Stop Apologizing

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  April 15, 2013 — 3 Comments

My house is in a really sorry state right now. I’ve been gone for a week and when I walked in yesterday the first thing I noticed was a strange and unpleasant smell that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I need to do some serious cleaning but it will have to wait because I’ve got things to do today.

The thing is, that I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment before inviting somebody over, even with the funny smell and the luggage still cluttering the entryway and the floors that haven’t been vacuumed in weeks. But I wouldn’t forget the mess. I’d catch myself saying over and over, “Oh, don’t mind the mess,” and “It’s so messy right now, I haven’t had time to clean!” etc etc etc. It seems if your house is in desperate need of some attention you should at least acknowledge it, right?

This is a habit I’m trying to break. Because if my guest is living in the midst of imperfection herself (and aren’t we all?) what kind of message does that send? I feel like it tells her (or him) that if I come to her house I will be assessing its state of cleanliness, perhaps clicking my tongue in disapproval if it’s in worse condition than my own, and maybe even judging her on any number of attributes at this very moment. Is there cat hair on her clothes? Dirt under her nails? A distinct lacking of that freshly-showered look? That’s pretty much me on a daily basis, so I would never judge. But by apologizing for my own chaos I’m sending an implicit message that she should be sorry too. And that’s just not the case.

live imperfectly

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I’m constantly working towards the goal of accepting myself and others as we are. My house is dirty because I often choose to visit with friends instead of staying home to clean, and that’s a wonderful thing. There’s nothing to apologize for! Today I’ll run errands, hang out with a friend, go pick up Juliet, visit my mother in law, and get my things together for work tomorrow. At this rate I don’t think I’ll get to do much housework until at least Thursday. And that’s okay! I had a wonderful weekend, and I hope you all did too. May this Monday bring some self-acceptance into your heart!

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap

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3 responses to Stop Apologizing

  1. Yay! Charlotte, this is wonderful. Next play date I’ll try to make sure I don’t do this. It’s something I find myself doing too, and I always hate that I do it! Yep. My house is dirty. So are most people’s.

  2. Hi Charlotte,

    I’m a new reader (I’ve just made my way through your archives!) and love love your blog. You are so down-to-earth and have such a wonderful voice to add to the creativity blogosphere. I just wanted to thank you especially for today’s post. It can be hard to do, but when we let our imperfections be visible to others, and stop apologizing(!) we free up others to relax. It’s powerful.

    Funny aside.. I have a family member who has a bad habit of pointing out things that are broken/damaged/dirty when they visit (I know he does this without thinking and doesn’t mean harm).. So last time he visited I stopped worrying about getting the house “just so” to avoid hearing his comments and let certain things just be. Like our disgusting microwave in need of a good clean! He made a comment about it and I laughed replying “too many bowls of soup I guess “. Ha! It felt so good to just let it go:)

    Anyhoo.. Again, loving your blog and your fun sense of style! Thanks for doing what you do:)

    Meg

  3. I always apologize profusely to our teenage babysitter. She’s such a doll, she’ll actually pick up the toys after the kids go to bed! Maybe that’s why I feel bad–she might start thinking I leave it messy because I know she’ll clean up!! :)

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