Friday, October 14, 2011

The Problem With Having Nice Things...

My husband and I recently moved from an old 1880's apartment building in "Historic" Baltimore to a brand new town-home in Nashville. We have lived here for about 4 months, and are still in the process of turning this house into our home. So far, I LOVE it; It's so clean and organized, (mainly because it's still very empty) and all of our new furniture is a huge upgrade from the stuff we had during our college and med-school years. The problem is that now I feel so obsessed about keeping everything "like new", especially because it has to look nice for at least all 7 of my husband's residency years and hopefully through his Attending years. I "freak" out when our pets jump on our new furniture (leaving hair and scratches), or scratch the wood floors, or have an accident on the new carpet. I've always been a "neat-freak", even in our old apartment in Baltimore that was so old it always looked dirty no matter how much I cleaned it; but if we got another scratch on the old couch, it just blended in with the hundred other ones, and if our puppy had an accident, or we tracked mud/snow onto the carpets, I did my best to clean it up, but it never really bothered me- we were renters, and everything was so old and stained anyways.

Our old apartment in Baltimore

We have been working hard and saving to create that "magazine perfect" living room. We figured it was where we would spend the majority of our time (we don't get out much), so it should receive the majority of our furniture budget. I was so excited the day we ordered our new couch and chairs, and have been dreaming about how "perfect" it would be for the last 12 weeks that it took to be delivered. Our couch finally arrived last weekend, and it is so COMFORTABLE and beautiful. But, as soon as I plopped down onto it, my puppy and kitties wanted to hop up there with me, and I had to go into "M.O.M" mode (Mean Ol' Mommy)!!  I've already vacuumed it twice (in 48 hours), and have been guarding it like a hawk. I can only imagine how my husband will react when we have a child and they spit-up or spill food on the new furniture or carpet. EEK!! I guess that's why they have professional upholstery cleaners... Maybe we should have gone with a slip cover!

Image from
I'll post another picture when our new living room is complete.

What's the point of having nice things, if we can't truly enjoy them?? My new couch may be beautiful and comfortable, but I was probably less stressed on the old, wore out, knobby one, where I felt free to indulge in some cuddle time with my pets! Yet, the old, sloppy furniture was not nearly as inviting as our new stuff. The new stuff is relaxing in a different way. Sure, I have to try harder to keep it clean, but the whole feel of the room is so peaceful and brings much joy to my husband and I as we relax together in our living room. I guess the lesson here is that we just have to learn to find the new joys in every situation. 

The following verse is from my Good Morning Girls study this week: 1John2:15

"Do not love the world, or anything in the world". 

This reminded me that we must not LOVE the things in our lives. If I'm not in LOVE with this new furniture, I won't care about the imperfections caused from using it, and instead, I will find much joy and happiness LIVING with it to create lovely memories with my friends and family. 


  1. It truly is all about who/what you LOVE! I used to freak, as well, and my husband REALLY freaked. But, we have four kids and five dogs and a cat. Things are going to get messy and hairy and knicked and scratched. But I love our kids and pets more than I love the coffee table that has the corners chewed by puppies. So, it's all good. Love on the things that can love you back. :)

  2. I know how you feel. I have to remind myself that we are allowed to USE our stuff. I feel the same way when I just clean up the living room and my hubby starts making a mess... he helps me realize that the living room is meant for living and not just looking at. Can't wait to see pictures of your new room!

  3. "Love on the things that Love you back" Perfect Nicole!!great comments ladies!! :)

  4. I'm really working on not caring quite so much about things staying "like new". My mom sells Longaberger, and I had a Longaberger basket full of candy canes sitting on our end table. It was there for weeks, and the dog never touched it. One day I got home, and it was EVERYWHERE. Seriously. There was a trail of wooden basket pieces from the kitchen, leading to the loveseat that had a nice green candy cane slobber spot. I was so upset, I cried. A few days later, I thought, I couldn't believe I really cried over a basket and candy canes. (The loveseat was a used freebie from when I moved out, and I just turned the cushion over, so I don't remember being upset about it.) I thought, we have a dog, and we're going to have kids. Things are going to be broken and stained and lost, but they're just things. It's so hard, though, when something is new, especially when you put a good bit of money into it, but I keep telling myself that things are meant to be used - if they can't be used, there's no sense in having them.

  5. Useful post to be remembering those things. Thank you very much.

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