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November 27, 2023 5 mins

We don't always know exactly what we want

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning.
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to embrace the joy of browsing. Being open
and curious can create opportunities for delight. So lately I

have really been enjoying browsing the nonfiction section of my library.
I have certain sections I tend to visit frequently, like
books on gardens and home design and travel. I am
not looking for anything in particular, but as different books
make it back on the shelves from other people's homes,
I find something new and interesting every week. For instance,

in the last few months, I read a book about
Virginia Wolf's Garden, a book about the show Chanticlere Garden,
which is in my neck of the woods, and a
book about cabin design, complete with all sorts of photos
of tiny house living. I have read a book on
the evolution of human metabolism. And I am not sure

I would have gone out of my way looking for
any of these titles, but when I found them, I
gave them a whirl and found reading them to be
an enjoyable way to spend my time. I have also
recently re upped my subscriptions to several magazines and to
the daily print Wall Street Journal. As I am thinking

about what to buy people for Christmas, I am also
planning to go in person to a few stores. I
well recall a few years ago having little idea of
what to buy tween boys. Then I went to Target
and there were all sorts of offerings there to peruse,
offerings that the store was suggesting for the many people

like me who were asking these exact same questions. The
truth is that we do a lot of our shopping
and information finding online these days, and for many things
this is so convenient. Trust me, my household could not
operate without free to day and often overnight shipping. You

tell me you are out of socks. We can get
socks that fit an eight year old to show up
before school the next morning. It is so easy to
just look stuff up. I wanted to know when the
sun would set on a certain day in my zip code,
and I could find out in two seconds. Brilliant. But

we don't always know what we want. There are many
things in the universe that would never occur to us,
or that aren't so closely adjacent to our known wants
that an algorithm would suggest them. When we see what
someone else has curated and arranged, we just cover things.

We can be unexpectedly delighted. Thus the joy of browsing.
When I read the Wall Street Journal in print, I
see that article on a certain book or a humor
column that I might not have seen just glancing at
the top headlines. In the library, I see books that

I wouldn't have even known to type into an online
search engine. Honestly, I had no idea that Virginia Wolf
was even into gardening. Well perhaps it was more her husband,
but still, perhaps you will appreciate the joy of browsing too.
So the next time you have an hour or two
unspoken for, consider going to the library, or a used bookstore,

or a garage sale. Go to a few boutique type stores,
or if you're looking for something vague like gifts for
tween boys, even a big box store could possibly work.
See what's out there, see what looks pretty, and what
might serve your purposes. We can go overboard on this,

of course, Wandering stores when you know you have something
you need is kind of inefficient, as is driving there.
If you know what you want, online is often the
way to go, but consider the possibility that we don't
always know what we want. Browsing can help us discover

that it can be a lot of fun, and fun
is a good use of time. In the meantime, this
is Laura. Thanks for listening, and here's to making the
most of our time. Thanks for listening to Before Breakfast.

If you've got questions, ideas, or feedback, you can reach
me at Laura at Laura vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast
is a production of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts from iHeartMedia,
please visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you

listen to your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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