The deeper I wade into my own desires and needs as a mother, business owner, spouse, and human on this planet in 2023, the less interested I find myself in optimizing my decisions. That’s not to say that I’m immune to user reviews when buying practically anything. It’s easy to tumble down a rabbit hole of planning spreadsheets when you set out to buy anything or travel anywhere these days. Some of us even turn our tendency to be a “maximizer” into a core personality trait.
Ryan and I recently bought a new bed frame (yes, one that was probably first marketed to us on Instagram), and before I clicked the purchase button, we had spent weeks sending each other lists of links and scouring websites and sharing Wirecutter listicles until we finally persuaded ourselves that we had enough information to trust our decision.
Despite what I think is my desire for beautiful lamps, a more “charming” home, and the perfect linen shirt, when I dig down beneath what I’m served by being a daily user of the internet, I know what I want. I want the freedom — the liberation — that comes with embracing things as they are, linoleum floors and all. My calling on this earth is not to beautify my home and squeeze maximum efficiency out of my work days and raise my child perfectly. It’s to be present to my life.
As Molly Wizenberg writes about her “Frankenkitchen,” which she has cooked in since the early days of her career as a food writer, “It is a very nice kitchen, which is to say that we can cook everything we want in it.”
In a few years, when our new bed frame has scratches or squeaks slightly or doesn’t quite seem level, I hope that I can remember what it has supported: not a fully-optimized experience to add to ratings spreadsheets and my social media feed, but a life underpinned by love and deep rest and comfort.