9/1/10

The joy of something new

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

11 comments:

Angie Padilla said...

I completely get you. Since quilting is not a tradition here in Ecuador, many of the supplies I need are not locally available. So I purchase online. And for that I research and try to find the best deal. But if I'm walking down the street and happen so see something in a store that just blows my mind away (usually antiques or handicrafts), more often than not I just go in and buy it. I know that if I think too much about it, by the time I decide to get it, it will be gone. And as these are one-of-a-kind items, I end up enjoying them so much every time I look at them or use them.

Any chance you will post some pics of your deep red bedroom? (:

Becky said...

I'm with Angie...I wanna see pics of that room! I love plaid and red plaid is always so pretty.

Elizabeth said...

You and I are alike in so many ways. I love getting something shiny and new. I'm the more emotional purchaser and Mr. Bug is the researcher. Sometimes all the research becomes a huge hinderance (lol). Posts like today's make me smile.

Happy Way-Back Wednesday.

xo -E

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

There appears to be a growing chorus for bedroom pictures ...let me also add my request to the list.

I tend to be a researcher for some purchases and a from the heart purchaser for others. Must admit there have been a few things that I havent followed my heart and I've regretted it later.

Pauline said...

Are you reading my mind? I see me in so many things you describe! I have mellowed somewhat lately concerning aquiring new things. Mostly, I think I have indulged my whims too much. I now have no place to put anything new....without...oh horrows...getting rid of something I have and probably love! My Ken is happy to research important things, which I no longer care to do. So I make my quilts and try not to see too many temptations. However.... I sure would like to have a big, computerized quilting machine. I keep saying to my self...."Self, you're already a slave to too many 'things' you've bought, why do you want more stuff to keep up with?"
Love to you and your great sounding family. Let us see that red room!
Your friend,
PK

Shirleymac said...

Hmm... I guess I'm more like you than Rob. I mean big things like cars and stuff I research. Most of my research consists of how many do I see on the road and how many do I see broken down on the side of the road *LOL* I saw a refrigerator today that I want. Do I need one? No. But ours is too big for our kitchen and this one is the perfect size. Doubt I'll be able to talk DH into buying it though. But it's sitting there in my brain.

Tennye said...

I love that you wrote about the wonderful feelings you get from a new thing. I also love that you mentioned you found the machine at the city wide garage sale. I then went to see where you are from and hello you are from Austin and I knew it because of the city wide garage sale. I am in Cedar Park and was born and raised in Austin. I tried to email but I don't have that windows outlook thing.
Why did I write you live in my home town nothing more. Love your blog,
Tennye

andsewon said...

Yes Lane I agree,love the joy. I think I may need to stop the 'joy of the dishes' for a bit though! Now my sweetie will 'shop somethings to death' as I call it and will drive me crazy. Humm.. but then that is his joy I reckon.
Great Way Back Wednesday post!
Hugs,
Lola

lw said...

Rob and I have research in common. I almost never buy without it.

Once I saw the most beautiful walnut apothecary cabinet at an antique store we were in because our restaurant wasn't open yet-- and didn't buy it. It was in my mind, but I couldn't justify the purchase. And then, for my birthday, the friend we had gone to dinner with presented me with the little cabinet and it makes me happy every time I go into my sewing room.

So I need to mix more joy with the research.

oldbatt said...

I love the hunt for "new" things and my motto is when you see it buy it - you won't see it again. This mostly applies to garage sales and thrift stores but part of the fun is finding that something special. When I was young I got up early at xmas and found from Santa the nurse play set with the "apron" that had all the fun stuff in it and my parents found me in the bathroom with the light on playing with it at 3 a.m.! It was a great feeling! Best, Lisa

Shasta said...

This is an interesting post to me because I am more like Rob and my sister is more like you. I have to tell you though that the research part actually prolongs the acquiring process. There is joy in knowing you are going to get something, to anticipate the feeling you get it when you find it, the process of picking just the right thing that fits your needs and leaves cash in your wallet for the next thing.

Sure I get the joy of acquiring it, but once it is in the house, the house tends to suck it up and after a few minutes of playing with it, it disappears in the crowd among everything else that's been bought. S

Plus the acquiring process takes time, and keeps me from buying too much stuff - and avoid more clutter.

But I see your point too, there are times when something just strikes you, and there is no point of researching. When I was car shopping, the one I wanted was there, but I felt like I had to keep shopping, to make sure I got the very best one. Eventually I figured out that I wasn't going to change my mind - I had already found the best one. If I want something specific, I'm buying it without the research.