Monday, June 16, 2014

Remain Calm

This is the least of my worries.
Last night at bedtime, my husband reminded me that his parents, whom I love, are coming tonight. Somehow, I wasn't looking at the dates and thought that I still had another week before they would be here.

Nothing is ready, or at least that's how it feels. The floors are disgusting (Kane sheds and drools). You can write your name in the dust on my end tables. There are about 15 pairs of shoes in the front hall. The patio around the pool has yet to be swept this spring.

The guestroom linens have yet to be washed. The bathrooms are shameful. There are pictures waiting to be hung. The dog's crate in the dining room is a DISASTER. (I think it needs to be taken outdoors and hosed down.)

My mind is spinning with all the things to be done. I ran around this afternoon doing shopping, baking a welcome cake, and tidying.

Queen Elizabeth cake, to welcome them. I've posted the recipe here.

Emily came home from school, sensed my anxiety, and suggested I make a list and assign tasks to family members.

So I did that. And then I decided to write this post because I find that writing helps me calm the turmoil in my mind. This blog has become such a part of my retirement lifestyle that I actually find I miss it if I don't write a post.

And, as I'm sitting here, calming down, it occurred to me that, my in-laws love me. Yes, they appreciate a clean home and good hospitality, just like anyone, but if that sparkling hospitality comes glazed in resentment or irritability -- it will leave them with a bitter taste.

That restores my perspective -- and my objective. I want them to feel welcome and loved. They ARE welcome and loved, so my objective is simply to convey that.

That's a lot less work than I thought. I can do that.


  1. Your last few sentences will become my new mantra as I struggle to overcome my anxieties about entertaining (I never feel like the house is clean or tidy enough, or the food good enough).

  2. I have finally learned to just let some of the house stuff go too. The kids are going to mess it up again in 30 minutes anyway. But I love that quote -- people will absolutely remember how you treated them above a perfectly clean house.
    I put music on when I feel stressed, and just get done what I can.

    1. My kids are old enough that I shouldn't be able to use that excuse -- even though it's still true. Dividing up the work ended up getting more done than I had thought possible -- including hosing down the dog's kennel.

  3. I've been here before! I always WANT the house to be clean for visitors, but I often just don't have the time or energy. You're right - it's much more important to make them FEEL welcome. Love that.

    1. Oh, I still tried to have everything perfect for them, but the shift of attitude made a big difference to how I felt about it all.


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