This is my couch.
I tried to water that fake tree once. Go me!
There are times I’m convinced we’re dating, as we spend our weekends and weeknights together. There’s nothing I look forward to more than hanging out with some snacks and reading, writing or watching TV—just me and my couch.
I’m not telling you this so that you realize how pathetically happy I am dating my couch and consequently feel better about yourself—although that most certainly will happen as well—but because buying that couch three years ago kind of “represents” something today.
Let me explain.
When I bought my house and had to buy a couch. Everyone told me to take my time, hit at least half a dozen stores to compare price and styles and then spend 1,000 hours online trying to find a better option and a better deal (only slightly exaggerating.)
I saw this couch at the second store. It matched my new paint, the ends reclined with foot things that came out and the price was about what I expected. I bought it with no second thought. My thinking was that if it was what I liked, there was no point in searching for something better. It was good enough.
In other words, I didn’t want any more options.
While I like options and the choice to choose, most of the time I’m okay sticking with things I know I like—with satisfied—something I think is overlooked (and even looked down upon) in today’s society. If you’re not constantly striving for the “new and improved” or the next greatest thing, you’re told that you’ll be left behind.
But with so many options for what to read, what to write, what to eat, what to wear, what to buy, it seems that no matter what decision you make, there will be a million reasons to doubt it and a million reasons to justify it.
Do we really need 457 different shades of blue, Home Depot?
Even if you’re happy with your decision, the introduction of more options often invites doubt and insecurity that while what you have might be okay, it’s not as exciting as something else. Pretty soon you adapt to that initial excitement and it just becomes expected, meaning you’re always looking for something else.
If that’s the case, when can you enjoy the things you have?
For me, worrying about whether something better is out there—because there is always something better out there— and second-guessing my decisions takes away any pleasure I get from what I already have.
So despite the incredulous look from the salespeople, I was okay with buying a new phone that only lets me talk and text.
Despite everyone telling me that along with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I need to be on StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Google +, Foursquare, Digg and still find time to write every day—you have to write every day, right?— while reading a bunch of other blogs in a Google Reader or an RSS feed (or whatever other technical thing I don’t know what I’m talking about,) I’m okay with sticking to a couple options.
The issue is that even trivial decisions become important if we believe these decisions reveal something significant about ourselves, if we think we’ll be judged by what we decide—even if it’s just judging ourselves, as is often the case with me.
The truth is, we probably will be. But if I compare my decisions with the results of others, I’m less likely to be satisfied with what I have, which was what I wanted at the time.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have goals or that I’m shut off from “new and improved” versions of things—especially versions of myself. But sometimes seeking out more options simply means more stress and less satisfaction, more energy spent on complicating things that could be energy spent on something else.
So I keep an open mind about options, but that means my mind is also open to the possibility that what I already have might just be good enough.
And instead of worrying about the next great thing to come along, I simply enjoy the things that I presently have—usually on my couch.
We’re very happy together.