In A Perfect World

Living room before painting - 
haven't had time to take after pictures yet!
Last year I heard Maya Angelou speak.  A friend of mine had three tickets and invited me to go.  It was great.   I had read one of her quotes before:

"People will forget what you do,  
People will forget what you say,
but they will never forget the way you make them feel."

I learned this was true last November, when I hired a consultant to help me with some  home decorating questions.  I did this as a treat to myself, kind of the way you will go out to a really nice restaurant and order chicken breasts even though you can cook a really nice chicken dish yourself at home.   It wasn't just about the choosing of colors, it was about pampering myself.  I work from home, and I decided I wanted my work environment to feel more upbeat. 

When the day of the consulting came it feels all off from the get-go.  First of all, I had set up a house blog for her to look at.  She hadn't looked at it. So I am waiting for her to load the pictures of my blog while we're on the phone.  During the course of the call I hear the words "in a perfect world" many times.   

I thought, "I don't live in a perfect world, that's why I'm calling you for help.  Because you advertise you know what to do in situations like this.  I need to know how to make the sofa that is the color of my dog work with the 20 year old black laminate kitchen counter tops."   

You know what I remember from that phone call?  I felt smaller afterward.  I felt that somewhere out there is a perfect world and I had missed the boat.   And not only that, but I paid someone to feel that way.   

So why am I writing about this?  Just to say that how you make people feel in the course of their journey is important.   Because sometimes it can be what encourages them to continue in their creative process. 

Fast forward.  I went to a local furniture place to replace my 18 year old couch. The design consultant didn't  gasp in astonishment. She entered into the spirit of it, and made the couch purchasing a fun event, even when it was not a done deal I was going to purchase from her.   She took the time to ask questions about my family and the people who lived there in thinking about what might work.  She understood I don't want to live in a museum.  This was the exact opposite experience from my consulting call.  I felt great after talking with her.  How you feel does matter.

I am soldiering on in my house creativity plans.  :-)  I'm doing great with it!


Hill Country House Girl said...

Oh Dixie - you touch my heart,again! I can't tell you how often I think of Maya's quote and how often I remind my husband and children of it. I know that feeling of "feeling smaller" and then to say you paid for it - ugh! I just hate that for you and for all of us who have experienced that! Carry on,creating a house you love and that reflects YOU, you wonderful, sweet, creative and TALENTED woman.

Rebecca said...

Hey Dix, I adore Maya. Have read most of her books, but, how blessed are you to have actually heard her speak! How many times when we visit a shop on an "artist's date", it's not what we purchase, but the how we felt in going there, that we remember.
You are a talented artist, treat your home as your canvas, (or necked dolly...) trust your instincts and have FUN! Bec

Dixie Redmond said...

Thanks, Bec and Ann - the good thing about this is it reminded me of Maya's quote for myself. I appreciate the encouragement of two people who have such wonderful homes.

It's not that I don't have ideas, it's that I have a hard time making choices. ;-) I am having more fun with it - chose a dreamy blue-green sofa to replace the old sofa and loveseat and then am hoping to find some inexpensive chairs that will be good for tv viewing. These plans are not my ultimate dream plans but are far better than doing nothing. ;-) I'll be putting up more pictures on my house blog after the post sleepover party that my son had. is my "notebook" for changes we're making. Some of them are really small changes but have made a big difference. I'm slowing crossing off the things that ANNOY me about the way my house works.

Hitty For Me said...

Dixie I love this post. It reminded me of a time about 15 years ago when I wanted to replace my damaged mother's ring with a ring that held real stones instead of synthetic ones. Our daughter's birthday is in June and Alexandrite is an expensive stone. Knowing that I still wanted a quote on real stones. The clerk looked at me and said, "You couldn't afford it." Granted I only wear mascara, my hair was pulled back in a pony tail and I was wearing jeans and a sweater (reasonable clothing for a day of shopping), but how could she know if I could afford the ring or not, who was she to make that judgement? Even though I asked her how she knew what my income level was I left the store without getting the quote. I felt terrible. Sue G

memories said...

You are so creative,I don't know why you would even consult someone.Create it and then get the help to do it.

Dixie Redmond said...

Sue, that is just the worst story. It makes me want to smack the clerk. I would've called her manager. But even if you had been able to afford that particular ring, you would've always remembered how the clerk acted about it.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden