I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut. For the past 11 days, I have traveled back and forth to the hospital checking in on my dear best friend. Nine months ago, she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She’s had rounds of chemo and surgery but today she received word that there is no cure. I won’t go into the details, but based on her condition, and the rate the cancer has spread, we’re at that point where we’re praying for a miracle but also facing a devastating reality. My heart is broken.
Between the interruptions of doctors and nurses and procedures we talk about the little mundane details of life. I held her as she cried, just wishing she could be in her kitchen doing morning dishes or folding her laundry. She had been robbed of joys as simple as daily household tasks.
Her home is small but cozy, she lives with her three kids and husband in 1,000 square feet, and she’s made it so special. Everything is beautiful, and it all serves a purpose. Her velvet sofa and two side chairs are where her family gathers to watch movies. Her home is painted in warm shades, and is layered with wood furniture, soft patterned pillows, lovely dishes and artwork, and reminders everywhere of a happy home.
She inspires me in the way she has decorated her home and the way she lives her life. She keeps an incredibly clean and organized home, but still indulges her ten year old daughters in their love of two parakeets that chirp all day in the living room, and shed feathers all over the floor. She drinks rosé in summer because it reminds her of our girl’s trip to Paris. She doesn’t bother with a Facebook or Instagram account because she believes it distracts her from true connection.
Like her, I have designed my home so that I am surrounded by the little things that make me happy. A love to drink a glass of red wine in my courtyard in the evening. I have three pairs of favorite pajamas that I rotate, and look forward wearing at night. I love my teal sectional in the family room, even with the cat scratches on the ends. The tile in my master bathtub is chipped but I don’t care because it’s there that I indulge in a bite of chocolate and a hot bath before bed. With these simple things, I am content.
Joy comes from surrounding ourselves with the little pleasures in life. It doesn’t come from designer handbags or high end furniture. It will never come from Facebook likes or Instagram followers. Those things leave you empty at the end of the day.
Happiness at home comes from designing a life you love, it’s the feeling of sleeping in a pillow and linens you’ve chosen that are just right for you. It’s the shape of your favorite coffee cup. It’s the sound of your child’s laughter as it echoes through the home. It’s your sweet pets (no matter how troublesome they are) and favorite blanket, and the comfort you feel from being at home, in your home, the one you have created.
Do me a favor today friends. Share something that brings you the most joy. Tell me how it is that you have designed a life that you love? What are the habits or rituals that make you happy? What sounds or flavors or treasures make you smile? I’d love to know what it is, no matter how random, that makes you feel grateful, content, and happy in your home.