living room 

living room 

upstairs hallway

my bedroom

my bedroom

 

my bedroom

upstair hallway

 future office or guest bedroom 

downstairs hallway

kitchen

 

kitchen

dining room

 gift shoppe or future studio / office

 gift shoppe or future studio / office

Yep, that’s my house. Nothing stylized. Nothing cropped out or edited. That’s it in all of it’s wonderful and messy glory. I’m calling all of the above pictures “the before,” so please don’t judge me too harshly. While there are aspects of each picture that I love, I obviously have a lot work to do. Since I’m showing you these spaces at their worst, they can only get better, right? If starting is half the battle, this is my start. I have a bedroom that I need to make “my own” rather than a space I’ve created for guests. I have a hole in my ceiling with wires hanging out. I have stacks of books that have no home, empty walls, a pink room with a black flowered border. I could go on and on.

As I alluded to on Monday, I’ve been in a bit of a rut. I’m not sure why, or how it happened, but I’m in deep. For the past couple months I’ve been in survival mode – only doing what’s necessary to get by. I go to bed, wake up the next day, and do it all over again. Of course, I’m thinking the whole time that the next day will be different. Now, I don’t really want this to be a Debbie Downer sort of post. I’m just trying to get out of this hot mess and I’m hoping this post will help in some way. Maybe not, but it’s worth a shot, right? Either way, I need to find my mojo to start creating again. I want to make this house my home and share the process with all of you.

I was talking to a friend online today, and she said, “You’re in the worst place right now.” While that may seem kind of harsh, it’s the kind of honesty I wanted and needed to hear. She went on to say, “Right now you’re climbing up hill. You gotta get to the top before you can come down. You just can’t make it a priority to pine for something you don’t have. Fill your life with things you CAN control.”

These past several months I’ve had my eyes only on the future, both personally and professionally. Instead of celebrating all the wonderful things that are right in front of me (amazing blog opportunities and partnerships, beautiful friends and family, my health and home), I’ve been obsessed, yes literally obsessed, with finding “better” things (someone to share my life with, more opportunities, fancier things). I’ve been searching for joy and happiness. Little did I know that it was literally sitting right in front of me. I have been so focused on the future that I have been ignoring all the beautiful things in my present. I stumbled across this article thanks to another friend. While the entire piece is wonderful, the final paragraph really summed up the the article beautifully. It reads, “We should base our happiness on the life we are living – on the beauty that is already ours, on desires that don’t shift from moment to moment.  We choose to find our happiness now – in life itself.  In fact, we don’t even need to ‘find’ happiness. We can be happiness. Stop searching. Stop chasing. Happiness is already here.”

I’m not sure if this post really has a point, but I thought it was only fair to explain to you where I’m at in life right now. Yes, as the pictures show, things are a bit ugly and messy. While I can’t say I’m completely out of my rut, I’m feeling a lot better than I did yesterday. I’m feeling a little more inspired. So, please stick with me.

You are all amazing, and I’m so thankful to those of you who have emailed and responded in the comments over the past few months. Without even putting this out there, you’ve realized something was different and have offered words of encouragement and support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

While attempting to get my life back in order, I’m also looking closely at IBC and where I want it to go and what I want it to be. With a new blog design (coming soon) and a switch to WordPress, I’m excited about the plethora of possibilities. Since all of you are such a huge part of this, I would really love and appreciate your feedback. What do you love about IBC? What do you dislike (please be constructive)? What do you desperately want more of? What do you miss? Seriously, tell me everything. I need a little help. We’re in this together. Please don’t make me beg.

Thank you for allowing me to share this hot mess of a post with you and for allowing me to be me, especially at times like this. You rock.

Posted By at 9:39 PM
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Comments

  • Colin at

    Things will get better! Hang in there. Also you don’t have a bathroom?!? Just curious…

  • Anonymous at

    Hi Michael – I’ve been a reader for a long time, but I’m not a blogger myself. YOU (and other blogs I enjoy) are what helps me out of my funk. Sometimes it is so hard to be patient for the NEXT thing – when is it happening?!?!? I use you to help me dream, and to help escape. I live in an old home with two young kids and work full time, and sometimes struggle with the the thought that life is passing by and I’m not getting to do or have all the things that I want. Just goes to show you, though, that though we see the shortcomings in ourselves and our homes, others have a different view. We look to you for inspiration and ALWAYS find it.

    Your blog is the perfect balance of decor, personal posts and cooking – you hit all of the buttons. Keep it up…!

  • Susan at

    http://www.mindful.org/
    I love this helpful site/magazine.
    Searching for your place in the universe is what your twenties are for!

    Basically, an open mind/heart will lead you to the place/people you need/want in life.

    As far as blogging, you will NEVER make everyone happy no matter what, so stick with YOUR voice and YOUR ideas and you will find your audience-or they will find you.

    Good luck with your growing pains-they are so worth it, you’ll see 🙂

  • Anonymous at

    I don’t know if you are a spiritual person but here is a passage that may help. Be strong and trust that you are being watched over and there is a plan for you in this universe!

    But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

    ~ Isaiah 40:31

  • April T. at

    I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I’ve been in a rut/funk/whathave you since I had to close my little boutique in December. Much like you, I’m just going through the motions…looking so far in the future that I can’t see what is right before me at this moment. And while what is right before me may not be exactly the way I want it, it IS. And I need to enjoy what is…

    April

  • Dash of Pink Sugar at

    I love your blog and love you even more for being so raw and honest with your readers. Your home is beautiful and I am sure whatever else you do with it will make it even more so. Everyone has their stuck in a rut moments you’ll get through it!

  • Amy at

    Michael, I love reading your blog, rut or no rut! It is the one blog that I get excited to read every time it appears in my e-mail. And unless you are posting a recipe that I know I’ll never make, I read every word. I think the way that I first found you was this post: https://inspiredbycharm.com/2012/01/from-wood-to-wall-making-of-sign.html. I pinned it because I was so inspired by that art. I hope you find your way to creating like that again because clearly, you are talented!

    I will read whatever you put here, but I do miss your Pinterest round ups. Those were so much fun and I’ll never be able to thank you enough for featuring Pinterest For Dummies in your love of yellow round up. I love Weekend Wanderlust, I love the lessons from, and I definitely love when you take us shopping with you. It’s kind of like having you go shopping with me for my house.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better. You’ll get there for sure!

  • Anonymous at

    Michael, been a long time reader. I love your posts that show one of your very own creations. Like your sun w/rays board, or your cheery quilt, or white w/yellow flowers bed skirt. You are very creative, let it come forth. Your own projects are the most inspiring to me. Oh, I forgot the awesome curtains you hung on nails!

  • Anonymous at

    Michael, I’m so sorry you are in a rut right now. I also tend to look to the future a lot and that can make me feel impatient, dissatisfied, and very anxious. I have to remind myself to live in and celebrate the present too. Thanks for always being so open and sharing. That’s one of the things I love about your blog.

    Other things I’d love to continue to see on your blog? Your beautiful food, DIYs, and inspiration posts. I really love your eye for design. And, epecially since you have so much experience, maybe it would be neat to see posts offering some tips/ how tos on hospitality, making guests at home, etc.

    Good luck on climbing that hill–I have no doubt that you will.

  • Natalie at

    Michael,

    You have a wonderful blog and incredible spirit. Be encouraged knowing that every season has its purpose.

  • Rachael at

    Michael I love your place we spent our wedding night there so it has a very special place in my heart! Everything you do in there is fabulous. One of the things I look forward to most is stopping in the gift shop when I am visitng home. Are you planning on getting rid of it?? I noticed you have guest shop/future studio?

  • Melissa at

    Hi Micheal,

    I think sometimes you try to hard to be perfect… to ‘magazine design-ey’ when truly you are a blogger living in your space… not a magazine that is staged to look perfect for a photo shoot. When you show your imperfections it has a way of resignating with people. People look for common ties and truth is none of us live in a magazine. Truth be told… your house is looking much better than mine does. Decorating is a process… love the process 🙂

    Some ideas for things I would like to see on your blog:

    – Easy dinners… that can be made with quick with fresh ingredients. (Maybe that can be adapted for singles, couples and families)

    – I LOVE your before and afters… even if its just a tiny space, you always have such creative and beautiful ideas

    – Gardening tips for the novice gardener such as what your fav plants for maintenance and where you put them. (I know for myself planning the layout of the garden is the hardest part so maybe how you do that for yourself?)

    -Thrift finds!

    -How you choose paint colours

    – creating a comfortable guest bedrooms

    -gift wrapping tutorials/ideas

    And always remember…. “This too shall pass” :)!

    Hope that helps!

  • Anonymous at

    Love your blog. You are so blessed. A beautiful home and the creative gift to decorate it. Focus is an interestng choice… when we focus on what we are blessed with family friends etc. we can appreciate what we have so much more. Lately I have been thinking what would it be like if I did not have a home to live in my family to stand by me don’t mean it depressing…just thinking about what others don’t have helps.me to gain perspective and a new appreciation for those things I have been blessed with.

  • Marcia (123 blog) at

    Well now, I’ve been in a blog rut on my organising blog for over a year. So I plod along 🙂

    I can’t remember how I found your blog but I stayed because your honesty and openness grabbed me.

    Your home is CHARMING and I get a real SENSE of you in your pics (this is high praise from me because I really don’t like spaces that are too “perfect”).

    🙂

  • Kerry Fountain at

    Michael–

    We all get into a funk sometimes…especially when the winter refuses to go away! I live in Michigan and we are looking at more snow today….yuck! That said– even when the weather is beautiful, life can become difficult. Even those with the brightest attitudes suffer occasionally so don’t feel bad. I love how you put yourself out there and admit you are struggling.

    I absolutely adore your weekend wanderlust posts– I love the peek it gives us into what you have been doing. Those are my absolute favorite posts. I love how you put things together in your house as well– the before and after shots- very cool. I have 3 kids- a tween and two teens plus 2 dogs and a cat so my house will not look nearly as nice as yours for a few years yet (gotta get these messy kids out of the house first!).

    Kerry from country living on a hill

  • laughing abi at

    Michael,
    Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the people we turn to day in and day out for inspiration need a little boost themselves. I love hearing what a real person you are. That you have a real story and real successes and failures, just like me. That is what I like most about your blog – the connection. This rough patch you are experiencing is part of being a creative soul, albeit a sucky part.

  • Rebecca at

    I think it’s normal to get into a funk occasionally, especially when going through major life changes like your evolving career. I am also going through a major life change, so I know that it’s stressful to make the decision. But, it’s also quite emotional and draining once the change has taken place. I wouldn’t say it involves regret, but there’s definitely a feeling of sadness mixed with a bit of fear and excitement. It can be exhausting and put you in a “rut.”

    It’s the first time I’ve read your blog, so I’d also like to mention the negative comments about your editing. First, it’s definitely hard to know the true feelings behind their comments. They may very well consider you a friend and just want what’s best for you. You have a wonderful, friendly, and open “voice” in your writing. I’d say that this, along with your design ability, are the reasons your blog is so successful. You say you aren’t a writer, but, again, you wouldn’t have a successful blog if this were true. You point out your editing mistakes, but as others have shared, these are two different skills. You are way too hard on yourself anyway. Most bloggers have minor errors occasionally. What matters when I read a blog is the content and the writer’s voice. Does it speak to me? Is it unique? Does this person seem genuine?

    I have just a few blogs bookmarked on my computer. (I never subscribe.) I read three of your posts and bookmarked your site today. I look forward to reading more!!

  • leslie at

    Dearest Michael! Love your site, your Pinterest posts (!) and this entry in your blog. Though you wrote it back in March, I think you’ve crawled out of your rut based on the joyful, colorful images that I’ve been following for some months now! Congrats!

    Anyway, what posed me to post here was that handsome, little loom you have pictured in the corner of one of your rooms. Nice find, I hope you use it… good therapy! I have one, too… only it’s tucked in my dining room corner and four times larger! Oye-vay!

    Hugs.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Hey Leslie! Thank you so very, very much! Yes – things are progressing wonderfully these days. Just keep moving, right?

      Thanks for al the love!

      xo Michael

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