OK, so there’s lots of ways to fill in that phrase. Live like… you were dying. Live like… it’s 1999. Live like… [insert witty quip here].
I found a new one.
Live like you have houseguests.
Bear with me here.
We had houseguests this weekend – a lovely couple from Texas that neither of us had actually met in person. and the husband run a website together, but they’ve only communicated via email and one phone call, all of it about the website. They were coming into town and needed a place to stay, and we were happy to oblige.
Of course, having houseguests (or the prospect of) puts a different shade of lens in one’s glasses, the shade that makes you see all the things wrong with your house that you haven’t had time to change yet. The list for our house is long, and there is only so much time in the day/week/year. We have definitely done a lot of work in the 15 months we’ve lived here, but that doesn’t stop me from seeing all the little tiny things that are wrong, like the peeling paint in the kitchen (basement bathroom, and house exterior too), the missing trim on the front door, all the yard work I totally let slide this year, etc.
There was a push to get the guest bedroom habitable, and that wasn’t all that hard. Lots of boxes went into deep storage, and the rest were emptied somehow (books went onto the bookshelves, art onto the walls, you get the idea).
came over one Sunday to help me recover our dining room chairs (which have turned out very cute – picture forthcoming), and then and I finished that project up on Wednesday night. While no longer disgusting (the old fabric was not appropriate, cream-colored, and very stained from years of use – yech!), the chairs still were quite wobbly to the point of not really being sure if one should sit on them.
So, Friday night we disassembled the chairs and re-glued every single joint. That took the entire evening (seriously, from 6-10pm), but now the chairs are really, really solid. They don’t wobble at all. It’s lovely. Saturday morning we stopped in at Home Depot and bought new little feet slider things (still need to get another set for the table legs), and re-attached the cushions to the chairs. [Editor’s note: iPhone + basement ≠ quality photos.]
Then we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon cleaning out house. Partly because it’s just polite, and partly because one of our guests was allergic to cats, and trying to remove cat hair from a house is an exercise in futility. The house looked fab, and very, very clean. (We emptied the canister on the vacuum before starting on the basement, and it was full when we were done. Ew.)
And when our guests finally arrived, we had a lovely weekend. We went out to eat at places we hadn’t heard of or were iconic, did touristy things, and generally had fun. And in-between all that, I did some homework, a tiny bit of sewing, and we kept up the clean (dishes always in the dishwasher, table cleared off).
So, living like you have houseguests could be a really good way to look at things. Keeping the house clean – always nice, hard to be motivated to do it. Going out to eat at places that are on “the list” instead of old standbys – wonderful, even if the meal isn’t actually as great as you thought it would be. Doing touristy things in your own town – also lovely.
Sadly, our guests are flying home today. We made some wonderful friends, who unfortunately live in Texas. Sad, sad state of affairs. However, work and class started back up today, and we couldn’t keep having all that fun forever.
Bonus – it’s only a 4-day work week, and Saturday already feels close. That’s probably not true for my teacher friends/family, but we can’t all win. I’m finished with homework until the weekend. The house is clean, so I don’t have to worry about that mid-week. I have a mountain of laundry (because I kept forgetting this weekend), and a skirt to work on. (And hopefully better, non-iPhone pictures – forgot to grab the memory card today on my way out the door.)