Thursday, May 27

finding inspiration

Recently I've been thinking a lot about what inspires me. In my last post I mentioned how inspiring it was to see a swatch of Antique Silver on the wall in the great room. With that in mind, I began to think about how our kitchen is one step close to coming together. But I wanted more. I wanted to take what I had visualized and actually see it. (Part of me was second guessing myself and I wanted to put everything together to make sure I didn't hate it all.) Sometimes I find it difficult to convey my ideas or really step back and visualize everything without seeing it all put together. So I created an inspiration board with all my design decisions/dreams for the kitchen.
After doing that, I kept going back to the idea of inspiration. What am I inspired by? What do I usually get inspired to do?

For example, last Sunday I did a little cleaning. And once I pulled the bed linens from their Clorox-soaked wash I was inspired to get the whole house a little cleaner. All week it has been soothing for me to still smell the traces of Clorox clean on our sheets, and I've been doing better about maintaining the clean and knocking out daily chores. I'm still not back to where I should be, but the dishes and laundry aren't piled up like they were.

Blogs are a huge source of inspiration for me. I'm an avid blog reader and can even sometimes get overwhelmed by the amount of great ideas in the"blogosphere."They not only inspire my decorating choices, but also how to live frugally and generally make my live and home better in every way.

But I also have to recognize the line between inspiration and execution. I would love to be able to buy groceries and only pay $2, or eat organic veggies from the farmer's market, or even more easily see the potential in a goodwill find. However, I have to work on realizing what is within reach and what changes will be beneficial to our home and family. Finding the balance between the lovely things that inspire and what we actually pursue is key.

I think a lot of blog readers, or women in any creative community, experience a bit of Inspiration Overload. It happens when great ideas turn into guilt makers, when coupon hunting becomes a chore, when a thrift store transformation becomes regret over an item passed by, or when the blog author becomes nearly superhuman and the desire for perfection trumps the inspiration for creativity.

I feel like many women suffer, like I do, from Stewart Syndrome, this overwhelming desire to be like Martha, this compulsion towards the should haves: I should clean with all natural products, I should root my own herbs, I should write thank you notes on handmade letterpress cards made out of recycled newspapers from the year the recipient was born.

Sometimes it's a daily battle to overcome my Inspiration Overload and symptoms of Stewart Syndrome (how do you like that alliteration there? Nice right?). Most of the time, I just have to remind myself that I'm human.

Yes, I'm an insanely nerdy human-- but human nonetheless. And sometimes I forget, and theexpectations get high and my should list grows.And I begin to contemplate just how I can budget my time in the evenings to
"get more accomplished"
(because there just isn't enough time!! EVER!!)

And then the Man asks me if I want another Popsicle, turns on another Deadliest Catch, and I'm piled up on the couch, a defeated so-very-un-Martha human again.

 I'm flawed. I'm not perfect (just in case you didn't know). I don't eat healthy at all, nor do I buy local. I don't finish projects in a timely manner. I almost always lose my keys or my cell phone. I curse a lot and at inappropriate times. My car is a mess, my plants are about to die, and I can't remember the last time I got a pedicure.

I don't even remember how this post went from being about inspiration and turned into this rant on women and guilt (er.. me and guilt?) I'm going to blame Dear Mother and Moe's for the turn of topics. I love you both, though. Especially you, Moe's.. for that amazing queso covered goodness you call a Billy Barou, and don't forget double pico de gallo.

Where was I? Oh, right. Blogs inspire me, my friends inspire me, sales papers from Lowe's and Home Depot inspire me, for me inspiration on life and home and how to make it better is practically everywhere! But inspiration is just that, it's meant to inspire. The blog world is just amish-mash of women (and men) sharing bits of their daily life just like I am, we're all pathetic at dusting orgardening or something. But we are also pretty damn good at quite a few other things.

So, since I can't think of a better way to close this out without rambling on, and since I love the fact that people actually read this and occasionally comment on here:
What is something that inspires you?
What are some of the things you are awesome/kick ass/are undoubtedly the best at?

There's no prize or giveaway. But if you comment, I can guarantee you two things:
  1.  You'll make me as happy as I get when buying new school supplies (which is pretty happy)
  2. If you come by to visit (in a non-stalker way) I'm sure I can convince the Man to give you a Popsicle and we can all watch Deadliest Catch, because it's about as awesome as you are.
So let me know you're out there.  Let's talk inspiration and how much we kick ass-- because who doesn't need a little online ego boost!?


Mom said...

I am often inspired by fabric. When a fabric contains the right colors and the right design, there is nothing more inspiring. Eva, remember the "happy chair" (I wish I could post a jpg of the fabric for all to see). The fabric was a plaid made of bright hues of red, yellow,blue, and green. From a decorating standpoint, it was horrible, but the bright colors begged to be surrounded with other bright colors and happy activity. I never figured out how to design a living room so the chair actually blended in, but I don't mind. The fabric always made me smile, and that's a good thing.

Rachel said...

inspiration usually comes from a new clean crisp idea, i love clean lines (although most of the time you will find me surrounded by clutter) i love recycled items and finding new uses for old things (tak the 2 garbage bags in my closet of old clothes i'm just dying to do something with! or the backets made from old magazines, ha!) and i love love reinventing my house, rearraning to create a new situations without buying a whole new life!