Guest contributor: Evan Griffith of NotesforCreators.com. Evan’s blog “shares insights on the connected creative life” and is one of my personal favorites.
It was not more than a month ago that my wife Ann and I sat in our home, looking at our old, worn furniture and contemplating what would stay and what would go. We’ve been here for almost a year, though it seems like only minutes ago that we finally relaxed into it–there was that much rehab going on.
So there we were, staring at some wheezingly old couches that didn’t fit the new home.
Ann had been looking on Craigslist for suitable replacements until I put the kabosh on the enterprise. In our current comeback mode the only ideal price was zero, and she hadn’t been able to find people advertising that low, or even in the region of that low.
Nevertheless, we had quite a list of needs:
1. New sofas or a sectional for the living room,
2. A daybed for my office so it could double as a guest room (and a nifty meditation-visualization-ooom-chack-a-lacka-boom spot),
3. A chest of drawers for one of our children,
4. A couch for the kids’ play area, and, if we were to really have our dream wish list,
5. A couple extra lounge chairs to put outside for guests.
Putting it out there
“We’ll just have to put it out there that what we need will somehow come for free,” I suggested to Ann after contemplating this formidable list.
Well, whoa, did I receive some blowback for that statement! In Ann’s defense, she had been looking at what was available for weeks on end; I had not. And she hadn’t once seen free listed as a price. In fact, everything was $500 to $1,000 or more per piece, and none of it was even close to the quality we’d pictured in our minds.
After she cooled somewhat–in that slow way lava cools–I repeated that I was going to put it out there. She agreed, and we let it drop.
A decade ago we had a client offload two-year-old couches to us when they updated again, so later that day, I let a situation like that play out in my head.
Maybe it could happen again times five . . . I mean, five clients offloading various pieces of furniture might seem unlikely when it had only happened once in my lifetime(!) . . . . but hey, what else are daydreams for if not to dream the unlikely?
Meanwhile, Ann stopped looking at Craigslist incessantly and we went on with life.
Flash forward to today. Our home got a makeover last week, compliments of a friend of ours who was downsizing considerably. We were at breakfast one day when he asked if we could use any extra furniture. A couple hours later I was at Paul’s home, witnessing something extraordinary come through him.
Just for fun, let’s review the list:
1. New sofas or sectional for the living room.
Check! There was an exquisite sectional for the living room!
Note: Ours was 20-plus-years old, was previously owned, and had experienced much duress at the hands of kids and dogs. Paul’s sofa was 20-plus-years old too–but had been owned by a single, petless, meticulous man. It was so youthful in appearance it could have starred in a skin-cream ad.
2. A daybed for my office.
Check! There was a smart-looking sleeper sofa he had available. Now, the room looks like an office suite–and can double as a much-needed guest room!
3. A chest of drawers for one of our children.
Check! (Yep, can you believe it!?)
4. A couch for the kids’ play area.
Nope. Apparently this item is coming later. Insert smiley emoticon here, baby.
5. A couple extra lounge chairs outside for guests.
Check again, and not only this, but also an additional five-piece outdoor table set, too.
I imagine this is the partial checklist for a successful “putting it out there” experience:
- We’d been fantasizing about the possibilities, playfully (check),
- One of us desperately wanted it (check), and
- Another of us believed it could drop from the skies, manna-like (check).
So, why close off any possibilities, ever? History and your own experience prove that the seemingly impossible, the possibly unlikely, and the probably won’t happen happen all the time.
Just accept it! This playground in creation is mysteriously, inexplicably, freakishly beautiful.
After Rachel and Matthew had their first child, they had a couple of fights. Well, okay, more than a couple—they fought for over three years. They fought about schedules. They fought about bad habits. They even fought about the lawn mower. And besides actually having their child, it was the best thing that could've happened. Get Fights You’ll Have After Having a Baby: A Self-Help Story on Amazon now.