A March Letter From the Apartment Therapy Editor: On the JOWSRB

published Mar 4, 2019
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Shower curtain inspiration (not my own). (Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

I decided to spend the month of February overhauling my little bathroom. It started because I spent the past six months or so really wanting a $39 shower curtain. I kept the shopping page open on my iPhone windows and showed it to my coworkers every couple of weeks (job perk). I’m coining this phenomenon the JOWSRB—joy of wanting something really badly. Sometimes it’s more fun than actually having the object of your desire.

When I saw a version of the curtain featured in an Apartment Therapy house tour, it seemed like a sign to add it to my cart. While I waited for the box to arrive, I painted over my dark green walls with a fresh coat of greige. In the months I spent with my JOWSRB, I deluded myself into thinking that a shower curtain could transform my bathroom from a place I rush through every morning on my way to work into a spa-like respite. But, the truth is, I still have pretty much the same bathroom, just with a new shower curtain and blank (albeit freshly painted) walls. I haven’t had time to hang art, to make it down the street to the plant store to buy some greenery, or to finish any of the other projects I had planned for the space.

I was feeling pretty bad about all of this when I read Ashley Abramson’s piece toward the end of the month on 5 Ways to Appreciate Your Home Right Now, Flaws and All. Christine Platt of The Afrominimalist offered this advice: “I think it’s really easy to forget one of the most important aspects of home—providing safe shelter for ourselves, our families. Few, if any, homes are perfect so there’s always going to be something. And whenever I find myself obsessing over and being annoyed with that ‘something’ I try to pause. I take a moment to just be thankful—thankful that I have an imperfect home that’s filled with love that serves as safe shelter for my family.”

What a great, timely reminder of how lucky I am to have this space in the first place. Plus, there are a lot of really happy reasons I didn’t have time to get to everything on my list last month (a job I love, a weekend away for my niece’s birthday party, a fun teaching gig, and some really good TV). Maybe I’ll get to it in March, but if not, I’ll try to be thankful for the slow progress I’ve made so far.

Speaking of March, I want to give you a sneak preview of what we have planned here for the upcoming month:

1. For starters, a celebration of Women’s History Month, which we observe every March. We’re cooking up a couple of articles that I’m excited to share.

2. A new video house tour series. On Tuesday, March 19, we are launching a major new series, looking at the creative ways people are living today.

3. Continued improvements to our homepage. We’ve spent the last few months changing our Content Management System, which is how we get our articles, photos, and more out into the world. It’s come with some bumps—like formatting errors on our old content, which we’re working as quickly as possible to fix. And we are also working on enhancements to our front page. I hope to report back with updates next month. For starters, a continuous feed of our latest content is coming soon (thanks to those of you who have emailed to ask for it). We really appreciate you hanging in there with us through the transition.

4. Tons of spring cleaning. Our official program launches April 1—you can sign up soon (I’ll update with the link when we have it). But Spring starts March 20, so if you can’t wait til April (or you want to get a head start), stay tuned for some new natural cleaning recipes and more great tips.

On that note, one of our commenters (hi there, Mimi1966!), shared that one of her favorite ways to show love for her home is by taking very good care of it. So this past weekend, I grabbed a toothbrush and scrubbed the grout between my bathroom tile with a baking soda paste. And when I was finished, I got in the bathtub, lit some candles, and stared at my brand new shower curtain. JOWSRB, fulfilled.

What are you loving about your homes this month? Share it with me in the comments below.

Laura Schocker
Editor-in-Chief, Apartment Therapy