we make do, until we don't

First of all, Happy New Year! The French believe that you have the month of January to make sure that those you care about know you wish them well for the New Year. As a French teacher it is my duty to pass that tidbit of information along. I'm not late to the party, I'm just flexing my French je ne sais quoi.

With the New Year comes the need or want for new goals, whichever drives you. Mine is not new. I am hitting the repeat button because I took a journey around the sun without accomplishing my goal from several years ago. I guess it's been several turns around the sun.

Let me start from the beginning...

I, like many people out there, don't enjoy spending money unless it is exactly what I want, in the price range I want, and simply refuse to settle for anything less. Oh, just me and my perfectionist ways? Ok fine.

I remember one time a friend said to me, as she bent over to a candy machine to buy skittles, that she had been craving m&m's and this should suffice. I was aghast. How can you satisfy a craving for something with a totally unrelated candy. I mean, buy some chocolate at the very least. I could see smarties as a substitute for m&ms but skittles, that's a whole other category. I think this illustrates my point. If I wanted m&ms I would go and buy m&ms, no alternative, no satisfaction until the m&ms were in my mouth.

HOWEVER, if my cupboard was stocked full of skittles and I wanted m&ms I would continue to eat the skittles and be mad that they weren't m&ms.

Enter the coffee table.
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash
For years we housed a coffee table. It was a fine coffee table, it did its job, but it was something I wouldn't choose if given the option. It became the skittles in my house. I continued to use it and wish it were something else. I complained about it to everyone that entered my house: "Just so you know that's not mine"; "We will get rid of it"; "It's not what I would pick". The visitors were kind and said, it's really not that bad, and it wasn't but I had read the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and this coffee table did not bring me joy. It wasn't hideous; however it became hideous to me, mostly because it wasn't mine and it didn't fit. It was a constant reminder that it was borrowed but never needed, maybe not even loved, I'm not sure.

But the problem was that it was making do. Often I won't replace something because the stand in is ok, and I get stuck. It was serving a purpose and I am highly picky and practical. I was waiting for the perfect replacement. But my goodness is the perfect coffee table a small fortune. And we won't replace something that is standing in because it is making do, there is no real need for a replacement.

I gave the borrowed coffee table back in the summer and have resurrected a small piano bench style coffee table that has followed me throughout my houses. I would also like to be rid of it but it's just so darn functional. I am much more at ease in my living room without a coffee table (until guests come and there isn't a place for them to set their cups because if they go on the floor my dog will taste it). I would rather have nothing, or a miniature piano bench/coffee table than have something that was making do that didn't fit.

A friend of mine recently went furniture shopping and lamented that the process is a deep dive into adulting. Nothing cuts through the delusion of a "life well lived" like going furniture shopping. Champagne taste on a baby duck budget.

The budget, the taste, the style, all of this became too grand a list so I voluntold the hubster. My idea was that we must build the perfect coffee table. If you know anything about us, we have a "We Have Started" To Do List that stretches on into eternity. I added a coffee table on to this. Rather, I attempted to add a coffee table onto this list. It didn't make the list. In reality, it was me passing the buck.

Here it is, here is what you have been waiting this whole post for...my new year's resolution is to find a coffee table that works in my space, that serves a purpose, and that I like. I am not making do anymore this year, I won't, I can and will find a coffee table that will suit my space and taste. The clincher is, this has been one of my goals for the last three years. You can see why the stand in got so much grief, it was the constant reminder that I hadn't accomplished a simple task I set out to do.

How many things in our lives are like that. We stick with them because they work, we allow it to be present only because we haven't made the effort to clear house in search of what we really want or need. You can see the track I'm laying here, right? That 2018 is the year to clear out the things that are simply making do and replace them with things that genuinely do. I write and publish this because it will keep me accountable. I will have to answer for it come next January. That's scary, I am honest when I say I'm not sure I can do it. But having said it out loud I must.

Happy New Year!

That's all.


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