I was sitting on my bed this past weekend working on my computer when I got tired of sitting in the position I was in. I laid almost all the way down for a while until my arm fell asleep and then went back to my original position. You know when you keep shifting but can’t seem to get comfortable? And we laugh at dogs for making 3 circles before finally laying down.
I looked around my room and decided I needed a desk to do work on and have a place to sit and write. I went to IKEA’s website because they have furniture that is a little better quality than Walmart and often cheaper too. Like usual, their furniture seemed too plain and like it came from a warehouse to me. I went to craigslist to see if anything good was for sale but all I found where desks from the 70’s that probably should have stayed there.
Finally, I went online to discover what my ideal desk would be. This is torture because the ideal things are usually far from obtainable for me right now. I found a beautiful desk made out of planks of wood. It was simple yet sturdy and best of all, it was made of real wood!
This was the picture:
Then, I realized there was an old outdoor table outside that looked almost exactly like this (in my imagination that is, after all the old greyed wood and the blotches of black paint had been sanded off).
I am currently in the process of looking for a job so I knew I would have enough time to make it and really all I needed to buy was some paint to give it a whitewash look, some sand paper (it turned out I needed a lot..), and some new screws to put it back together how I wanted.
It took about three days but after only about $20 I had the exact desk I wanted.
Here it is: (please excuse the bad lighting)
If anyone has made or refurbished their own furniture, I am sure they could attest to the feeling I have every time I sit down at my desk. I smell the aroma of fresh cedar and redwood that has had most of its old skin sanded off, though a hint of age remains. I smell the clean smell of a touch of paint that gave it a whitewash finish. I feel how raw, yet smooth and sturdy it feels. Most of all, I take in the whole thing as a creation produced by my own two hands; a since of pride mixed with a trust in my abilities.
Sliding a card or handing over money in order to get something we want gives a high, no doubt. It is proven that there are chemicals increased in our brain when we buy things we want, but I wonder how long this high lasts.
Honestly, when I buy things I want, I feel very happy for the first day; then, all the days following, I usually just regretting having spent money on something I probably didn’t need.
The high I feel when I get something I wanted and it was created with my own hands is a perpetual high. This is a little bit of a high every day I see it, every time it is complimented and when it lasts throughout the years. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have almost everything in my house made by my own self.
Perhaps being in a world of buying everything we want (often with money we don’t actually have) is what makes it seem like our quality of life is lesser compared to our hard-working ancestors. Maybe we got it wrong. Getting everything you want is not happiness. It will never be equal to sweating, bleeding (and perhaps even crying) over conceptualizing and building the things you want. And because it requires time and hard work, it would probably help to sort out the things we need from the ones we want but are unnecessary.
I must add another note. Irony is forcefully tickling me in the stomach again. I have built a desk I love yet I wrote this whole post sitting on my bed, for I have yet to build a chair.