I feel like I just got kicked in the stomach. I have been seeing my dearest closest friend in the hospital on a daily basis for the past 11 days to see how she is doing. She was identified as having Stage IV colon cancer nine months ago. She has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, but now she learned there is no cure. I won’t go into details, but given her condition and the speed at which the disease is progressing, we are at the stage where we are simultaneously pleading for a miracle and facing a life-altering truth. My heart is shattered.

We converse about the minor, everyday details of life in between interruptions from physicians, nurses, and procedures. I comforted her as she sobbed, wishing just that she was doing the dishes or folding laundry in her kitchen. Ordinary joys like finishing simple household chores had been taken from her.

She lives in a 1,000 square foot house with her husband, three children, and other family members, but she’s made it quite special. Everything has a purpose and is exquisitely made. Her family comes to watch movies on her velvet sofa and two side chairs. Warm colors have been used to decorate her house, which is filled with wood furniture, soft patterned pillows, beautiful dishes, artwork, and other mementos of a happy household.

She is an inspiration to me because of the way she has styled her home and lives. Although she maintains a spotlessly clean and well-organized home, she still indulges her kids, who are 10 years old, in their love of two parakeets who chirp nonstop in the living room and drop feathers all over the floor. Because it makes her think of our daughters’ trip to Paris, she consumes ros throughout the summer. Because she feels that maintaining a Facebook or Instagram account would keep her from making genuine connections, she doesn’t bother.

Like her, I’ve arranged my house so that the tiny things that bring me joy are all about me. In the evening, I enjoy having a glass of red wine in my courtyard. I alternate between three favorite sets of pajamas that I enjoy putting on at night. Even with the cat scratches on the edges, I still adore my teal sectional in the family room. My master bathtub’s tiling is chipped, but I don’t care because I enjoy a hot bath and a bite of chocolate there before going to night. I am happy with these basic things.

We can find joy by surrounding ourselves with life’s small pleasures. It doesn’t come from expensive furniture or trendy purses. Never will it come from Instagram or Facebook likes. At the end of the day, those items leave you feeling empty.

Living a life you enjoy and having bedding and pillows that are perfect for you when you sleep are the keys to being happy at home. It has your preferred coffee cup’s form. It is your child’s laughter resonating throughout the house. It’s your beloved blanket, your beautiful dogs (no matter how annoying they are), and the comfort you get from being at home in the place you made yourself.

I need your help today, pals. Share the thing that makes you happiest. Tell me how you went about creating a life you enjoy. What routines or practices make you happy? What sights, sounds, tastes, or treasures give you a smile? Whatever it may be, I’d love to know what about your home makes you feel appreciative, content, and joyful.





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