It's a Wonderful Messy Life

"Sometimes the greatest messages come out of the greatest messes." - Dr. Steve Maraboli

Ask George Bailey. 

For those of you who may not be familiar with the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", the classic film is about George Bailey (James Stewart), who gives up his dreams in order to help others, and is pondering suicide on Christmas Eve, until his guardian angel, Clarence, intervenes. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.

I watch this movie every year and, every year, there are two things I always do - cry & wonder what MY guardian angel would be like.

This year I think my guardian angel gave up and went on strike, or off the deep end, like Bobcat Goldthwait in the movie "Scrooged". Either way - MIA. 

Yep, life was messy this year.

The entire year it was as if my personal life and professional life were at opposite ends of the spectrum. I've had a wonderfully successful professional year, while facing a lot of extremely difficult life decisions and situations in my personal life. (For the backstory check out "What are you going to do with the house?).

 I'm grateful for both. 

This was the year I used pencils (with really BIG erasers) instead of pens.

This was the year I traded in the explosive physical movements I love in exchange for meditation and walking. 

This was the year I used the skills I had developed in surfing, boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts for the past 20+ years, outside of the gym. 

This was the year I surfed waves without an ounce of water.

So what does all of this have to do with home staging? Well, absolutely nothing. But it has everything to do with Wabi-sabi, which has to do with life.

For those who aren't familiar, Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that can be described as beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". I learned about this when I lived & worked in Japan for a few years after college. 

It's the difference between staging your home to sell and designing your home to live. Staging is about perfection. Wabi-Sabi is about imperfection, which is part of life. It's about learning to find beauty and acceptance in the imperfection of an object, situation or person. 

Wabi-sabi celebrates the beauty in something that may first look decrepit and ugly - cracks, chips and rot and all the other marks that time and weather and repeated use leave behind.

Wabi-sabi reminds us that we are all transient beings—that our bodies, as well as the world around us, are in the process of returning to dust. Nature’s cycles of growth, decay, and erosion are embodied in frayed edges, rust, liver spots and gray hair. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace both the glory and the melancholy found in the of passing time.

So what message did I get from this mess of a year? It depends on the day.

Some days, Mick Jagger said it best: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.”

Other days, Ozzy Osbourne had the right idea: "All aboard! Crazy, but that's how it goes....I'm going off the rail on a crazy train."

In a year that has been as chaotic as mixing Jimmy Stewart, Bobcat Goldthwait, Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne & Wabi-Sabi in a blog post, I felt I had to throw the concept of Wabi-Sabi out there. I'm not unique. This has been a tough year for most people I know. It seemed as if even the good events came with a downside.

Where am I going with all this?

Unless you're selling your home, give yourself a break. Learn to find the beauty in all the imperfection, instead of living up to some media-induced ideal of what the holidays SHOULD be. Call a truce with all the knots in the lights and garland and spend the time with friends and family. 

My business is based on perfection and I'm writing an article encouraging imperfection. Hysterical, huh?!? But, authentic. 

So, my friends, I have this to say - AMF to 2016 and I wish everyone the happiest of holidays and a perfectly imperfect 2017. 





Photo courtesy of: Vendati