If given the option, I’m prone to take the practical route each and every time. The simple one, full of convenience and ease. Less fuss, less mess. Bake a cake from scratch or order pre-made from the local bakery? Search three stores for a replacement hair dryer or Amazon Prime it? Shear your own dog or get thee to the groomers? The latter, the latter, the latter – for better or worse.
But there is this moment I’m thinking of, where Ken and the kids and I are walking our friends from L.A. through the streets of our downtown, and we duck into an artisan boutique where handmade products are being sold to empower female-led businesses. And the sun is streaming low and Scout has fallen asleep in his stroller and Bee is giddy over a purse made from pop tabs and there is kindness in the eyes of the cashier, laughter of our dearest friends, faraway voices in the echoes of the back store, the smell of lavender and bergamot everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.
It was a – dare I call it this? – perfect moment in a nonperfect world, pausing to survey the fruits of someone else’s labor, becoming overwhelmed with surprise at the ingenuity of a mind; faithfulness of a hand.
On the way out, I spot a shelf of room mists (ever a weakness) and found a tiny cobalt bottle that smelled like the afternoon – lavender and bergamot everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. Ken and Bee agreed, it was worth a purchase.
Despite the fact that it was unnecessary, a non-essential. Despite the fact that I owned a room mist already and hadn’t yet finished it. Despite the fact that it cost more than my morning’s brunch.
It’s just not every day we’re offered a tangible reminder of a lovelier-than-usual memory.
This was a month ago easily, and I find it interesting that – although I far prefer the woodsy scent of my other mist – I still reach for this one on the daily. Although my other mist was more convenient to receive, arriving on the front stoop in two days time, and although it was certainly less expensive. It’s since been pushed aside in favor of something more treasured.
And so, a small reminder for myself:
Experience over convenience.
If not for the memories they hold, our things are just things.
I think of this often, when I’m tempted to take the easy route. What lessons are hidden in the made-from-scratch cake? What stories do my purchases tell? What memories will my days conjure? A quick swipe, add to cart? Or a happy afternoon with a sleeping baby, a sun-streaming storefront, laughter echoing in the back room?
The latter, I pray.
Tell me: what small steps are you exploring these days? I’d love to hear!
p.s. These are a series of small steps that will (hopefully) provide one giant leap to greater things. Not for mankind, but for me, and perhaps for you, which will always be good enough in my book. More here.