For years I thought I needed a dinner table. When filling my first apartment with stuff I was insistent on having one. Even though the space was small and cramped. Even though there was no real place to put it. And even though I never ate at a dinner table, except once or twice a year.
A few years back I finally moved into a space that had absolutely no room for a table. Not even dismantled and stored flat-packed. So I sold it and proceeded to live table-free for nearly five years.
Then we moved to a space that was much, much larger, that not only could accommodate a table, but that almost demanded one. There was nothing else that could exist in that space and it felt just so odd without it.
So we purchased a table to fill that empty space. And it rendered the counter stools we'd also purchased useless. But my guy would occasionally eat a meal at the table and my cat liked to sit beneath the table, so its existence in my life was somewhat justified.
We only lived in that space for a year and are now residing in a much smaller space again. However this space has enough room for a table and a designated place for its existence.
The difference this time, though, is that instead of that table being a space filler, it's now a place for conversation. I no longer eat most meals on the sofa while watching television. My guy and I sit and enjoy our breakfast together and talk before we go off to our respective jobs. Many nights we sit and eat dinner at the table together.
The dinner table has become this place to connect, a place to share our lives, instead of just a piece of furniture. And it means that most days I don't even turn the television on until the evening when I need a little mindlessness.
I wish I'd recognized what a table could be during those years I so desperately felt the need to have one. I'm just happy I've found a way to turn something useless into something meaningful, that adds to my life.