Whenever you get the opportunity to be a house guest, you get a front row seat to seeing how other people live. To the reality show junkie in me, this is amazing. Not that my friend exhibited any behaviors that warranted a reality show, but you know what I mean. You see how others cook and clean. What they feed their kids. How they handle tantrums. What their daily schedule is like. You see underneath the Facebook veneer into what is real and true.
I got to experience simplicity, something I long for daily in my life. My friend is so good at choosing simplicity: in the amount of stuff in her home, in the amount of things on her calendar, in everything. She chooses simple over more. Her home was just filled with a sense of calm and peace because she wasn't frantically moving about all the time like I am. She doesn't live life to the absolute edge and threshold. She recognizes her season with a newborn babe and two other sweet girls under five who need her full attention. There isn't clutter in her everyday because she consciously chooses what is fitting for her time in life. In five short days, it got me thinking about my own house and life and how so much of my chaos is self-induced. It's my schedule. It's my "yeses." It's the things I let in. It's my lack of understanding what this time of life means for everything else. It has me reevaluating everything on my plate that is literally about to fall and crack in to a million tiny pieces. I cannot do it all. Something must always give whether its our family life, our social life, our spiritual life, our physical life or our emotional/mental life. With every give in life, something is taken.
I got to teach her a few things too during my stay. Like the recipe for my favorite arugula salad and pesto chicken. How to entertain kids for hours with Bingo Dauber art . The shortcut of covering a cut watermelon with some saran wrap (saves a dirty dish, you know). Really life altering things...
This whole time away made me think though how very rarely we get to go inside someone's life. I mean really go. I see my generation struggle so much with basic hospitality in just inviting others over, let alone, inviting others in. We are missing out on so much relational depth because we are awaiting our Pinterest-perfect setting so we don't even want to allow others the chance to see our imperfections. And if it isn't because of our desire to make things pretty inside our space, it's because we have a desire to make things pretty inside our hearts. We can't bear the thought of people seeing the raw and ugly. We can't stand the idea that our cracks might show if we open up the door. If it isn't fear holding us back, it's busyness. We pack our schedules to the max so that there isn't any time to open our hearts and living rooms. The most connected generation, yet we are so relationally alone and unknown. It's the being unknown that is ultimately going to drown us: not the jam packed schedules or the one too many yeses. It's the daily living with the fact that no one can see underneath that threatens to choke us to death. We have so much to learn from each other, but we don't even get the chance because we are too afraid or too busy.
I just wonder how our generation is going to fare with this false sense of connection through a computer screen. Will mamas ever be able to learn and teach one another? Will women find comfort in knowing their pain isn't unique, that someone else has experienced a similar heartache too? Or will we just continue to gain more and more "wisdom" from thousands upon thousands of internet sources without any "flesh" on them, people putting out the impossibly perfect, "do what I do" blogs and pinterest pins for the masses to indulge in?
I know it's a ramble today, but perhaps, we all need to take a minute and step into someone else's life, a real person we know and love, and learn a little something new to get us thinking...
Here's to learning something new!
Until next time,
My Favorite Arugula Salad
1 bag of Arugula washed and ready
1/4 thinly sliced fennel
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced GOOD quality Asiago cheese... don't skimp, man
3-4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Toss the arugula, fennel, and tomatoes. Squeeze lemon directly on salad and toss. Slowly pour in olive oil and toss again. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheese. Life. Made. Pair with your favorite, HOT bread and call it a day, because you've adult-ed enough just by making this salad.