Healthy Home

On the second-to-last Oprah show, Nate Berkus, Oprah’s featured design expert said, “Your home should tell the story of who you are and more importantly who you want to become. It should rise up to greet you each and every day.” Nate’s quote hit home and I thought, This idea must pertain to my emotional health. Maybe I’d somehow be healthier if my space was always perfectly tidy.  

Recently, I bought another bookshelf from one of my friends. I was drowning in my mess of books and papers. Research books, library books, books I was reading, books I intended to read, magazines and drafts of writing materials lay strewn across the floors. They covered all table surfaces in every room. The chaos grew and began to clutter its way into my mind and productiveness. It was becoming impossible to dust. I wrote down Nate’s comment and thought of my bookshelf and how much happier I feel now; the many books gazing back at me in orderly fashion.

My house is clean, but often messy. There are always a few unfinished dishes littering the kitchen counter—okay maybe more than a few. Plus, I have some kind of chronic ailment that prohibits me from consistently hanging my clothes back in the smaller closets. That’s right—I have two small closets, and still can’t seem to always put things away. I wonder what Nate would think that says about me.

I suppose I was overlooked when the tidy gene was being passed out. Nevertheless, I love it—really love it—when the house is not only clean, but neat. It makes me feel … proud of myself, like I have it all together. It makes me wish everyone would drop in and see me and my wonderfully, well-organized life.

After writing down Nate’s comment, I started to fret. Perhaps my space is not a good representation of who I am. How can I be clever and not find the time to finish the dishes and hang up my clothes? I became a little obsessed with the idea that I was giving the wrong impression by not having an immaculate house. Then I realized my space may not be perfectly tidy, but it does represent who I am. Large pieces of art hang on the walls and photos of loved ones smile back at me. My juicer and blender sit in their spaces on the counter and my dog has more than one space to hang out in.  There are always vegetables in the fridge and a healthy meal in the works. The beds are made and the laundry gets done … eventually. And most importantly, my husband’s love fills the house. My space does “rise up and greet {me}” in a healthy, very me, kind of way. Not perfect, but every day working its way closer to who I envision myself becoming—more me.

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