It’s been a while since we had friends staying with us. It’s a big deal for us to invite people to actually stay with us while they visit. I’ll be straight forward and honest in that sense: It’s hard! I find it incredibly hard to have people staying with us.
We love to have friends over for dinner or lunch or catch ups. But that’s different. You get together, you enjoy the conversation, the meal, the chats, the spending time together and then your guests leave and you clean up what needs to be cleaned up and everything goes back to normal.
I know that it’s similar with house guests. And yet it’s so very different.
No matter how close you are to your house guest, no matter how much you like them, it always messes with your routine. And it messes with theirs. And that’s the big issue. Unless you are a terrible host and simply don’t care about how your guest feel, it will always throw you out of your routine to have people staying with you.
I consider myself a good host. For me it’s important that my guests feel good when they are here. From a simply coffee and cake get together to dinner or having people staying with me one thing is for sure: I want them to be happy and feel welcomed.
Giving a house guest that feeling without stepping out of your normal routine is simply not possible.
But it’s not just the being a good host that messes with the routine. It’s also the fact that you have people staying with you who have a routine themselves. And they can’t stick to it either. No matter how close you are to them, they are still kind of strangers in your home. Even if they are family. Strangers to your normal day to day. There are moments I’m glad I can simply close the door to the rest of the world, being home, with my people, my family around me and able to be the raw me. It’s something you can’t do when good hospitality is important for you.
Our last guests we had were wonderful. I can’t pinpoint exactly what made it feel so normal to have them around but it did. Maybe it was because they simply fit into our routine and maybe it was also because they moved independently and were often out by themselves. Maybe it was because they made it so normal that they just washed their laundry and picked up the vacuum cleaner without hesitating to clean the room they were in. And yet, our routine was not the same.
You have people around that you want to spend time with and you want to chat to them. As I said besides all of that I also want them to simply feel comfortable and welcomed. And that closing the door to the world doesn’t work really anymore in a situation like that.
Hospitality is something I label pretty highly in my book. Some people have a talent in making you feel welcomed and happy when you visit. Some people simply don’t.
Some “hosts” manage to make you feel so incredibly uncomfortable because you constantly feel you are doing something wrong. You constantly feel you are in the way or you are not around often or long enough. Their routine is so demanding that you can barely breath but there is simply no way to escape it because it would make you a bad guest. It would make you unappreciative.
I don’t want to be that person.
Being a good host is like balancing on a fine line. Every wrong step could be lethal. But it goes both ways. Being a good host is as important as being a good guest. If both of them come together you are for sure in for a great time and making great memories. And when you then look back to the couple of days spent together under your roof, the stepping out of your routine doesn’t count.
What will remain is the memories of the laughter, the stories, the giggles, the little adventures you shared together…