I was avoiding doing real work when I came upon it – the most adorable door wreath I have ever seen. It had buffalo plaid bows with dainty white flowers and lemons. LEMONS! It was the perfect blend of farmhouse chic and summertime whimsy. I had to have it! I knew I would need to convince myself that this was a much-deserved purchase later. It would be a hard sell, too. Buying something frivolous for myself is something I have trouble doing. But I was willing to risk it because just seeing it made me feel happy! At a time when it has become increasingly harder to find my joy, this homemade piece of ornamentation made me smile. I deserve to smile, I told myself. I was going to buy it no matter how much it was. In fact, I wasn’t even going to look at the price.
My finger paused as the mouse hovered above the BUY NOW button.
“Don’t glance at the price. Don’t glance! Don’t…”
Like a child being told they can’t have a box of Tic Tacs at the grocery store checkout line, I quickly closed the page in defeat and went back to my work.
Later at dinner, I was trying to explain to my family how cute the wreath I saw was. “If it makes you happy, then buy it,” my sweet daughter told me as if it were that simple. “I can’t,” I explained, not sure why they didn’t get it when it was so obvious to me. “But maybe I could make it,” I added mostly to myself. I was feeling giddy over this idea. I didn’t even let my family’s sarcastic remarks about past crafty mishaps of mine deter me.
After dinner, I quickly ran back to my computer, where I began to fill my online cart with all the items I would need. Two hours later, I realized that I would inevitably be spending about the same amount and likely not get the results I so desperately wanted. Once again, feeling sad and defeated, I closed the page without pushing the buy button.
That night while crawling into bed, my hubby asked if I got the materials to make the wreath. “No, I realized you all are right. I’m not as crafty as I think,” I admitted. He laughed and said, “Just buy it!” “I’ll think about it,” I replied. And with that, I drifted happily off to sleep dreaming of buffalo plaid bows and lemons.
The next morning, I awoke early and ran to my computer ready to buy my wreath. I logged on and pushed BUY NOW! And then, I got the message that no retail junkie ever wants to get …
SORRY, THIS ITEM IS SOLD OUT.
My hubby came running in to see what happened because without even realizing it, I had let out a very strange sound. I showed the screen to my hubby and said hopelessly, “I guess that is a sign that it was not meant for me to get it.”
To which my husband replied, “Sharon, why do you always see the glass as half empty instead of half full? Maybe there is an even better wreath waiting for you,” he continued.
To which I spat back, “That is where you are wrong. I just see the glass, and I am grateful it’s there!”
I sat there smugly thinking there was no way he would be able to offer a comeback to that. He sadly bent down and kissed the top of my head and whispered, “The glass is a metaphor for life, my dear. While it is wonderful you are grateful, is just seeing it really living?” And with that, he walked out of the room leaving me with my mouth hanging and a heck of a lot to contemplate.
He is right! Life is not just about surviving but rather THRIVING! We are here to experience life fully, and in doing so, we are certain to feel all sorts of emotions … including, if we’re lucky, joy. Look, I know that buying a silly wreath will not make me happy, but at a time when I am feeling anxious, disconnected, and disheartened about the world we are living in, seeing that wreath did bring me joy. Maybe because the lemons reminded me of the silly saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Maybe that is the problem. I shouldn’t be trying to just see a glass of water and be grateful; rather, I should be looking for a tall, cold glass of lemonade and be happy!
The next time I come across something that makes me feel joy, I’m going to take a sip of cold lemonade and push the damn BUY NOW button!