I jsut read a friend's blog post about hospitality. She REALLY knows how to make you feel welcome, and I say that from experience. She also loves the process of preparing for guests. I admire that. Anyway, reading her post made me think of some advice I got once a few years back.
I don't know how hospitable this is, but this older friend of mine told me once that she used to scrub and polish the house to spic-and-span standards (tiring herself out in the process) for when the grandkids who live a couple hours away came to visit. She eventually realized that not only was she too tired to really enjoy the kids but also the dirt she so surrepeticiously scrubbed away was trekked in moments after they arrived. She would have to scrub and polish all over again as soon as they left. She decided from then on that before the kids came over she would "straighten" but not scrub. She now saves the scrubbing for when they leave. The notion absolutely blew my mind. You mean I could NOT spic-and-span my house before a bunch of people come over? Really?!?! I thought about all the times when I was too tired to actually enjoy gatherings at my house because I have worked so hard to get ready for them.
This paradigm shift was right up my alley.
So now you know a little secret about me. Next time you are at my house, feel free to notice the dirty floors. You can know that tomorrow (or maybe the next day), they will be clean. You should stop by then and see.
Now, aren't I hospitable?