Ladies. I have a confession to make. I have fallen into the comparison trap. That old gag. Again. It’s happened to us all once or twice (or maybe 1,500 times) in our lifetimes, right? Let us take a brief moment of silence in remembrance of that lovely period of time called middle school. Ugh. This time, I have coveted thy neighbor’s … kitchen. No. No. No, not thy neighbor’s husband. Y’all can keep your husbands! I’m quite fond of my own husband. It’s kitchens that I’ve been lusting after.
This pic right here… Not my kitchen.
And this one. Nope, not mine either.
These don’t belong to me either and by now you are probably noticing a style pattern.
Shhhh, listen closely now. The countertops in my kitchen – they’re not granite – or anything cooler. My appliances – not stainless. And … wait for it … my cabinets aren’t white or any shade of grey. And, I don’t have a backsplash. Of any kind. Gasp! I mean, how do I even show my face in public (insert sarcastic snort here)?!
Turns out, lusting after kitchens isn’t the healthiest of hobbies. Are you as shocked as I am? It’s just that, anything that occupies your time, your energy, your mind and then leaves you feeling “less than” at the end … probably not worth it. Now, I’m not suggesting that we give up our beloved Instagram accounts or never look at Pinterest again. I’m not going to take it that far and I’m certainly not telling you to. I like pretty things. I like design and I like to look/think/plot/plan/create. That’s okay. That’s part of who I am and I’m okay with that. So, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t watch Fixer Upper or read Coastal Living or our favorite blogs, etc. I’m just saying that maybe a more realistic awareness is in order. Not everyone has to have the best kitchen ever. Not everyone is required to want that for themselves. I look at these fantastic kitchen/home photos and without even meaning to do it, I allow my expectations to get all screwed up. I start thinking, “ohh, I want those light fixtures” and “I really want a shiplap wall” and “a reclaimed wooden hood above the stove … why haven’t we done that yet?” Before I even know it, I’ve convinced myself that I’ll somehow be happier with this thing or that thing. I allow discontentment to creep in. That, my friends, is how Alice fell down the rabbit hole. Don’t go down that slippery slope. Nothing good lives down there.
The thing is, I actually have a decent kitchen. It’s fairly large. I have plenty of space for everything. It’s generally clean and somewhat tidy (as long as crayons and art supplies don’t count as clutter!) And, not only that, but it’s pretty stocked. With food. For my family. To eat. Awesome, right? And, there is decent floor space for weekly dance parties. And, it’s happy. With lots of laughter. And, good smelling coffee. Let’s not get so lost in the prettiness of photos that we forget all the things that truly matter … that truly make our souls (and our bellies) full. We are already enough. Don’t buy that lie.
This is my kitchen.
My kitchen doesn’t define me. And, guess what? Your kitchen doesn’t define you either. Even if you feel that it’s awful, by your own standards. Even if it is THE kitchen of your dreams. Even if your kitchen is in one of the photos above. It still doesn’t define you. Having a better kitchen … doesn’t make you more. It won’t make you a happier (well maybe a little, but not in the ways we are talking about) person and it won’t make your heart fuller. You are free to be separate from your kitchen. And, if you happen to be one of the lucky “in love with your dream kitchen” few … it probably won’t be the kitchen of your dreams in 8 or so years anyways, but yet, you’ll still be you, the very same someone that a lot of people know and love.
So, what’s the point of all of this, you ask? Well. It’s just a strange little issue that’s been weighing on my mind a lot lately. We take pride in our homes and that’s fine. There can certainly be a ton of positive in that. But, there are also so many times when we (as a society) take it all too far. Each time we compare ourselves and feel that we somehow don’t measure up, a little of our joy disappears. I see joy disappearing all over the place! Sometimes, I wish we’d take a step back and look around and choose to see it all differently. Look at it all with different eyes. Look at the family instead of the house. See them. Actually SEE them. Look at the woman instead of the kitchen. See HER. Start with what you already have and what you are thankful for … and go from there. Look at the people that live in your house with you. See them. Look around with a full heart and forget about what’s missing. Go forth, thank God and be happy with your very own mediocre kitchen! (Wink, wink!)
Photo Credits: All pics were snatched from Instagram or Pinterest and the original posts were nearly impossible to track down, but here’s a start– first pic: @milkandhoneyhome; third pic: Fixer Upper.