Friday, January 4, 2013

The Joy of "The Best" ~ Life Lessons from a Bookcase


I got a new bookcase for Christmas.

via Wikimedia Commons
When you read the above sentence you must giggle like a giddy teenager that just got a text from her crush. Then you have to do the happy dance. Maybe grab the nearest person and squeal and jump around in a circle.

Because this bookcase is so much more than a bookcase.

Like most people, my husband and I didn't have a lot of money when we got married, so our apartment was filled with a hodge podge of furniture I had collected from various relatives over the years. The only thing new was our mattress and box springs which was a wedding present.

Now, almost a decade later very little has changed. We have redecorated and most of our rooms look somewhat coordinated, but it's all still hand-me-downs. About the only furniture we've bought new are the inexpensive bookcases at Wal-Mart because that was the cheapest way to get our books off the floor.

And we have a lot of books.

But this bookcase... Oh, this bookcase is new. This bookcase looks nice. This bookcase is something I picked out and said, "Wow, I really like that. I would like to have that piece of furniture in my house."

Fortunately, my very wonderful mother heard me - probably because she was with me and I grabbed her arm and say, "Hey, Mom, I really love this bookcase. In the dark brown. In this size." - and the bookcase, or at least a picture of it, found its way under the Christmas tree. And now, it sits in my living room in all of it's brand new furniture glory.

It's made me realize something.

It's very easy to be satisfied with "good" until you taste "incredible". For me, this is the best bookcase for my living room. A lot of people might not feel that way, but I do. It's that stacked square style. I've wanted one since the first time I saw one in Target - I just wanted it a little nicer and a little bigger. Thank you, Ikea.

Before this bookcase took a place of honor along my living room wall, I was quite happy with the way my living room looked. I'd managed to piece together a room that actually looked decorated and not like a very nice yard sale. The thing is, very little of it is anything I would go to the store and buy if I were decorating my room from scratch.

So while it is good, it isn't the best it could be for me.

Now, I'm not going to scrap all my furniture and run out and redecorate my house because I've realized this. It wouldn't be responsible or wise. But it has made me think more about setting aside some money here and there to start bringing in a special piece every now and then to slowly make my home the best reflection of me.

I think all too often we settle for good because it's easy and accessible. The best often requires work and sacrifice and planning. I don't want to settle for just good in my life anymore. The joy I feel when I look at that bookcase tells me that the best is worth fighting for.

What are you settling for? What is good in your life that you might need to look at upgrading to the best?

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