I guess part of coming of age around here is attending classes called “cotillion”. The classes aren’t required, but highly encouraged, so much so that the kids all think they are required! Where I come from, this isn’t a thing. (Well, maybe it is, and I just never knew it.) Either way, the idea of it was completely foreign to me when I first heard about it and I thought surely, we wouldn’t do it. It’s basically an etiquette class for kids beginning around sixth grade, to teach them “to act and learn to treat others with honor, dignity, and respect for better relationships”.
“Cotillion is a wonderful way for children to learn and reinforce those social skills that are so important as they grow and mature.”
The boys are required to wear a suit and tie. The girls wear dresses with white gloves. They learn all the very formal social etiquette, that at first, seemed obsolete to me. I seriously did not think, in million years, this is something I would enroll my boys in. But the journey of life in my middle years is teaching me, so distinctly, that the things I always thought I would do, aren’t necessarily the things I will do. The younger me would certainly balk at some of the choices I’m making today.
Like sending my son to cotillion!
Additionally, in the design of our home, I would have never dreamed that I would go along with choosing “form” over “function” on any level. I am ALL about useable, inviting, and cozy space, but I’m learning that form has a place, even in my home. My kitchen countertops are completely clear of decor of any kind, because for our family, it feels more spacious. My office is the first room guests see when they arrive at our home, so I gave away my antique tanker desk in exchange for a beautiful round pedestal table. At first, I was holding on tight, kicking and screaming on this one. But then the idea of adding chairs around the table to make my “desk” as place of community was born and oh baby, you know I was SO in! I’ve incorporated pink in my office and living room, because it softens the bold colors and the cold gray . . .I like it. (WHO AM I?!?)
It goes way beyond home design.
The way I see life, relationships, and loving people well today, looks so different than it did in my 20’s & 30’s. The way I see politics has changed in ways I still don’t completely understand, and I’m staying open to it, even though it sometimes scares me. I have a son who plays FOOTBALL for heaven’s sake! (What is the world coming to??)
And it’s all okay.
It’s all okay, because I’m on a very intentional journey of releasing any judgement of what I thought life was going to look like. My grown up self is less judgmental and more loving, than my younger self. She’s also wiser. Being open to accepting that “form” can be a really healthy thing sometimes doesn’t mean I have to completely relinquish function. They can co-exist.
It’s most definitely a “both/and”.
My boy can attend cotillion class to learn all the proper ways of etiquette AND still be a down to earth, accessible, empathetic person who cares deeply about humanity. I can have a fancy table for a desk AND still have a comfortable, inviting office that’s spacious enough for creativity. I can have clean countertops AND a welcoming kitchen. My son can play football, AND be wise, kind and loving.
Are there areas in your life where you’ve been committed to a certain belief that you can only have form OR function, but not both?
Maybe it’s about your work? Your finances? Your children? Your in-laws?
Whatever it is, release some judgement on it today.
It’s a great time of year to allow yourself to be open enough hold both things to see what new way might emerge.
There’s freedom in the journey of both/and.
You only have to decide to embrace it.
to more love,
p.s. Today is the last day of early bird ticket pricing for our “Holiday Ready GNO” next Thursday night. As is the heart of every GNO, it’s a giant BOTH/AND! You’ll learn so many tips on form to help you get physically Holiday Ready, and you’ll also experience ways of preparing your heart for the most wonderful time of the year. Rally your besties and get your ticket today.