To settle or not to settle?

That is the question. Whether tis better to settle for "good enough for now" or hold out for what we really want can sometimes be a very difficult choice.

For instance, there are certain elements I like having in my home to make it a comfortable environment for me. In my living room that would be a couch, chairs, an area rug, a coffee table, end-tables, a TV (but that’s mostly for my daughter), something to put the TV on, a couple of lamps and curtains. Those are my basic elements.

However, I’m somewhat particular in the style I want. This makes finding the items that will please me a little difficult. And often, when I do find something that really pleases me, it’s way out of my price range. So, I often settle. I get the nicest thing I can find that my money can buy.

Unfortunately, that’s led to some disappointments. I don’t particularly like the couch I chose, even though I went into many different stores until I found one that seemed like a good choice. It’s not as comfortable as I hoped it would be. And, as I’m sure you know, a couch is not as easy to replace as, say, a sweater. So I’ll have to live with it for a few years. I’m also not sure about the area rug. I may be returning that…

Sometimes, settling can actually turn out to be a pleasant surprise. Take my dining room table and chairs for example. They’re not what I originally wanted. What I wanted was a beautiful mid-century modern teak set I saw at a local second-hand store. But it was way out of my price range. So off I went to look for something less expensive that would still bring me a little joy. I found the table in one store, and the chairs (on sale!) in another. They make for a very cute set that’s about a third of the price of what I originally wanted. And I like the simple lines of the table and the style of the chairs. I’m happy with this compromise.

So I don’t know, should we settle or go without? I suppose if we find that we can go without, that’s probably the best way to go. Then we could take our time to find (or not) the pieces that are worthy of our resources (time, money, space, freedom). And staying open-minded to compromise might turn out to be just as good as or even better than what we wanted in the first place.

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