It was buried, burrowed beneath a lot of other nonsense, like so many good things are. I lowered myself down, prostrate on the ground like an awkward porpoise, trying to get the right vantage point to determine what it was that must be wrong with this stunningly-priced coffee table. No luck.
A phone call later and the parents arrived, with arms happy to restack the red-tag burn pile at the back of Pier One, so we could unearth the sought-after coffee table. It was pristine, save a light scratch down the side and some scuffs.
So I started pacing back and forth, like I tend to do, analyzing. The elaborate pros and cons list began to unfurl in my mind. Drawers: check, Weathered: check, White: Too feminine? Scratches: Too noticeable? And then the second wave of questions: Will it work with the couches? Will Aaron like it? Should I pick out a new rug to better contrast with the table? Should we look for a lighter media console now?
I’m clearly excited about a new house. I’m eager to make a space that feels inviting and comfortable.
There can be an overwhelming number of factors that weigh on my decisions. Like an OCD number of variables. I am ok-ish at keeping it chill on the outside, but inside I sometimes swirl with measurements of all the facts available to me, so I make the best decisions. At every moment.
It’s too much weight.
I ended up buying the coffee table, scrubbing it up at home. I could feel the excitement bubbling as I pulled out some other things I have that match. And I wondered what Aaron would think, unconsciously writing on to him all of the pressure I was feeling inside, nervous he would be disappointed in the choice.
And I’m not sure why I did that. Because here’s the thing about Aaron. He really doesn’t care about expectations. Like at all. He makes decisions based on people feeling loved and getting to laugh… often.
So when he walked through the door to a table he knew I liked and had searched for, there were two things he said: “I love it” and “You did such an amazing job finding that.” Then later at youth group, he told all of the kids to ask me what I had found that day. I think he knew the table mattered to me, and that mattered to him.
So simple. No color palettes, no pros and cons, no grilling about other possibilities. The table functions, I like it, and that is enough for Aaron.
Sometimes, I start treating the coming months like a countdown to the mega dome championship of matrimony.
I’m not quite sure how the wedding (and marriage) shifts in my head to such an athletic feat, but it does. And when that happens, I tend to feel less grounded or mindful and more focused on the coming checklist: 150 sheer invitation bows needing to be tied, shower addresses needing to be sent out, executive decisions on tuxedo colors.
And it just doesn’t matter.
What’s worse: those details end up stealing moments to connect in the goodness of right now. To receive and enjoy other people, and myself, exactly as we are today.
That coffee table? It’s called the “Anywhere Table”… it’s straight up christened to meet you wherever you’re at, in the everyday.
I have a knack for finding really beautiful things in the midst of a lot of nonsense. The question always is, “Will I disregard the nonsense in order to notice the beauty?”
Katy Johnson lives, dreams, writes, and edits in a messy, watercolored world. She’s a 25 year old, discovering her hope, her longings, and the wild spaces in her own heart. Her favorite creative project right now is called The Someday Writings, and someday, she may let those writings see the light of day. For now, she shares her thoughts here.
Katy, how “right where I’m at” yet within a whole different set of circumstances. Your writing is a vista of hope and clarity of what’s important ~ and what’s not! Thank you.
Thank you. I’ve been pondering themes from our heart that circle back to us in new circumstances and it’s always sweet to walk the journey with someone who knows what your heart feels, even if the landscape looks different
This made me smile….and even though I spend my energies shopping almost always only at thrift stores, there is still so much analyzing going on that some might find it ridiculous. But for me it’s stewardship. Hospitality. Creating a beautiful, welcoming space. So it matters.
It does indeed matter. Thanks for reading.
I so enjoy your real…the really in your life! Your welcoming spaces will indeed be your real!
Thank you, Elaine! I like the way you put that. I am coming to like the realness too, more and more.
I. Love. This. I love it so much that I am sitting here recovering from the tearfest that was clearly about something more than your coffee table find (unless it is that you found it first!). Your intended is a treasure, a gift, a rare find, like mine. But I didn’t realize MY gift until much later, after the megadome event that wasn’t even. Keep fighting the nonsense for the beauty!
Pier One is my favorite and my love’s, as well. We could stroll and dream and dig around in there for large periods of time. That table will be a treasure wherever it ends up in your home 23 years from now. Maybe those were the tears. We are well on our messy journey together still full of hope, and I am still learning to see love, not projected disappointment, in my lover’s eyes. Many blessings on your journey together!
Thank you, Julie. You are sweet to share the impact my story had on you. It’s good to have moments of clarity and gentleness in the hustle, and to trust Aaron’s love as well as the kinder voice he often has toward my heart than I do. Thank you for sharing your road there too!
Love the writing of this dear one! Praying this month is filled with so much beauty and ver little nonsense!