When I first started getting to know my husband’s family 6 years ago in our dating stage of life, I noticed my mother-in-law sometimes brought up a point about three little words her children often used. I said them too, to be honest, and never gave it a second thought.
My in-laws are not your typical oh-my-gosh-my-in-laws-are-so-overbearing-and-I-can’t-stand-them in-laws. (How did I win the lottery on that one?) They are the provide-a-new-perspective-challenge-the-way-you-think-and-love-you-all-the-way-around-flaws-and-all type.
Those three little words that my husband, his sisters, and I always found ourselves saying: “I love it!” And “it” could be anything. An awesome car. A pretty pair of shoes. A cool song. Whatever.
And my mother-in-law would nudgingly say with a knowing smile, “Ahem. You love people, you like things.”
Nowadays, in the blogging world, especially in the home and garden niche, I’m constantly saying things like…
“I’m so in love with this house.”
“This kitchen makes me absolutely smitten.”
“Be still my heart! I have to have this [insert gorgeous room here]”
And when I think about it, those words can be a little dangerous if I get too wrapped up in them.
Olivia and I went for a walk in a beautiful neighborhood the other week, and I gushed about those stunning houses all over Instagram.
It’s a challenge not getting caught up in materialism and trying to stay grounded sometimes.
And every time I type something like “I’m so in love with this [pretty thing]” in a Facebook share or a blog comment, I hear my mother-in-law’s voice in the back of my head, “You love people, you like things.”
Truthfully, I’m in love with my husband. I really really like furniture makeovers.
Of course I would much rather live penniless with no house at all than lose the people in my life who mean so much to me.
So often, I have to step back and examine how I present myself online. Because really, what I write is the only way most people perceive me. I can say, “I don’t care what people think of me.” But really, I do.
I want to be a voice of reason, an example for my daughter, a positive energy in a technologically fast-paced world where so many people unfortunately spout mean comments behind their computer screens without even an ounce of restraint. And I don’t want to be so caught up in possessions and lusting over objects I don’t have to be blinded by it.
I don’t want my daughter to have that mindset that you can only be happy if you’re wealthy.
We’re in this constantly “I want” material-centered mentality so often, and I’m just as guilty as anyone. But after filling up my Pinterest boards with pretty things and filling my head with dreams of future possessions, at the end of the day I have to tell myself…
“I love people, I like things.”