Romancing the ordinary...

Align Center
There is a book I love by Sarah Ban Breathnach (author of Simple Abundance), called Romancing the Ordinary. I find it so inspiring and am always recommending it, but I have not read it for a while. Time for it to go back on the bedside table.

This blog post by Melissa at The Inspired Room, reminded me of the book and of the importance of doing just that-romancing the ordinary. I really believe that everyone should strive to create their own version of romance in their homes. And it doesn't have to be romance in the traditional, romantic comedy movie, chocolates and roses, sense. It's about romancing life itself. I'm talking about our homes romancing us.

We have a finite amount of time here on this earth, with these bodies to enjoy what it has to offer, and I am increasingly aware of what a blessing each day is. We have been blessed with 5 amazing senses and I think that our homes should be our havens and a pleasure to each of our senses. I am very tactile and am a big fan of soft and fluffy fabrics and blankets to cuddle with on the couch in the Winter, and nice cool smooth sheets in the summer. I also have a pretty highly developed sense of smell and my house smelling nice (or not) can have a major effect on my mood and how I feel about my environment. I talked about good music last Wednesday, and although it's not my forte, I do think it is important to be able to create food that is a comfort and pleasure for us and our families to enjoy in our homes.

It does take a little extra effort to create a romantic environment for our senses to enjoy, but it is so worth it. I really think having an orderly living environment that is pleasing to all of our senses can enhance our sense of purpose and self worth. I know that when my house gets out of control, I feel the same way, and I am less likely to be inclined to give much of myself to anyone else, so wrapped up I am in my own little chaotic whirlwind. Having order in our own lives makes us more productive, more excited about life, more kind and service oriented....that is pretty much proven. I know that every time my sister comes to visit, and gets my house in the kind of great shape that really only she can, I feel a new lease on life.

So we have established that order is pretty key to our sense of well-being, but let's examine the senses a little more. Why, when our precious time on this earth is really unknown, do we so often put off indulging them for some undetermined time in the future? Why do we wait for a special occasion to wear the expensive perfume? I am pretty frugal natured but when I was a little girl my granny exhorted me not to save my perfume, she said it evaporated and went bad, and was meant to be enjoyed every day. Over the years I went back to my hoarding perfume-pinching ways. Last year, my always lovely smelling mother gifted me a big bottle of my favourite perfume, and reminded me again to use it and enjoy it every day. (No I don't think it was a hint about any BO issues). So now I don't save my expensive perfume. I use it every day. A little of the good stuff goes a long way actually. Last week one of my lovely girls at church commented, "Sister Sayer you always smell so nice. It is just so refreshing!" So if you are having trouble justifying breaking out the good stuff, remember that you are just doing those around you a service. It doesn't have to be expensive. There are many lotions and potions from Bath and Body Works guaranteed to send everyone around you into swoons of olfactory delight. (Just don't overdo it and send those around you into allergic spasms).

On that note, why don't we indulge in bubble baths more? They are oh so much more rewarding then watching an extra mediocre half an hour of TV, and they make us more relaxed and hence more pleasant to be around-(not to mention they make us, and the bathroom smell delightful). When you think about it, it's really just all about doing service again! Try it tonight if you have not in a while. There is nothing like a hot bubble bath at the end of a long, cold day. Add a magazine that does not mind getting wet, and you will achieve Nirvana.

We hear all the time not to save the good china and linens. I actually think saving some of it for holidays and birthdays is fine, (I have a great sense of occasion), but setting a simple but nice table every night doesn't require breaking out (or breaking) the crystal. We have a fresh tablecloth every night, real plates, serviettes (napkins) and all the cutlery (not just the fork!-that's another rant for another day). I think it goes a long way toward making family dinner time something that our kids can tell we are committed to and invested in. It also encourages people to sit and talk rather then eat and bolt.

I LOVE fresh flowers, seeing them makes me happy every time I walk by them. But again, the frugality kicks in and I often feel that I can't justify them if they aren't out of my own garden or for a special occasion. Today! I resolve to sacrifice something else in order to always have fresh flowers in my home from henceforth. Life is too short not to indulge our senses with these most amazingly pleasing and exquisite of God's creations.

So for me it is the flowers (and oh yes, I suppose doing the laundry would help too), how about you? What are you going to do to romance the ordinary and create a home that reaches out and embraces you with love and affection (or loves you even more then it already does) each time you walk through the door? You totally deserve a house that loves you, you know.

I'm reading: Romancing the ordinary...Tweet this!


Tooj said...

You DO make a compelling argument, I admit. And I also admit I haven't taken the time to "romance" my home....can I ask if it's okay to put off a lot of these ideas until all babies are walking and maybe even out of diapers? LOL I AM going to go home though....and try to declutter some. THAT will help....and candles. I will burn some candles for good smelling. THIS will help as well. :) Happy Monday.

paparazzimom said...

Thank you for reminding me to get that book back out. I remember you recommending this book years ago and it literally took me that long to find it... my wonderful mom actually found it and gifted it to me. I could not agree more with you on this post and resolve romance the ordinary more this year. :)

{april kennedy} said...

I love using cloth napkins for dinner each night. They can't break but help dinner feel special. And I'm with you on fresh flowers. I will forgo something else to be able to keep them in my home. In fact, I'm in sort of a funk today...and flowers just might help it!

Kallie said...

your timing is impeccable! last night when babies were screaming and waking up right when i NEEDED to sleep -- i felt very out of control. my house was a mess, my laundry overflowing, and i felt bloated from eating too many superbowl foods. I wanted to bawl my face off but was too mad to work up any tears. this morning i cleaned ferociously, tried (TRIED) to be sweet to my children, and resolved to get more sleep -- and i think bubblebaths and less tv is just the ticket! also i got some good classical music at the library today, along with some children's sing alongs (always tend to brighten the mood). so -- i'm getting the candles out -- the long ones for a candle-lit dinner. i'm making tuna burgers for my fam but they will be my gift of love and service. (thanks kirsty)