillows I've made: (the floral ones)

Yes, they are lovely. Yes, they bring in a burst of color for spring. But you have seen the light. Pillows will not get you out of any sort of decorating dilemma. They will only steal space in your closet.

So now my living room looks like this:

And I'm going to live with it. And it's going to be okay. Because I've done the hardest part; I've admitted that I have a problem.

But see those lamps? Did you know you could make a lamp out of a vase? Want to meet me at Home Goods? I'll see you in the glassware section. I mean, I know I was just there, but I could go again. I don't have to buy anything. I totally have this vase/lamp thing under control...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bear With Me

I've been sitting here, glass of wine in hand, staring at this blank screen with its accusatory flashing cursor for the last 20 minutes. I am forcing myself to write even though it's the last thing I want to do. Yep, even less than laundry, and that, my friends should be extremely telling. It's not that I don't have anything to write about, because I do. Plenty has happened in these last six weeks that is totally blog-worthy. I just can't seem to find the energy or the will to care enough to write it.

Perhaps this winter, in all of its frigid bitterness has sapped me. But I think the more likely reason is that I am simply out of the habit. It used to be that I found something to write about at least three times a week and went at it hammer and tong. Now, even though I have some things to write about, there are other things that feel more off limits. As my kids get older, I feel like I have to be more judicious in what I post about them. And the dog has somehow found her middle age mellow. I'm not that all interesting by myself. (Although I did recently have a procedure done that you may get to hear about. Because medical stuff just screams funny, right?) The neighbors have been, if not friendly, at least not openly hostile. House things are coming together, but I don't know if anyone even wants to hear about projects I've taken on.

At first I didn't write because I didn't have much to write about. Then when I did have some things to write about, sitting down and staring at a blank screen and a hostile, blinking cursor made me uncomfortable. And being uncomfortable in a place that I had never been uncomfortable before made me resent the whole idea of writing. And instead of writing my way through it, I simply shrugged my shoulders, and said "meh" to the whole thing.

I don't want to be that way. I don't want to not do something that has meant so much to me just because I'm uncomfortable. I want to be the kind of person that sits in that uncomfortable spot and says, "how are you going to change it?" And so, you kind, sweet people, please bear with me as I find my way back to the sweet spot. It's likely to be a little awkward and lurchy around here, as I find my footing again.  But I'll get there, because I've decided that there is a better place to be than here.