Surrounded in Comfort

A TINY handful of my favorite stuffed animals

“Act your age.” Don’t you love it when people utter those words? (As if you’ve been this age before or received a pamphlet on your birthday detailing what this age requires) My usual response is an eye roll and continuation of whatever I was doing that prompted the comment in the first place. Which includes adding more and more stuffed animals to my collection.

Oh, yes, I said stuffed animals.

Stuffed animals perch on the furniture in pretty much every room of the house (every REASONABLE room of the house). The ones in my office often find themselves on the floor when Tonks decides to play with them – an occupational hazard for anything in my office. And Juniper tries to take some of them as HER toys, and we have to rescue them and swap them out for the stuffies that belong to her. And there’s the fact that there are no children in this household, nor will there ever be.

Do I care? Not in the slightest. My stuffed animal collection makes me happy and takes my stress level down. They add color and memories to our home – much better than the stuffy, expected “adult” decor a person demands. We live surrounded by personality – not expectation. Which isn’t to say that we lack culture: I have a kitsune, an anhinga, alebrijes, and dragons of various regions. Not to mention the menagerie of various animals.

It always comes back to being yourself, especially in your downtime.

If you rejuvenate sitting in a leather couch with a glass coffee table and architectural magazines, then that works for you. That image alone gives me hives and makes me feel like I wouldn’t be able to move or even breathe for fear of damaging something.

Maybe you surround yourself with art canvases, easels, and palettes of paint – ready to capture whatever your muse drives you to create. It’s not practical for our household of critters (and I have zero art talent), but I know creative people who’d salivate over that possibility.

I like sinking down into my couch, surrounded by soft comfort and color. The cushy faces remind me that things aren’t so bad. (And when they’re knocked on the floor, they don’t break) For someone with uncertainties, having something to hold reassures me the world isn’t so bad.

Where’s it written that, as soon as you pass the age of 18, you have to surrender everything fun and comfortable and sweet in favor of hard angles and boring dreariness? I tried that for a few years – pushing my stuffed animal collection into tubs in a closet – and I was MISERABLE. My home felt confining and uninspiring. My writing suffered for the environment. Nothing felt right, and the words came halting and bland.

I lacked ME!

Now, I don’t suffer from that problem. Even if some people walk into my house and sniff at the abundance of stuffed animals tucked here and there. Am I worried about having the house featured in some magazine? Of course not – why would I? I’m more concerned with setting up a home that feels comfortable and sparks my imagination. That means fuzzy faces poking out from the top of speakers, shelves, and even the top of my printer.

Never let someone else’s judgement interfere with your personal flair. If your home drives your imagination and creativity, who cares what you use to decorate? Stuffed animals, collectible toys, skulls – go for it! “Adult” is a terrible appellation – avoid it at all costs.

Author: Andria Kennedy

I speak the thoughts rattling around in my brain, sharing topics I think other people want and should hear (or are afraid to talk about themselves). I bring my personality and quirky state of mind to everything I write; serious topics shouldn't be devoid of humor. That includes my blog and freelance work (part of my charm). I've been writing for as long as I can remember. It's a source of solace and enjoyment for me. I'm lucky enough to call what I love my career - so it's NOT work! I live in Virginia with the Minions (four cats and a Greyhound) and my wonderful husband, who ensures I stay fed - no cereal for dinner - and as close to sane as I can get.

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