Pack It Up

July 22, 2008

R. and I went on a little mini-vacation recently. Just two nights out of town. We drove up the coast to our favorite little seaside place – very non-touristy. Not a Starbucks for miles. There’s nothing to do there, really, except walk along the beach, watch the ocean, sip a coffee at one of the tiny local cafes, and relax.

I took four bulging pieces of luggage with me, one just for shoes. Four suitcases! For doing nothing at the beach!

I am not good at packing. And as I was struggling with my overflowing suitcases, it occurred to me that packing is a bit like decorating. The problem I have with packing is that I don’t really have “outfits,” so I always end up guessing what I’ll want to wear while I’m away. Also, a lot of my clothes don’t really coordinate with each other, color-wise, so it’s a challenge to throw things into a suitcase and know that I’ll be able to pair things up when I get where I’m going. I don’t want to look like a crazy lady. Even at a low-key beach town where no one will see me.

Likewise, my house sometimes feels like it doesn’t “go together.” In the past I’ve bought items because I liked them, not necessarily because they worked with other things in the room. This is nice, in that I look around and take genuine pleasure in the things I own. But it’s also been a challenge because I like a certain amount of calmness and order, and it’s often been hard to get all my disparate pieces to work together. That takes a certain amount of decorating skill, which I don’t quite possess at this point.

I wish I could achieve that wonderful type of effortless style in my home – the kind that takes a lot of thought and looks totally unplanned. I like a sense of calm and order, but sometimes I feel my house looks like it lacks spontaneity. I’m not quite ready for real spontaneity. I need to get coordinated first, and then I’ll make it look spontaneous.

Anyway, we’re back now and the beauty of the ocean is just a memory, and I have four large suitcases to unpack. It’s great to be home!


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