We moved into the Cabbage a good two months ago, yet we still haven’t posted any pictures, despite several requests. When we’d just moved in, it was easy enough to justify holding out. After all, we had boxes everywhere and construction tools still piled in half the corners. Then the holidays were here. Then the holidays were over, and we were swamped with work. After awhile, though, it became easy enough to recognize my hesitation for what it was — shame.
On some level, I’ve been dreaming of posting amazing “after” images of our little cabbage. But as far as we’ve come, there’s no denying that, in many ways, our home is still a “before.” When we were still living at our parents’ house, every step forward in this place filled me with elation. We were making progress! Yet now, with each step forward makes me more and more aware of the distance we still need to go. When people come over, I’m no longer excited to show them what we’re working on. Instead, I find myself embarrassed for our OSB floors and the exposed insulation in the ceiling, our lack of windowsills or frames, the bare lightbulbs, and the messed up tile behind the tub. When did pride in our cabbage turn to shame?
Personally, I blame Pinterest.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest. But all of the time I’ve spent browsing for new ideas for the Cabbage and the surrounding land have made me more keenly aware of the distance between the perfectly styled interiors of my dreams and the very much in-progress home we are living in now, where the couch is too big for our living room, we’re still sleeping on the floor, and we keep a lidded container full of soapy water on hand to catch the stink bugs that appear too frequently.
Sometimes I’m embarrassed that I live like this. On the other hand, for the first time since we left Seattle, I feel like I’m living at all.
Now that 90% of our time and energy isn’t going into the cabbage, our lives are resuming some semblance of their old rhythm. We’ve been cooking a lot and well, despite our tiny, makeshift kitchen. I’ve started writing again, not every day yet, but nearly. And as our lives have resumed, progress on the cabbage has slowed to a crawl.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve made progress since we moved in — last weekend, Mom and Steve helped us to put up shelves in the kitchen, so we now have a place to store our dishes. Steve got our shower working. Drew rigged up a makeshift “counter” by setting my plastic folding craft table across our tiny refrigerator. But there’s no denying that we’ve put the home (and this blog) on the back burner. We even have a photo to prove it!
Sometimes I wonder if Pinterest is to blame for that, too. Or rather, not Pinterest itself, but the idea that life can (and should) be a photo shoot if we just work hard enough. The desire for perfection can be paralyzing. That’s why I’m trying to remind myself that life is a rough draft, and everywhere, revisions need to be made. It’s ridiculous to expect perfection from a house that’s still unfinished. But our homes don’t need to be photo-ready to be loved.
I’m grateful for that make-shift counter, for the sink base that Steve built us, for the insulation stretching above our heads. They are signs that we’re doing what we wanted to do, living a life of our own (and our family’s) making. That’s better than a perfectly-styled thumbnail on Pinterest any day.
So here’s another picture of our kitchen: