31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 15}: Good Enough

When you look around your house, what do you see?

Do you see all the things that need to be improved, furniture you dislike, projects you are dying to work on next? Do you notice all the imperfections and the long list of improvements you need to make?

Are you actually happy with what you have so far, but still feel compelled to start on a new project or buy something MORE even though you just made an improvement to your home?

What if we all had to leave our home decor exactly as it is today?

No new comforter or pillows, no new paint, no slipcovers, no “Pottery Barn knock off holiday accessory project.” No board and batten. No new lamps. Nothing new at all. {gulp?}

How long could we be content with what we have right now?

For the record, I don’t think being content with what I have means I have to live with everything as it is.

If it is within my means (as in Dave Ramsey approved-cash-method-buying, no big pile of debt that should be paid off instead) and it is within my ability, and perfectionism or self-focus is not taking over my life, then I feel improving my surroundings makes sense.

I love working on my home. It is therapeutic. It is my hobby, my livelihood, and something I enjoy. It is a gift I give my family, and a way to stretch my skills. Improvements often pay off for us in many ways and contribute to our family’s financial security and well-being. Our home is our safe haven in the world. Nothing wrong with caring about my home, right?

However, there is a time when I need to slow myself down long enough to find contentment with what I already have, EVEN if I don’t like it.

I have seasons when I make myself declare my home is “good enough,” even if it is just good enough for now. I use those regular self-imposed times of “no time consuming improvements” to help myself focus on other priorities in life.

When I declare to myself that I am in a “good enough” season, it helps me to refocus my eyes off of ME and MY OWN WORLD. When I really enjoy something, like working on my home or even something like blogging, it is easy for it to become an obsession and a self-absorbed addiction. And that is just not a good thing for me. I need to find balance for my own health and well-being, as well as for that of my family.

I need to step away sometimes.

The aftermath of our small group movie night.

When I am in a “good enough season,” I am freed up all the more to open my home to others and volunteer my time for other things. If I fill up my free time being outwardly focused, I have less free time to obsess over details of my own house.

A “good enough season” keeps me from falling into the trap of perfectionism and helps me remember that I already have all the blessings I need. As a recovering perfectionist, I definitely used to spend way too much time obsessing over things that didn’t really matter. This “good enough” principle has really changed my outlook on homemaking and my life in general.

Even if you are not a perfectionist, we can all fall into the trap of comparisons and jealously of what others have. Giving ourselves permission to STOP for a season and be grateful can help us to be at peace with what we already have.

 

 

Do you ever declare a season of “good enough” in your home or life to refocus your priorities?

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Comments

  1. Hi Melissa, right now is a “good enough” time for me, cuz I’ve been running. I try to keep one area semi-organized so I don’t go crazy, but many of my rooms need attention. It’s a season, for sure. Love this post. Will link to it when I get to the “getting your house ready” for entertaining. Love you, friend!
    Sandy recently posted..Day 14 Flowers or Weeds- Lovely Work of Art!My Profile

  2. I read your blog all the time but have never left a comment before. I felt connected to this post in so many ways. I too love working on my home. It’s my passion, but a passion that I have to take one day at a time because family and life sometimes take priority. My home is a work in progress and that’s okay, because if it were made perfect over night, what would be the fun in that? So good enough happens more often than not.
    Thanks for your inspiration!

  3. Oh yes, quite frequently! I’ve got four young children (including an infant), I homeschool and I am not Super Mom. There are always a few areas in my life that are simply “good enough.” Unfortunately, I often have to struggle through a bit of guilt before I allow myself the grace to accept that! ~K
    Kristin recently posted..I’m Running Again- Sort OfMy Profile

  4. I am working on this. Having just moved in, there is A LOT to be done, a lot to buy, fix, clean, etc. I am working on just loving it right now for what it is and being content on what I have!
    Samantha recently posted..I really should have a no crackers in the car ruleMy Profile

  5. I am loving your 31 days, and so glad we are only half way!!!! We definitely have cycles: contentment, declutter, scrub, maintenance… I finally realized that in order be hospitable and have an open door to visitors, that we have to be in the “good enough faze” all the time. Ten years ago if friends dropped in while we were decluttering or scrubbing behind the fridge I would have just about died!!! Now I just welcome them in and say: “We are busy doing…, but we would love a rest!!!” and just take a break from whatever we are doing!!!
    se7en recently posted..Saturday Spot- The Mailbox and Letter Writing with Kids…My Profile

  6. I very much related to this post. I too love doing things to my home and love having a project. My husband always says “now what?” when he sees I’ve brought paint chips home. :) I think it is the love of nesting, improving one’s surroundings, and just the love of decorating my home that motivates me. Sort of just a passion if you will, but I agree we need to be ok with what we have as well. I have a 10 year old couch I would love to replace, and then I think about how people in England, for example, will have the same old chintz couch for years and it looks quaint. I can go for quaint too!

  7. Home improvement is a hobby for me too. Painting and sewing are easy and therapeutic. It’s the bigger $$$ costing projects that I have to be patient about. I’ve been in a “good enough season” for years. But now, since we’ve been “neglecting” the house while paying for 3 college educations and 2 weddings, and… living in uncertain economic times, I am ready to do a big project again!
    I always find something to improve. Right now we are changing out the balusters to wrought iron, I mean right now, as I speak! Then, we’re committing to a kitchen re-do. I am so excited! I’m up to picking out cabinet doors, yippee!
    Sandy recently posted..fun timesMy Profile

  8. Such great truth here that can be applied to other areas. I am currently moving from Seattle to Chicago. Each day is full and busy and mostly fun . . . but today I declare I have done a good enough job and will rest this weekend and enjoy my last few days of living on a lake. Thanks for the reminder, Melissa.

    When I am settled, I will catch up on the rest of the 31 days . . . looking forward to it.

    fondly,
    Glenda
    Glenda Childers recently posted..PIZZA PAN HOSPITALITYMy Profile

  9. What great perspective. It’s easy to get the itch when you read or see what others have, feel like your own home (or taste) isn’t up to snuff, etc. I think you’re striking a great balance between taking action to bring your real closer to your ideal, within your means, and appreciating what you have, not letting that improvement impulse take over your life. After all, if our homes (or hobbies) aren’t serving people, ultimately they can only be so satisfying, IMO.
    Hannah recently posted..Are You BusyMy Profile

  10. I’ve never thought about or made any declarations, but I definitely have times where I’m just ‘done’ for awhile. Even though I know I’ll never really be done.

    But one of the luxuries of a small home is…options are pretty limited. If I added another piece of furniture we might bust out of the seams! So there comes a time when other than tweaking accessories, you really can just sit back. Especially if you buy what you love in the first place, you don’t need to constantly change the big things. :)

    But I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t occassionally changing or moving around the small things. ;)
    Erin recently posted..More Halloween IdeasMy Profile

  11. I can so relate to this post. I love looking at design and food blogs (a new discovery for me, so I’m going a little nuts!), home magzines, etc. but confess that it all makes me feel a little discontented sometimes. It’s not even so much the STUFF that other people have: it’s the talent, the creativity, the focus, the drive. I have bursts of those attributes but none of it seems to result in a cohesive style. It can be frustrating. And doesn’t our society tell us that it’s not good enough to be “good enough?” When I feel discontentment, I try to disconnect from the media which drives a lot of my covetousness.

  12. Reading this entry opened my eyes to what my unconscious mind has been doing throughout my life. I have struggled with this exact topic over and over again, not even realizing that a “good enough time” is a good thing, and a necessary thing. I always wondered why sometimes I can spend months and months changing/rearranging/feeling inspired/creating in my home and as much as I enjoy it and it feeds me to a certain extent, I need to be content at times. The very fact that I’m not constantly “involved” in alterations and improvements is a GOOD thing… I only discovered this after reading your blog this morning. I’ve always thought it was because I fizzled out and got bored.

    Interesting thought I ponder: I spend so much time getting things just right so I will be able to relax and feel comfortable in my home, so one day I will really enjoy just “being” in my space… but when do I think I will really do that?

    Funny thing is I was wrestling with this very thought when I awoke today, so I feel as if you wrote this just for me. Thank you for putting your words down for me, and others too I’m sure. I feel so relieved and content now. Whew. I’m going to make a conscious effort to have “good enough” times now—hey, I might even put them on my calendar to remind myself every once in awhile.

  13. luludesigns says:

    I think most of what I have is good enough. If you just keep on buying new things, all you end up with is a lot of stuff! When I get frustrated over the way things are, I rearrange. That seems to work.

  14. I live by good enough. love this, Melissa.

    xoxo

  15. Love this post! This is something I’ve thought about a lot. So much so, in fact, that I named my blog “Good Enough!” One night as I was lying in bed, it struck me. Often, that which I deem just “good enough” for me or my home would be more than enough for most people, and should be more than enough for me. It was around the same time that I discovered the Nester and her IDHTBPTBB philosophy. There are still things about my home (my guest room, specifically) that just can’t seem to get right, but when it really starts to get to me, I just close the door! :) I change little things here and there often, not because they weren’t good enough to start with, but because the act of using something in a new way or a new place feeds my creative appetite. I think accepting that the stuff I have is good enough allows me to see it with fresh eyes.
    Rebekah recently posted..EconomicsMy Profile

  16. Thank you for this reminder. I don’t usually comment, but I really appreciate your wisdom here — being content, opening my home to others, boy on the white sofa… I’ve only recently been looking at these blogs (really addictive, I must say!), looking for future-kitchen-cabinet-painting inspiration, and I must say that your blog is one of my favourites — I like your style, and I’m a Sarah Richardson fan and a PW too. I think I found my ideal kitchen look on one of your posts. All this to say thank you!

  17. Wow! This is exactly where I am right now….especially after being in a Bible study on changing my attitude and 2 weeks of study just on contentment. I have learned over the years that sometimes it just has to be good enough for me and everyone else too….we bought a foreclosure 14 mos. ago and have been killing ourselves trying to get it right ever since and this summer I just had to say ENOUGH!!! I’m not giving up, I’m just pausing…we were so busy that I wasn’t volunteering, I wasn’t doing nearly as much ministry work as I enjoy and we weren’t entertaining…this has been a difficult process but I believe we will come out of it all the better for having come through…thanks for sharing. You really nailed it for me!
    Jeanna recently posted..BeautyMy Profile

  18. jan udlock says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I’ve absolutely love this group blog “thing” that’s been going on among the 31 dayers. Mom of 5, homeschooling my last 3 and life pretty much stopped me from decorating. However, I’ve been reading your blog posts and love your words: For the record, I don’t think being content with what I have means I have to live with everything as it is. Those are gentle words for a perfectionist.

    Two weeks ago I decorated for fall and love the way my home looks. Keep up the good work – you’re touching women’s lives.
    j

  19. I have never officially declared a “good enough” season but I probably should! Thank for putting into words what I think a lot of us struggle with – all this balance stuff!
    Courtney Henson recently posted..Out with the eggs- in with theMy Profile

  20. I quite often say “It’s good enough” and don’t touch a thing for months and then I get a surge of creative energy and off I go again. I could and do decorate with what I have and not purchase another thing for months on end. In fact I seldom ever purchase anything for my home.
    I am enjoying your 31 days…
    Hugs, Cindy
    Cindy recently posted..My Favorite PhotoMy Profile

  21. Wow! What a gret post. I am teaching myself to let things be “good enough” all the time. My mind will race ahead to the next project as soon as one is done. I am also a Dave Ramsey graduate :) and have to be patient between projects so that I can keep our cash budget. BTW I love your house and following your blog.
    Jeannie recently posted..Fun- Fall craftMy Profile

  22. i just wrote about something similar on my blog as well:

    http://scottyboyandkatygirl.blogspot.com/2010/10/on-how-decorating-taught-me-about-my.html

    i feel like i can complete something but never quite complete it cause it’s just never good enough. i am like this with a lot in life and i feel like it’s always something the Lord is trying to teach me about.
    Katy recently posted..You have to see thisMy Profile

  23. Thanks soo much for posting this. I am so glad to know that others fall into this same trap. Even when I may not be working on a project, my mind is alllways on the next thing. I have to try very hard not to focus on my surroundings and creativity. I know this is our gift from the Lord, but we also have other blessings that deserve our attention too.

  24. Thanks for the reminder! We are making due with every penny – love Dave Ramsey! And, I’ve been putting off getting some pillows for the couch. (We do so much lounging there, I think it would make it more squishy and homey.)

    Today I decided to re-use my over-sized Pottery Barn quilted bed pillows. They are just sitting around unused in the spare room. Might was well give them some love in the living room on the couch!
    danamc recently posted..Dial-A-Baklava – Only a Phone Call Away!My Profile

  25. I needed this today! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and inspiration. I really enjoy your blog as well as your home.

    Kind regards,
    Angie

  26. Oh yes definitely!!! I have to do this from time to time too! I do have to stop and refocus, and pay attention to the PEOPLE around me.
    Fiona’s Mosaic recently posted..Last Fall Things………My Profile

  27. Jillian McCracken says:

    I so enjoyed this blog-I tend to Obsess ALOT over my home, I enjoy working on it, decorating etc. I am also a perfectionist-so I will be working on the season of “good enough” and then just maybe I won’t obsess quite as much!!

  28. Love this post! I think my house is ‘good enough’ for me & my family. It will never be perfect~ and I don’t think I ever want it to be. I like small changes here and there as inspiration strikes and I don’t need to buy anything to move things around to freshen up the decor. The focus is always on my family however~ I have always said my priorities are: happy children, good food and a good night’s sleep. Anything else is a bonus!

    I blogged about the new issue of Canadian House & Home with the mudroom of Sarah’s farmhouse on the cover of the November issue if you would like to take a peek! Have a great weekend Melissa!
    Angie xo
    Angie recently posted..Switching out decorThanksgiving to HalloweenMy Profile

  29. I don’t have a “good enough” season yet, but I will now. What a great idea. I agree that improving, changing my home is therapeutic and like you, I don’t think I’m obsessed with it, but the freedom from taking a break will be refreshing. I will declare October 15 to November 15 my “good enough” month. :-)

  30. Raising my hand, shyly – yes, I’m a recovering perfectionist, so I’m *learning* to be content with good enough. It is so liberating! My decorating has always been a sort of ‘make-do’ style of hand-me-downs and bargains but now I’m also learning to let go of the impossibility of extreme cleaning (everyday) and complete order while solo parenting three children age 6 and under. It’s more rewarding to dirty up the dining room table working on a craft together than to attempt to keep show-worthy and miss that experience with my child. ….and if there is a bit of residual glitter on the floor and elsewhere, so be it! May my home reflect my love and not my would-be image.
    Missy June recently posted..Nana Time!My Profile

    • I always say that cleaning with kids around is like trying to shovel in the middle of a snowstorm!
      Stacey from Northeast PA :o)

  31. Yes, a good enough season. A make it work season (or year or lifetime). An.. it is what it is season. I have them all. Right now I am in an… I am grateful for what I got season.
    cathy recently posted..Letting Go of Your Stuff – 3 More Questions to PonderMy Profile

  32. Melissa- what a thoughtful and well said post…..If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means, and if there is any one thing that is grinding, and discouraging and disheartening it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet.
    I too need to sit myself down once in awhile and say all is well/good.
    This is a little quote that my HD and I have said to each other over the 34 years we have been married.
    “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”
    Thanks for a thought provoking post.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    You are awesome.
    teresa recently posted..John &amp Libbys Fall party-My Profile

  33. WoW! I felt you were speaking directly to me. this particular subject has been on my heart the past few weeks. my husband and I recently returned from a mission trip to Haiti just about 3 weeks ago. and I really gained perspective with my sometimes obsesive need to change my sceneary in our home and constand need to bring in new projects.or messes i call it.. I was invited into some of the Haitians homes and they were so proud to show off their homes. They have nothing. they are a third world country and have lost so many love ones within their homes.most live in tents now since the earthquake. And through this time I constantly was reflecting about our “blog” world and how we are so proud too to share with the world our awesome homes. I learned that no matter what we have or dont have to “decorate or redecorate” or show off in our homes…. but its the company that visits and the family that lives with in our walls that keeps us yearning to be keepers o f the home . I learned a sense of contentment in Haiti.
    thanks for keeping it real. what a great blog post.
    Lauren at Mamas messy manor recently posted..my spooky mantleMy Profile

  34. THIS is why good enough isn’t an option for me right now.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/oldewest/sets/72157606108792311/with/2658139829/
    Browsing through blogs is a Catch-22. I love looking at all the loveliness, yet envy all the beautiful rooms. My master bedroom in all its previous owner ugliness has to sit like this right now for several reasons. But, I do see your point & it is well taken. Thanks for this!

  35. oh yeah, we are saving up to buy a bigger car (van) to house the new baby and 3 existing kids, and right now “good enough” has to be it.
    Leanne recently posted..Halloween DecorMy Profile

  36. So good to read this and see that others feel the same way. While it is fun and ever therapeutic to do all these things it is equally important to not do them at times. More people need to hear that message – it seems it is a competition with so many people and it is refreshing to hear that it shouldn’t be and doesn’t have to be.
    Carla recently posted..The Horse and His BoyMy Profile

  37. Love this series of posts. I think we can all relate and maybe get some renewed perspective. Thank you Melissa!

  38. My good-enough season happens off and on – when life gets too busy unexpectedly. Hopefully winter will be redecorating time.

  39. Your home is LOVELY!!!
    Dave Ramsey changed our lives! I see homes that are just mansions! But those aren’t within my financial reach, and I am content and happy with the home I have-and it is beautiful to me. I’m also debt free, including the house, whereas I could still be in debt trying to buy a home outside of our reach.
    If everyone would try to be content with what we have, we would all be more content period. Make our homes comfy, lovely as much as we can within our means, and a haven and peaceful place to be, and then we welcome love, friendship and more without even trying!
    Josanne recently posted..A Super Cute Chocolate Bouquet Fall Garden to make!My Profile

  40. Thank you for this post! I REALLY needed to hear this and know that there are others who feel the same way!

  41. I should, should, I should!

  42. lovely post to remind us to take the time to sit back and admire what we have accomplished
    Pearl Maple recently posted..Sky Watch FridayMy Profile

  43. What a great post! You stated my thoughts exactly and I am in this “good enough” season right now. We have had our home on the market for a year and no sale and I was feeling utter discontentment with my home…wanting more this and that. The home we are in in not my dream house. After much prayer and reflection and complete stress that ultimately I was putting on myself, we decided to take it off the market for now. I am unsure how long that means. I am now in the “good enough” season in that I am seeing what I have and working to make it more of what I like. I am content with that idea and that took a long time. I want to be thankful for what I have and appreciate it. I desire to be content – this is the process I am in. So…finding your blog is a step to this as I accept where I am in this stage of life. I am blessed beyond measure. I vow not to live in the future and desire to live in today even if that means surrending my dreams for now. Thanks again for your awesome post – that really hit home with me.
    Stacey :o)

  44. Last week, I went around and took pictures of the things in my house that make me happy. Like a little fall bow I have tied around my basket of apples or my daughters neatly decorated doll house. Just simple things that bring me joy.
    Stacey recently posted..And You Are Relevant 10 EditionMy Profile

  45. Thank you for helping us all refocus on a right perspective. With two young boys, I’m definitely in a “good enough” season. Daily I battle to keep my priorities straight…remembering it’s more important to my family that I be present rather than perfect. It’s more important that I stay home with my kids and find contentment in what we have, than work to make more money to satisfy all our wants.

    I try to remind myself that before I know it, my sons will be grown and gone and I’ll have all the time in the world to cook and clean and decorate perfectly…and then I’ll probably wish for the days of hand-me-down furniture covered with a little dust and a home full of the life and laughter of little ones.
    Becky K. recently posted..Reviving WisdomMy Profile

  46. Thank you for this blog. I can so relate and needed that little mini sermon to get my focus back on track. I try to make sure my obsessions and addictions (like dinnerware collecting) doesn’t get out of hand and I am sharing it with others. I just feel that how the Lord wants me to use the blessings and gifts He has given me.
    Cindy
    Cindy Coghill recently posted..BeesMy Profile

  47. when it comes to home improvements, yes i am learning to have “good enough seasons.”
    but as far as day to day this first born, o.c.d., perfectionist is learning to have “good enough” days. i allow the house to fall apart for a day, not letting it dictate me and the rest of the household, knowing i can rescue it tomorrow ( hope, biting nails as i type that).
    victory rd. recently posted..Into Marvelous LightMy Profile

  48. Melissa,
    I agree 100% with what you have written and thank you for writing it. I read your blog every day as a matter of fact yours is the first blog I ever read, but this is the first time I have left a comment I should have done it before.
    I’m hoping to get more blog savvy so that I can post pictures of my holiday decorations.
    Thanks for having such agreat blog.
    Kelly

  49. Wow…that on e hit home. Thanks :)

  50. Thanks so much for sharing this. It never hurts to be reminded to strive to be content. I have a restless eye and a restless mind. I’m always looking to see what I need to do next. Thank you so much! I LOVE your blog!!
    Crystal recently posted..Closing DoorsMy Profile

  51. I found this quote several years ago and it has remained
    “pinned” to my bulletin board as a reminder:

    The Pleasure Of What We Enjoy Is Lost By Wanting More.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] enough.” Melissa from The Inspired Room (another 31-Day sister), shares a very meaningful post on this subject. Melissa says, I have seasons when I make myself declare my home is “good enough,” even if it [...]

  2. [...] when she talked about our homes being “good enough” or not being “good enough. Day #15 was it for me! There is a time when I need to slow myself down long enough to find contentment with [...]

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