Blogging, mid-life, Rubbish Rescue, the suburban home

(Not) Measuring Up

It has been a while since I wrote a post for the blog. I have been in a real funk for several weeks. It has taken me a little while to work through what had me feeling down. I realized that along with a hurt back, my main problem was that I just didn’t measure up out here in blog land, in my life, or with my projects. I started to believe I did not have anything worth sharing.

It took me a while to figure out that I was using an unrealistic ruler to measure my life… the Internet, Pinterest, HGTV…I also forgot for a little while that hobbies are supposed to feel like fun, not pressure. I started to feel stressed about my projects. Would they measure up?

When I log onto some of my favorite blogs, I found myself comparing my home to the beautiful images on the screen. There is a home tour right now that has some beautiful homes. You can start the home here:

Isn’t that a beautiful room? I love the light, the classic furnishings, even the pillows are plumped and chopped.

I don’t live there. I live in a home with a husband who frequently forgets his shoes in the family room and must have a reclliner, two dogs who drag in dirt daily, a cat who causes the big dog to jump up on the furniture in hot pursuit at least once daily, not to mention my clutter and projects making a mess. That room would look like a tornado blew through in about five minutes at my house.

Here is my family room, as I found it this morning. All I did was turn on the lights.
See the dog? More on that in a moment.


Here is what she was up to.

One water bottle shredded.

And that was after she chewed on this bill.


We have wires that are unsightly.


And the men in my home seem to have a vendetta against pillows. One is missing a button now and my pretty ruffled down pillow apparently was sat on recently. How about the coffee table?


I am sure you have seen enough by now. My home is not Pinterest worthy. I started to feel like I had nothing to offer, nothing to say.

So… I had to reexamine why I blog, who I blog for, and regain my own personal center.

I blog because I like to connect with folks I may never meet in person. My home and projects are a creative outlet for my sometimes stressful and high pressure job. I really do like hearing from you all and I love the suggestions you make. I never would have tried my new favorite red color- red, red wine without the suggestion.

Over this summer I am going to work on a series about keeping it real. I am going to beg you all to send in pictures from time to time, so be prepared.

I have some really cool projects planned this summer, but those projects don’t define me.

I hope you stay tuned, but I am okay if you don’t. No hard feelings.

Now, I am off to tackle my garage.



Now you go check out that home tour. Just don’t measure your own home by what you see, please.

I hope you have a blessed day,


17 thoughts on “(Not) Measuring Up”

  1. Karen, all of that is so true and real! You know me too….I can get caught up on spending my day cleaning something! Life is short….we have to live it! and you have seen my house look like a hurricane just came through! oh well……….

  2. I am amazed at how many things you accomplish………your home looks wonderful………..I would rather have people feel welcome and comfortable when they come over. If Wayne’s shoes were not out, or the pillows not put back, something would be wrong….and I would miss it (and him).
    I can clean later…….it will keep.

    1. I would wonder what was wrong if my house was spotless. I just went through a little period where all I saw was the imperfection.

  3. Are you kidding? Tell those voices in your head to SHUT THE FRONT DOOR (on the way out!). I always marvelled at your projects and the fact that they aren’t even done as a full time job – you are shaping kids instead. I wondered how I can compare to YOU! Oh we are so silly, no? Keep on keeping on. I don’t know you but I do. And you’re awesome!

  4. Karen, I love your blog and have been inspired by your projects…so please don’t stop. I do understand the blogland discouragement. My two blogs have very small (but devoted) followings and I always wonder if it’s worth all the time I put into the writing and photos…and then I step back and remind myself that I write them because it’s fun and cathartic and I like connecting with like-minded people. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to your summer series! Karen

  5. I can really relate. As my boys were growing up I just decided I would rather have them and their friends hanging out at our house than to have a perfect setting. Disorder was the order of the day, and I just lived with it. Now it’s just my DH and I, and the dog, and the two cats, and the grandkids, and the rheumatoid arthritis, and even more disorder! We all just do what we can, and I love watching what you can do. Please keep showing us your talents, and then I can look for the beauty in my own life.

  6. You said, “Don’t measure your own home by what you see.” I would say, “Don’t measure your worth by your home.” Your worth, to me, is defined by your kindness, your compassion, your intelligence, creativity, humor and any other number of attributes I could name. Those are sometimes harder to maintain than your home. As the Poster Child for Depression, I would also encourage seeking treatment if those feeling persist for more than a few weeks. No need to live in a hole if your friend has a ladder! Hang in there.

  7. I love your honesty! Ironically, I see you and I get overwhelmed. Your gifts and talents are remarkable. I would love to do all you do as a hobby with wood but I don’t know where to start. I live vicariously through your blog and others. I dabble with things but nothing noteworthy. By sharing your honest truth you’ve made me aware of mine. That would be to stop comparing myself to others and be happy with me! Thanks Karen, you didn’t know it, but I needed this tonight. I love your blog your sense of humor and your ability to share the written word that makes me want to read more.
    Ps. We have two dogs, too. What a great addition to the family they have become.

  8. Thank you! A post needed by many of us! Life, home does not need to be perfect. just lived! Enjoy!

  9. I may not compare the house I live in to those I see online or on TV, but I certainly know how quickly comparison– of any type– steals joy. You’re a real person living a real life though, and that includes messes and imperfection. I hope you know how much of a star you are in my eyes, and all of your other students’ (past and current) eyes as well.

  10. I loved this blog post. I started feeling like that last year and my friend said to me, “Hey, you blog for yourself and the enjoyment you get from it, from meeting with and connecting with other great women – not to try to keep up with people.” She’s so right, and I think so many of us compare ourselves to this unattainable idea of perfection. Enjoy your life and give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments!

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