picket fence

picket fence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately I’ve been on the hunt for some used, reasonably priced fence sections. This is not a need, this is a want, and I’m trying to be careful to keep that in mind as my hunt takes up more and more of my mental free-space. It is hard not to get single-minded about the pursuit. And Craigslist changes frequently, sometimes even in the span of a couple hours, so it is tempting to check it every 30 minutes or so. But I’m not obsessing about finding a fence, no not me.

Unless you count yesterday, because yesterday the fence wasn’t for me, and it was FREE so how can you put a price tag on the time it takes to find a place across town in rush hour? I went with this lady:

She’s ready to be shot out of a cannon.

Maybe she’s where I get it from, this deep satisfaction from a good deal. She found a vinyl picket fence on Craigslist and it was free. The only catch is that it was waaaaaay over in New Hope (that’s at least 30 minutes from me in good traffic) and she doesn’t have a truck. That’s where I come in.

It ended up fine and we found it eventually. It was in good condition and it all fit in the back of my/our truck. I even got a free dinner out of the deal, plus some fun time with my mom, so it was worth it.

But it got me thinking about how often we assume there is a perfect something out there: the perfect lipstick, a better deal on an appliance, faster service, a more immediate result. And in looking for the better whatever, do we miss out on something that is really really good because we’re waiting for that something better?

We know it happens in romantic relationships but does that ever happen in friendships?

How much of our lives are spent in the search for “perfect” stuff/deals/services and how much is that time worth?

How much of our days are spent surfing the web (read: Pinterest) for a DIY idea and how much of this makes our own attempts look like kindergarten art projects? What does that do to a person after a few years?

What is a healthy balance between aspiring to the better and being happy with what I have or what’s available to me? Does it feed into a spirit of discontent when we watch shows that focus on makeovers, renovations  and projects that have a staff of 15 to pull them off then claim you could do the same thing on your own in a weekend with just some velcro tape and a bucket of paint?

I’d love to keep thinking about these things with you, and I think there are some things we can all do to help ourselves be happier and more content by limiting ourselves, but I have to go online now and find a better price on a set of decorative pinwheels.