Yesterday was a day off (our family is taking Friday/Saturday as our weekend this year) and the kids let me spend the afternoon looking through magazines. I have a stack about 16 inches tall of travel magazines (“Sunset” and “AFAR”) and Anthropologie, Target, and IKEA catalogues. It’s totally a guilty pleasure, but I spent the first few minutes pointing out all the cozy blankets and thick, fuzzy rugs to Rosey who oohed and aahed at all the right times.
Cabinet knobs, kitchen counters, wallpaper prints, flooring textures: I’m in deep and I love it all. I spent a couple hours doggy-earing pages while the kids played and my husband went to the gym (a very perfect family picture that’ll probably never happen again) and it was a delightful way to spend an afternoon off.
Now, I know that I could collect and collate renovation ideas online and get a much better end product, with more places to draw from more efficiently and a more compact system for sharing later, but there’s something about the older, analog, tangible and tactile medium that makes my afternoon search a luxury instead of a task. My hunch is that the something has to do with finiteness.
There are times when we are attracted to things with limitations. The charm of reading a book instead of the internet is that I can actually complete a book – there’s a first page and a last page instead of the endless link after link. As human beings we experience seasons (fall, winter, spring, and summer as well as childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and retirement) and our schedules revolve around activities with a beginning date and end date (college classes, sports teams, swim lessons, book clubs, etc.). This is helpful to us. It helps us set and meet expectations. It helps us assess ourselves. It helps us rest from both success and failure, the growth and the decay of our lives. After all, to be human, to be mortal, is to be finite, to have a time to live and a time to die.
So I’m grateful for the time to sit and be and enjoy, because it punctuates a busy work week and reminds me that “yes, this too shall pass,” all things must come to an end. (And then it’s time for cake.)