Each morning, weather permitting, my husband and I share coffee on the porch. These few minutes are ours to catch up before the world of “have-to’s” interferes. The other day he made a comment that did not sit well with me–and I will share that in a minute–and then a day or two later he asked a question that caused me to remember his initial comment. As I pondered these two interconnected thoughts, I stumbled across a coaching piece about our special gifts. It was a perfect trifecta and lead me to ask, “What does value mean to you?”
I, for as long as my memory goes back, have loved creating things. Sometimes I create concepts, other times stories, and sometimes opportunities for growth. However, mostly I create for my home: drapes, decorative items, and table-top displays. I repurpose, I renew, and I recycle.
On a recent Sunday we went to the flea market and I spotted a great chandelier. Well, it wasn’t really all that great, but I saw the potential greatness, so I purchased it. Over the next few days I cleaned it, added some new crystals, and some acrylic crystals, and we put it up. I love, love, love it and it makes me smile every time I walk in the room!
The chandelier became the topic of our morning coffee discussion–and more specifically, my use of acrylic pieces on it–and that’s when my husband said, “We’re always fixing up old crap and we’ll never have anything of value.” Honestly, if he’d slapped me I would have been less shocked!
I didn’t say anything…I couldn’t, I was speechless! Actually, I was hurt. I view our home as a living, breathing extension of ourselves. It’s warm, inviting, comfortable, and in my eyes, it is beautiful.
Fast forward a few days and I mentioned some photos of recent projects that I had posted on Facebook. He asked, “Why do you post stuff like that? People probably think you’re bragging.” Wow. Realization #2. Do they? And, more importantly, did I know why I like posting them?
Cue the coaching piece about valuing our unique gifts.
I am a creator, have always been and always will be. I do embrace this and I do value it. For many years I utilized my creative talents as an interior decorator, therefore it was easy to place a dollar value on them. While that was great and very beneficial to our family, it was the connections I made and helping others feel better about their spaces that were of most value to me. I still create purposeful items and generate income through my creativity, but it is now, more than ever, I feel the value in what I do.
Will I ever sell the chandelier for a fortune? Most likely not–although there is one on eBay for over $500 and that makes me very proud of my total $50 investment–but, it’s the sense of ownership, of ability, of giving an item a second chance that I value. If one day my children come across the chandelier, they’ll remember how I loved fixing things, making our home beautiful and creating something new from something overlooked. That, to me, is more precious than a dollar amount.
It is for this same reason I share photos on Facebook. It isn’t to brag; it’s to inspire! So many times we quickly discard the old and worn for new and shiny. New and shiny can be nice, but often lack any sense of history. Other times we go for the quickest, easiest solution: Broken lamp; buy a new one. However, with just a little ingenuity, a little inspiration, and sometimes a little YouTube, we can find another way. I post pictures so that perhaps I can add value to someone else’s life.
It is for the same reason I write this blog. If one person finds words of wisdom or thinks about a situation in a different way, or is a little kinder to the world around them, then that is the value in this for me.
So, dear husband, our home is not filled with items of monetary value, but look around at the greatness we have. Nearly thirty years of marriage, two incredible children, and memories to fill ten households! There are far more things in our home that have been crafted and cared for by our hands, than have not. As anyone who visits our home knows, just about everything has a story behind it and we’re happy-no, we’re proud–to share that story!
For me, value is found, as Cheryl Richardson so aptly put it, being a “curator of beauty”.
I encourage you to identify what “value” means to you. I sincerely hope it is far more than the dollars you make or the things you buy!
Have a wonderful day,
The Yellow Kite