Remember that joy that you felt at Christmas when you were 10 years old? Doesn't matter whether you believed in Santa or not. It was the joy of having something new. I certainly remember it.
One Christmas night, I woke up in the wee hours and I crawled out of bed to see what Santa had brought. One of my gifts, all spread out in front of the tree, was a sleeping bag. Of course, I had to try it out, so I crawled in (how else do you play with a sleeping bag?) and the next morning, my parents found me there, in the bag, sound asleep.
And, it's not just at Christmas. There's a joy for me in acquiring something new, even today. I can remember the day I bought my Featherweight. I hadn't been shopping for one. I didn't know what was a good price. I didn't even know anything about vintage machines. But, there it was, all shiny at the City-Wide Garage sale. I saw it and saw the price on it and I kept walking. But, that machine played with me in the back of my mind and nothing else I saw made my heart race, and I don't think I bought anything else. That little sewing machine, with its case and attachments. Toying with me. So, after we'd walked through the whole place and looked at everything else there was to see, I went back and bought that Featherweight. I was encouraged by Rob, who reminded me I had said I'd like to have one. I even got a minimum of grief from Sydney. There was so much joy. And, then I took it home and I worked on it and I learned to understand it and researched it and then I made it sew. Joy, joy, joy.
It was the same with my treadle. I saw it and didn't buy it. But, it played in my mind and a week later, Rob felt sorry for me and took me on the 45 minute drive that we had just taken the week before, to get it. Oh, the anticipation of wanting it and then what seemed like a long drive to get it. And, wrapping it in tarp because it was a rainy weekend and then getting it home and working on it and cleaning it up and researching it and finding an owner's manual and making it sew.
And, it's not just machines. I remember when I decided to paint my bedroom a deep red to match the color in the very masculine plaid fabric I'd bought to make a headboard and curtains out of. I didn't shop for that fabric or for the paint. I walked into JoAnn's when fabric was on sale and I had a little coin in my pocket and I bought. I didn't think about it. And, I loved working with that fabric and bought a khaki color to go with it. I took a swatch to Home Depot and matched a paint to that. Not the green or gold or beige from the fabric, but the dark red. And, I love that room. It was the joy of something new that never went away. Were there fabrics I would have enjoyed as much if I had bothered to look for them? Maybe. But, in the 11 years we've lived in that house, the one room I've never wanted to redecorate was that bedroom.
And, there were the Franciscan Autumn dishes we bought on one of our antiquing jaunts. Never shopped for them before. Only knew anything about them because of another set we already had by the same maker. But, we saw them and fell in love with them at a time when we were not shopping for dishes. We'd just started a new set of everyday dishes. But, we loved these too and so we bought them. Now, I alternate between those two sets and another that we've started collecting since...and that one was on the spur of the moment, too.
I love that exhilaration I get from getting something new. And, yes, sometimes it backfires on me. If I'd shopped, I could have gotten the Featherweight for 2/3 of what I paid for it. I could have gotten the treadle for half. The dishes were a great bargain, so no need to fret over them. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. But, always there's joy.
Rob, on the other hand is a great shopper. He shops for the right merchandise and the right price. Me? I can't even do lay-a-way. Unfortunately, for every person that says the product we're shopping for is the best thing since sliced bread, there's another person out there that says it's less valuable than fresh cow manure. How does he decide? Who can he believe in? He ends up worrying himself to death over something that should be fun. I appreciate that he is willing to do the research and come back to me and tell me the right choice. There are a lot of things that should be shopped for, and he is my Johnny-on-the-spot for that. But, I worry that he doesn't get the same joy I do out of shopping. For me, it's all about the acquiring. For him, it's all about the research. But when should the research end and the acquiring begin?
For me, that's easy. The research ends when it stops being part of the joy of acquiring. Research is like steak. It's wonderful once in a while, but I don't want it every day. Sometimes I have to stop and just take a leap of faith while I can still feel the joy. That leap is about trusting me. Trusting that I've done enough. Trusting that I know what I'm doing. Trusting in me.
To me, joy is more important than money. Too many people have money and can't enjoy it. Too many people have all the joy in the world and not a penny to their name. I want to live in the middle, where I have the joy of acquiring, but I'm not stupid about it.
Whew, this much discourse must mean it's Way Back Wednesday. Again already? Where does the time go?
Take care and have a great day. Lane