I’ve read all the interior decorating books where they inform novices like me to select colors and furnishings that all go together so one room of my house will flow into the next without abrupt changes in styles and hues. I understand all that - but I don’t always do it. I don’t do it because I can only afford to fix up one area of my house per decade.
When you walk through my home you’ll find the styles and colors of the seventies in some rooms, eighties in others and the nineties in a couple more. Because I just updated my kitchen I now have a new decade represented in my home. Walking around my house is definitely not like taking a Parade of Homes tour - but it is a trip down memory lane. Sometimes when my grown children return home, they say it feels like walking back in time when they go into their old bedrooms and see everything the way they left it.
It’s not that I’m overly sentimental when it comes to all the stuff in my house; I just don’t see the point of frequent changes any more. This is what I’ve learned after being alive for over half a century. Everything goes full circle. The rooms with seventies colors and styles are actually back into groovy now. So, if you hold onto your things long enough, eventually they come back in style.
I remember walking into an older woman’s home when I was in my twenties. I had bought into our culture’s idea that being trendy and up to date actually mattered. I knew precisely what was popular in home furnishings and clothing.
“Doesn’t she know she is so sixties?” I remember thinking.
Now I’m that older woman with the out-of-date house. I can answer that question for young people this way, “Yes, I know I’m out of style but I really don’t care any more. If the couch is still comfy and the colors don’t drive me crazy, why hurry and change things? If I wait long enough I’ll be in style again in about thirty years anyway.”
I’ve also learned that styles and trends aren’t the only things that return after thirty years. All our small seemingly unimportant thoughts and actions eventually create our reality and eventual destiny. In other words, what we send out into the world returns to us a hundred fold. We cannot reap what we did not sew. So day by day we plant the thoughts and deeds that will grow into our life’s story.
If we desire to love and serve more than we desire fame or fortune we may be out of step with our culture’s measure of success but we will in step to the law of the harvest. Thought and action is real; possessions and recognition a slippery illusion. Ultimately we keep only who we have become, what we’ve learned, and the gifts we’ve willingly shared.
The most important journey of life is finding our true self by losing our selfish self. What we embrace, create and share becomes our eventual reality. We finally find our way back home when we relish the simple things in life and we are at peace with our self. And that’s how we truly make a home for the decades.