before the guests arrive

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Maybe you're planning to stay up late tonight to sweep the floors and clean the bathrooms. Or you're walking around behind your children obsessively putting away the copious amounts of stuff they leave in their wake. Or you're trying to figure out whether you can clean out your pantry, those two closets, and go through the pile on the front table before your in-laws arrive.

A onebrokenteapot client said something so lovely about all of this that--even though she said it two years ago--I still remember it every time we're going to have guests.

"The point is to help your guests feel welcome."

Oh, right. We don't need to show them how together we are. We are not required to present a flash frozen diorama of our lives perfectly arranged. We don't need to get three hours of sleep so that they can be spared the sight of dirt on our baseboards.

We just want them to feel welcome. And loved. Certainly, part of that welcome is a clean toilet. But just as important is a warmth and presence that's hard to offer when you've been stringing yourself out to Get Ready.

So maybe make yourself a list of the things that would help you feel welcome. And do those things if you can. And let the rest go.

And if you find yourself on a chair wiping the dust off the ceiling fan blades at 2 in the morning, ask yourself if this is really important to helping your guests feel welcome.

I love you. And, oh my, you are not alone.

. . .

For new readers: This month, I'm doing a series of (mostly) short, (mostly) daily posts. The series is I Love You, And You Are Not Alone, and this post is part of it. See earlier posts on the website, and subscribe for free to get new ones in your inbox.