Sometimes your spouse will give you a look that says, “I’m pretty sure you’ve slipped completely over the edge . . . but I’m with you 100 percent.” I got such a look yesterday. It was a mix of “You’ve finally lost it” and “That might be really fun.”
Back story: Dave and I have had a marriage-long debate about the dining room. I love a separate dining room because the house I grew up in had one, and it was a wonderful gathering spot when the whole family came. Dave has always thought of dining rooms as formal and uncomfortable—a place where you have to remember which fork to use when. But he has humored me all these years. We use our dining room maybe once or twice a year, but there sits that big table with the oversized chairs, filling up a huge space.
Enter some sweet friends who are moving to a new house and GAVE us some furniture they don’t need any more—a set of beautiful white wicker, the real deal, the kind you can’t even find any more. It has to stay indoors, and the only room in our house big enough to store it till we build our dream sunroom one day is, you guessed it, the dining room. So our plan was to store it in the dining room until we had company, and then move it onto the deck for the duration of our gathering. Dave saw the look on my face as I stared at that lovely wicker framed against our picture window and said, “You don’t want to store it, do you—you want to use it now.”
At first, looking at the wicker made me sad because it was so crowded in that room—but what to do? The table had to stay there . . . or . . . maybe not. I went running up to Dave’s shop to tell him the news: “We need to sell the dining room table and chairs and make a sunroom!” (This is the part where I got The Look. But then he was smiling.)
The moral of this little home furnishings story is this: The next time you hear yourself saying, “I wish things didn’t have to be like this,” consider something: Maybe they don’t. If you’re thinking, “I can’t do ‘A’ because I have to do ‘B,’ maybe you don’t have to do “B” after all. And if you’re juggling a million things and beating yourself up because you can’t find a way to get them all done, maybe it’s time to say, “You know what—I can’t do all of this, and I have to let some things go.”
Maybe you don’t have give a big space in your life to something that doesn't give enough back. Maybe you can have a lovely wicker sunroom that seats just as many people as your dining table and makes your morning coffee an event every single day. Just maybe.
P.S. Thanks to Lil, Frank, and Kim L., who inspired the sunroom:)
[Image by Eric Yuen]