Since March, it’s been hard to express joy. It seems like everyone around us is facing hardship, whether it’s illness (COVID-19 and beyond), financial loss, unemployment, racial inequality, LGBTQ+ discrimination, depression, or something else.
Because we haven’t wanted to make a big deal out of it given the current social climate, not many people know that we bought a house this year. But truthfully, it’s a BIG EFFING DEAL. We still can’t believe it. Coming from Southern California, we never expected to own a home. At best, it was a far off goal.
It’s been a welcome distraction, though. Being able to design each room in OUR OWN HOUSE has been so exciting. I used Pinterest for ideas and to choose potential layouts and furniture to fit our style. Who knew we even had a style? (And some would probably argue that we still don’t.)
When it got down to the actual buying of stuff to decorate our house, I knew that I didn’t want us to break the bank. After all, we were real adults now; we had a mortgage to think about! I browsed and compared hip furniture websites for the best deals on my must-haves, but quickly realized I might be able to get things cheaper if I bought locally.
(I mentioned somewhere in “circle the drain… (pt. one)” that I’d come back to Facebook Marketplace a little later, and here we are… it’s later.)
And so began my mad hunt for pieces on Facebook Marketplace. I’d search for wicker shelves, fireplace surrounds, boho rugs, mid-century modern end tables, teal dining chairs, farmhouse buffets and pedestal dining tables, plant stands (obvi), hanging bookcases, floating shelves, and numerous other items.
As much as I loved the hunt, it all got to be a bit too much; I was being consumed by it.
The first thing I would do upon waking up was grab my phone and check to see what had been newly listed for sale and if anyone responded to my inquiries about their items. When I felt overwhelmed with work or annoyed with my kids, I would absentmindedly open Facebook, hit the Marketplace icon, and scroll.
I thrived off of the shiny and new; I would live for the good deal. I was so proud of myself with each victory (because … you know … each get was a battle won over someone else who wasn’t quick enough, flexible enough, or competitive enough). Sure, there were absolute highs. But what goes up must come down, right?
I knew this behavior wasn’t healthy. Staring at a screen all day in between staring at a larger screen all day was/is a terrible way to live. It was on par with my son playing Fortnite in his room for hours or my daughter chain selfie-ing on Snapchat during dinner.
It was embarrassing, if nothing else. Collin would sneak up on me and say “so, whatcha lookin’ at?!” I’d hide my phone like a teen whose privacy had just been violated.
There was obviously something deeper going on, and I knew it. Why was I obsessed with STUFF? (Especially after working so hard to adopt a minimalist mindset) or was it just an incessant need to keep scrolling? What was I avoiding by filling my time with this mindlessness?
But I already knew the real reason, didn’t I?
If I just distracted myself every second of every day with work, with kids, with plants, with stuff, and with scrolling FB Marketplace, I could sidestep the bigger issue… me.