Living well

Fred enthusiastically giving Noah a bath on the new couch....we all agree that it is one fine couch!

Fred enthusiastically giving Noah a bath on the new couch….we all agree that it is one fine couch; good for napping, reading, eating and even bathing on!

When I first saw our new couch, sitting in the back room of the thrift store, I knew that I wanted it, but thought, “You don’t need another couch. You have no room for another couch. The couches you have are fine.” All of this was true, but our white couch had gotten really shabby (due to its many washings) after Esther’s mystery illness last year. I hadn’t been looking for another, but there it was in front of me.

I sat on it, and it was really comfortable. I smelled it, and it smelled just fine. I looked it over, and the only thing I saw that gave a hint about its former owner, was a little scratched-up area on both arms, which made me smile since I knew that she (I figured that this couch must have been owned by a woman) had cats.

So I picked up the cushion (with the $60.00 price tag attached to it), brought it to the desk, told them that I wanted to buy it, and asked if they could hold it while I ran to the ATM to get the cash. But even on my drive there, I had to fight back the critical little voice that told me I was being extravagant. It seemed so ridiculous (because by any standards, $60.00 for this very well-made couch, was more like the deal of the century) but at the time, some part of me was not going to let me enjoy this, as it nagged with critical thoughts like, “You should be saving your money. How are you going to get it home (25 miles away)? What will Jack say about another couch? What if you really don’t like the floral pattern after you get it home…?”

But we did get it home. And we all (including Jack) love it.

Sometimes, no, I would say virtually every time, that I have stretched myself to do something new, I’ve had to push past an invisible barrier that seems to have one task: Keeping everything the same. It’s language is stern, and its one message of fear seems to be, ” Do not do it. You might regret it”. And yet, I never have regretted it.

When I went to work in a mission, years ago, I gave almost everything that I owned away, and the same thoughts were there. And yet I never regretted it.

I hope someday to lose this voice of fear, but if I don’t…. OK. But I won’t let it stop me. I would prefer to live with the thought that I did something foolish (thinking it was a good thing) then to live a partial life, being controlled by the thought of some future regret.

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Voltaire

 

14 thoughts on “Living well

  1. Nice find, Mary…..and nice couch (I think I have the same one) given to Peter and I when we moved by dear friends , who were down sizing,
    cause we didn’t have room in our moving truck for ours. We left one behind, another appeared ……always get what I need. So happy your higher self won out and you didn’t listen to money, physically moving it negative tapes. Enjoy enjoy…XXO

  2. Dear Mary, your beautiful couch is a lovely reminder that fear has no place in our hearts and minds. I have been struggling with my own fear voice as of late and have come to realize that letting it take hold is is very self-destructive. Thanks for your uplifting message this morning…I really needed to hear this.

  3. How many many many times I told myself I have had to NEED something, need to DESERVE something, need to be WORTHY of the new item. Wanting something just did not make it in my mental musings prior to purchasing something. Whether it was a voice from my past or my inner voice today, I usually heard – “You don’t need it.” “Make do with what you already have.” Purchasing whatever the item was would then necessitate a great deal of justification and rationalization. Such a busy, unnecessary dialogue.

    In your last paragraph you said something that was a new thought for me to incorporate – “I would prefer to live with the thought that I did something foolish (thinking it was a good thing) then to live a partial life, being controlled by the thought of some future regret.”

    To live with and accept the thought that I had something “foolish” (and maybe even FUN) gives me a wonderful reframing.

    Thank you Mary.

    • Ooh! Mary, I love your last sentence! – the idea of reframing! Have you ever reframed a photo or picture? It is amazing what it can do to dress up, refresh, and bring new color to the old and familiar. I will remember this word, today, ‘reframe’ – is there another way of looking at this situation, instead of seeing it as a problem, seeing it as an opportunity, etc. thank you Mary Solomon!

  4. Mary, giving ourselves permission to enjoy the life we’ve managed to provide for ourselves is not something that women and perhaps men allow easily. Sixty dollars for a couch is the bargain of the century and the floral pattern is lovely. The cats settled into the couch invited me mentally to join them. I’m glad you allowed yourself this treasure….it was meant to be yours. It spoke to you the moment you laid eyes on it. A couch could ask for no more..to know that it will be loved again by humans and cats.
    SandyP in drizzly Ontario, Canada

  5. SEE! JUST DO IT! FUCK IT! 🙂 I love you. Suppose to rain today. I’m off to do two in Sidney. Have a good day. My big toe hurts! Niser

    On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 8:20 AM, White Feather Farm wrote:

    > ** > Mary Muncil from White Feather Farm posted: ” When I first saw our new > couch, sitting in the back room of the thrift store, I knew that I wanted > it, but thought, “You don’t need another couch. You have no room for > another couch. The couches you have are fine.” All of this was true, but > our white “

  6. I love your new couch! I love the picture of Fred and Noah enjoying it too!
    I hesitantly purchased a similar floral print couch in 1984 justifying the purchase by assuring myself that this would be the couch I took with me to the nursing home.
    Well, the couch is still going strong as am I and I get great pleasure from looking at those beautiful flowers many times every day.
    So glad you “went for it” Mary. And keep up your wonderful posts encouraging us to do the same.
    Love from Fran

  7. great choice, mary, on the garden sofa; a real reason to smile with the cats liking it too.

    i’m coming to learn for me, that i can’t know for sure how i may feel about a purchase after i get it home; often i get it “right” sometimes not. I was taught growing up that every purchase was a chance to make a mistake and the consequences were dire if i changed my mind later on. what does seem to work for me is to buy inexpensive, like your sofa. if i decide sometime later that a shirt, rug, or sofa isn’t as i once thought, i can more easily let go of it without (as much) guilt. what a freedom, i love your last paragraph and mary solomons thoughts too.

    • Virginia, you’re so right about still carrying the messages we received as kids growing up into our adult spending habits. Both my parents grew up in the Depression years, so like many of that generation, you simply did not splurge easily. My father cringed once when my Mom bought a lemon! out of season, long after he didn’t have to worry how he was going to meet his expenses. That’s sad. I enjoy so very much, the little ‘just because’ it’s beautiful purchases – something as small as a little vase from a consignment store – a splash of color on a beautiful single plate. Our homes reflect our love and appreciation of what is beautiful to us, and it celebrates life and living to the fullest. I found this in my morning emails from 365 Days of Inspired Living. I love the idea of being a migrant – after all, we are just ‘passing though’ – but while we’re here, we are meant, I believe, to appreciate all the beauty of this world. Let it be reflected in how we adorn and make our homes our own. Good job Mary Muncil! Beautiful couch and kitties!

      In this moment
      No beliefs
      Not spiritual
      Or non-spiritual
      Just a migrant worker
      In the communion of
      Now Tending the fields of quiet love

  8. That couch is pure love and for only $60. They’re no price to put on this special couch full of souls of past kitties. It was meant for you! Enjoy!
    Love, Cindy

  9. That’s a beautiful couch and a great picture of Fred and Noah.
    I find that impulsive things I do turn out to be the best and most enjoyable!
    I enjoy your blogs so much Mary

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