Absolutely Just Right vs Perfectly Fine

Sometimes things happen in our life that we’ve always wanted to happen. This week I had one of those moments. One of those moments when you just want to slow down and savor the moment.

Of course, there are those big moments in life when it’s totally natural to pause and just soak in what is happening around you.

The moment you promise your heart to the greatest partner the universe could have ever created for you.

The moment you held your child in your arms for the first time.

The moment when you started the dream job.

The moment when you move into the home with the big yard that you bought with your own hard earned money.

The moment when (go ahead and fill in the blank on whatever moment came to mind when I started this train of thought).

Ok, you get it. It’s natural to want to stop and just revel in it when something huge is happening in your life.

But what about the little things?

I’ve written before about the little things. It’s the little things that add up to the huge moments that make life so disastrously beautiful. That keep you guessing on what’s coming next and take you by surprise and delight you right in the midst of a whole bunch of ordinary.

Why am I writing this? Well, I had one of those little moments this week. This week I put together two chairs.

But not just any two chairs. Several years ago, I went to IKEA for the first time and, aside from being completely overwhelmed, I was checking out chairs. I was living in a rental house and I had this cute little sitting area in the back with my office with a fireplace. It was completely adorable. And I had it in my head that I needed two ridiculously comfortable chairs back there to make it just perfect.

So, back to IKEA. I wandered through the store (thank God they have those arrows everywhere or else I think I would still be there, lost) and I got to the chair section. I sat in chair after chair, feeling down right Goldilocksy. Nope, too small. Nope, too big. Nope, too hard. Nope, too squishy.

Then, I found it. The absolute, just right, perfectly comfortable chair that would look amazing in my office. The IKEA Ektorp armchair.

I was in love. If you thought I had bought two of those chairs, took them home and assembled them and completed my quaint reading area, you would be wrong.

I didn’t get the chairs.

Why? I’m sure it was a combination of things - too expensive, too hard to ship, too difficult to get back to my home (I was in VA visiting my parents and living in NE Ohio). I didn’t get the chairs and I am sure that the reasons I used to not get them were perfectly, absolutely, 100% valid.

So did I save up for them and get them another day? Yes. But not until after I bought two other chairs and looked kinda like them and might look good in that area and were hopefully comfortable because I was buying them from Amazon and didn’t get a chance to try them out first. So I hit buy, crossed my fingers and tried to hide my disappointment when the perfectly fine chairs did not add the vibe I was looking for nor did they feel incredibly comfortable.

This week, the chairs that I have pined over for five years are now sitting in my home library. They arrived on Monday and by Monday afternoon, they were assembled and I was testing them out.

They are gloriously comfortable. And emit the perfect vibe of “grab some coffee, let’s hang out for a bit.” They are worth every penny that we spent on them.

As I was putting them together, I realized I had messed up on the assembly (the second chair is ALWAYS easier to put together than the second chair) and I was tempted to just ignore my error and keep going. But then it hit me what was happening and I stopped. I put down the little tool that IKEA provided to make my dream a cushiony reality and took a breath.

Why was I rushing this? I had been waiting for this for years. Seriously. Years. And now I wanted to consider accepting a hack job as “good enough.” No, thanks. I was going to live this up and take the extra 20 minutes and do it right.

Later, I sat in those chairs and read a book. I’m pretty sure I was smiling like a doofus the whole time but I was so. Stinking. Happy.

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But the whole experience got me thinking - how often do we sacrifice the big dream for something that is kinda like it? For something that might make us happy? For something that will hopefully match up to the ultimate vision we’ve been chasing? How often do we get within an arm’s length of a goal and we rush it at the end because we get impatient instead of realizing that we each and every decision we make is laying the foundation on which the whole thing will stand?

Don’t settle for something that’s “close enough.” Don’t give up before you have the whole thing right in front of you. Don’t believe it when you think “It must be what I want because it’s ‘kinda’ like it.”

You are worth more than settling. And so are your dreams.