LIFE

Why women feel empowered when they decorate

Did you ever think there might be a connection between decorating and feeling some control?

A few years ago I needed to do some updating to my tired looking house.  I painted my dining room table and hutch black. I loved it. It was one of those changes I wished I’m made years ago.

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But looking through an Ikea  catalog got me to thinking.

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Why is it we women are always “redoing” something or another?  And most of us are.  There are thousands of decorating blogs that attest to this. (I do know a couple of women, though, who never think about redecorating. There’s something wrong with them, I just know it. )

I put this post aside for a couple of days and had an experience that I think helped me answer my own question.

One of my best friends had been sick for a couple of weeks.  As she was feeling much better we decided to get together. It had been a crazy summer for both of us, lots of family events, etc.

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During the height of her illness, her sister (who lives in another country) and had only recently been diagnosed with cancer, died. She had planned on visiting her when she felt better. My friend’s husband died less than two years prior to that. Talk about a double whammy.  She pretty much felt like her life had spun out of control.

Anyway, we were sitting in her living room and she mentioned how she wanted to redecorate the room.  She was tired of it.  We talked about colors, new pictures.

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Well, I got busy and because I’m a frustrated decorator I started moving things around and suggesting some ideas. I suggested a small project she could easily complete the next day without taxing her strength.  She was doing much better by the time I left.

On the way home, I got to thinking about this whole “redoing” thing and why most of us women seem obsessed with it. I know the usual answer is the often quoted “nesting instinct.”  And yes, I think that’s part of the answer but I don’t think that’s the entire answer.

I wonder if some of it has to do with the fact that we feel some control when we change things around.  Most women I know feel much of their lives revolve around the needs of other people, children, husband, parents, and careers.

It’s not that we don’t willingly embrace it all but let’s face it, we don’t particularly feel in control.  When we add a new pillow, paint the candle holders a different color, etc. it gives us a sense of having some control in at least one part of our lives.  Not to mention it feeds our creative urge.

candlestick display

My friend felt empowered by what we did and the possibilities of what we were going to do. She couldn’t prevent getting sick. She couldn’t prevent her husband or sister from dying. But she could change a few things in her living room.

How about you?  Does “re-doing” a few things around your house empower you? Have you ever considered the connection between decorating and the feeling of having some control?

My dining room hutch

I would love to hear your comments.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

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