Today wasn’t a great day. It wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had. Not by a long shot. I’m low and droopy. But, I’m not drowning in depression or facing any life-altering revelations. Things are just off. It’s fine. It happens. I’ve toted this icky feeling around with me all day long. Now, I’ve tucked this icky feeling right into bed with me tonight.
I’ve spent the past hour wide-eyed, snugged tight between my littlest babe and my hunk, both snoozing peacefully. A slip of space between the curtains, the windowsill washed in moonlight, spilling onto the aged wooden floor below. Only a few rooms in our house boast the original wood. I look forward to the day when we breathe new life into these old wood floors. Beneath their scars born from lifetimes of neglect and the weight of generation’s who lived in this home before us, radiance abounds – a golden stratum, streaked with Mother Nature’s russet and auburn veins.
I’ve decided to give up on sleep for a while tonight. So here I sit in front of a glowing screen contemplating the beauty of “old stuff.” You know, the kind of old stuff that truly withstands the test of time. Old cars, old cabinets, old bikes and lamps, tables and chairs, old tractors and old houses…
Our old wooden floors.
I suppose I’ve a deep adoration for antiques, high quality vintage wares, furniture, tools, appliances, and cast iron cookware. All of it, really. I’ve realized that if it shows signs of true age, it withstood the test of time for a reason. It was built to last. And that matters.
If I’m in the market for a piece of furniture for our home, I don’t even bother with big box stores or outlet warehouses, home décor shops or the like. I head straight for the thrift store, yard sales or estate auctions. Almost always I’ll find just what I need, aged to perfection, never made in China with pressed particle board or chemical-laden plastic.
No. Thank. You.
I prefer the petite, antique, nicked and scuffed bedside table, built with dovetail precision. Tiger striped maple, art deco, glass handled, solidly built, sturdy, broken-in perfection and a $15 price tag.
Count me in.
I actually just described a bedside table I picked up for my son’s room from the local DAV thrift a few weeks ago. Best part? My incredibly affordable purchase goes directly toward feeding, employing and caring for Disabled American Veterans, many of which also serve as yet another example of “old stuff built to last.” (Yes. That’s a compliment.)
Cool on all accounts, right?
So tonight in my weird and weepy headspace, I’m considering the importance of carrying this “built to last” philosophy into all aspects of our lives. As I grow older, I’m realizing more than ever, investing in things that will last a lifetime is of the utmost importance. And not just in the materialistic aspect.
Nourishing my body with real food so I can stay well and energized for years to come. I wouldn’t be living here on the homestead sweating over my own crops each year and sacrificing homegrown poultry in my backyard if I didn’t believe this lifestyle was an important investment. As my exterior proceeds to age and proudly I bear the blemishes and wrinkles of a life well-lived, I’m hopeful my interior will remain fairly well-preserved and functional for many years. To me, that’s a good investment.
Nourishing my children’s peace. I’d say my kids would argue that I nourish more than enough “conversation and connection” in this household. But hey, my goal in this life is to create a milieu of love and comfort, trust and solidarity for these growing people that I so dearly love. After all, it’s our responsibility as parents to ensure that our kids can withstand the external weight of the world. Life is a long song. At some point they’ll be bee-bopping along to the rhythm and without warning they’ll dance their way right into a deep, dark space. I want them to feel confident that they are equipped with high quality tools, the kind that won’t snap under pressure or fall apart completely as they dig their way out of that hole. To me, that’s a good investment.
Nourishing our marriage. My hunk and I have been together for 26 years in total. We’ve been married for 19 of those 26 years. I’d say of those 26 years, there was maybe 1 year in particular where we didn’t nourish our marriage well. That was a lifetime ago and thankfully we managed to stick together. But the reason we managed to stick together isn’t because we’re lucky or because we’re “meant-to-be.” (Although I fully believe we are meant-to-be.) We managed to make it through the funk because we invested in one another. We nourished one another’s souls with time and encouragement, love and compassion, tenderness, togetherness and faith. All of those things are investments that pay off when times get rough. God forbid, we could lose our home to a hurricane or we could lose our income today or we could lose our health and be faced with a bleak outlook on our future tomorrow. I pray we never have to face such hardships. But if we do, then it will be together. This, I know. We are “old stuff” and I look forward to being antiques, living among our antiques… Together. Solid, sturdy and built to last. To me, that’s a good investment.
At any rate, today is about to shift into the wee morning hours of tomorrow, and already I feel a little bit more like me again. I’m grateful for this quiet time, this dark night and this bit of a woeful day. I’m grateful for my family soundly snoozing beneath one roof. I’m grateful for this “old stuff” of mine, for helping me remember that no matter what I’m feeling or what perspective I’m seeing at the moment, timeless beauty and quality and value surround my soul and my loved ones, always.
Good night and Good morning.