We finally bought some place mats. For the past few nights, we’ve been sitting down to dinner with the mats on our kitchen table (read: coffee table) with a little candle in the middle for looks. We even ate with napkins.
Our new, clean set-up got me thinking: it’s no surprise that there are all sorts of resources for organizing, decorating, and simplifying—you live in clutter long enough, and eventually you start paying up at your local bookstore for ideas on how to resurrect your sanity. But I realized that there’s not much written in the way of “mental homemaking.” I’m not talking about dusting out your brain (although mine could use it), but I am pointing to how we go about shaping an atmosphere of words and ideas that can potentially have the same effect as walking into a clean home.
I have something particular in mind here: the folks who take homemaking seriously don’t turn their home-space into a festering ground for all their complaints. Yes, most people care if you have a headache, but they aren’t looking for you to remind them every two minutes. Chronic complainers thrive on sympathy, but the homemakers (and people) I admire thrive on being proactive, making things happen while everyone else is still airing their already-old grievances.
I wouldn’t mind keeping this dictum by Samuel Johnson: “When any fit of gloominess, or perversion of mind, lays hold upon you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaints.” And this publishing includes tweets, I think.