Keep Trying Until You Get It Right....What My Spring Mantel Display is Teaching Me

April 27, 2015

I have been working on this post for weeks.  It is pretty much time to redecorate my mantel and I'm just now sharing it with you.  Let me explain why......

The whole post began as a lesson about decorating with threes.  A very important lesson, I might add.

Plans and designs were made in my head.  Lists were written of things I wanted to include in the lesson.  I gathered supplies and started my display, full of things to illustrate the concept of multiples of three.

Three rattan items hanging on the wall.
Three vintage Bibles used as to add height.
Three silver items.
Three items that are white.
Groupings of three items (Two candlesticks and a stack of Bibles.....A vase of forsythia, silver pitcher, and bird's nest).

Lots of threes.

This is what I came up with, but it wasn't quite right.......

After snapping a few pictures, I realized that the red pages of the Bible on the right didn't go with the rest of the neutral (and pop of yellow) display.  Quick fix....I turned the Bible around to the black cover and thought that would be the fix. Much better.  More neutral.  More cohesive.

Snap, snap, snap some more photos.

Hmmm....still not exactly right.  Maybe it is too much clutter, I thought.  Maybe there is a few too many threes in the group.  A little too much too illustrate the concept.

So, I began moving, removing, and arranging.  This is how the display ended up.

Clean and simple with a few of my favorite things and a touch of spring.  (Oh, and aside from the three rattan pieces on the wall, not a single way left to illustrate decorating with threes!)

But you know what?

I'm still not happy.  It still isn't right.  And it was a cloudy day, so the pictures didn't even come out as I had hoped.  

But I'm realizing that it is okay.  Things don't have to be perfect all the time.  Projects, displays, and life in general are not always going to work out the way we plan or the way we want.  And if we don't figure out how to be okay with that, we can't move on to something that will work.  We can't give up on ourselves....on our life....on our plans.

Many of your comments last week tugged right at my heart.  After reading through them, I'm realizing that I'm being harder on myself than anyone else is.  I'm judging myself and my work more harshly than my readers.  I'm expecting more of myself than you are.

And as I gaze at my display that isn't quite right, I'm seeing that there are parts that are that are just as they should be.  That's what I need to focus on.  There is no reason why I can't keep arranging until it pleases me.  And if that day doesn't come, a whole new display can take it's place.

A friend of mine is in much the same mindset as I am right now.....contemplating whether the eight years she has spent trying to grow her business has been worth it.  Trying to decide whether to give it all up and get a real job.  On one hand, I am the worst person to be giving her advice since I'm in need of it myself.  But on the other hand, sometimes it is easier to see clearly when looking at something from someone else's perspective.

What I realized is that no amount of positive comments and pats on the back are going to get us to where we want to be.  We've got to be able to give ourselves the positive comments and pats on the back.  Sometimes that is a struggle, but giving up on something we want isn't going to make us feel any better.  There are times in life where we are going to have to just go with the flow and accept the down days knowing tomorrow could be better.

And we've all got to keep trying until we get it a display or in life.

Join the Anderson + Grant Mailing List

Sign up to receive my tips + inspiration for creating a home you love delivered directly to your inbox.