Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"I Want it Now"

This isn't the post that was percolating yesterday. That's still trying to scratch its way out of my brain. This is just something that's on my mind lately.

I have been trying to work on voluntary simplicity, the idea that you can be happier with less stuff. I've read books on tossing clutter, books on being grateful, books on simplicity, books on our materialistic culture, books about the environmental impact of all this consumption...

Part of me believes that I don't need a lot of stuff to be happy.

But part of me is screaming, "But I want it!"

Really, as much as I want to be one of those people who doesn't need a lot of stuff to be happy, I believe there is stuff that would make me happier. Not fancy stuff, like an Audi or a hot tub or a giant "Cribs" style house. Just stuff that I think I want or need.

Here is a list of the things I've been wishing for lately:
  • A new sink for my bathroom, installed by someone who knows what they are doing, rather than me and my husband trying to follow a pamphlet from Home Depot.
  • Repairs to my shower in that same bathroom, so that it doesn't continually freeze all next winter.
  • A new stereo for my car with an input jack for my iPod touch (the Touch is a good example of a thing I bought lately that has brought me a lot of happiness).
  • A small digital camera that I could carry with me so I could put more pictures on my blog. It doesn't have to have 88 megapixels, it just has to take decent photos.
  • A spring running jacket that is lightweight and breathable.
  • Some cute spring tops.
  • Some new workout clothes.
  • New bras (I have been inspired by people's stories of how getting a fitting made such a difference)
  • Some kind of miraculous firming moisturizer that will help stave off the dreaded family curse -- the Turkey Neck, which seems to be starting already.
  • Black loafers or some other kind of casual, comfortable black dress shoes.
It doesn't look like as long of a list as I thought it would be, typed all out like that. I am trying to be very good about spending because my income will drop sharply this summer and is still uncertain (though things look promising) for fall. I think that's why my inner Veruca is yelling so loudly -- because she knows she's not getting any of this stuff for a while. I am trying to be grateful for all the things I do have, but especially in scary times, it's easy to think that this stuff is the only thing that's standing in the way of my ultimate, unending happiness.

Oh, yeah, that and 20 pounds.


  1. I have to say that the bra fitting and the running gear aren't wants, they're basic necessities to sustain life! So, if you're going to get a bra fitting, you might want to know that Champion (online) is having a sports bra sale.

  2. I am struggling with the same thing. For Lent, I gave up buying small, frivolous things like magazines and jewelry, but I've still bought some clothes and just recently a small computer for myself. I tried to justify that with "need," but I didn't need them. It's hard. But I do feel better for not buying as many magazines and books anymore.

  3. A year ago I left my management FT career job and reduced our family income by 1/2. I have done some PT work to bring in grocery and spending money. At the same time, my husband and I took on some unnecessary debt and managed to pay off our car in a year. At first, I was like a spoiled child as our budget was very tight and no extra spending money. Now a year later and 1/2 of our debt gone (school loans still remain) I am used to my new way of life. I do have a bit more spending money now but only use it to buy what I really need.

    I didn't think your list looked bad at all. One of my tricks is to wait a week and see if I still feel I need it. If I do, I will get it but most of the time, I realize it was a passing need.

  4. I smiled at your last item on the list, the nice black loafers.

    I had found a pair years ago made by Coach and I was saving my money for them (they were a bit pricey for me). When I finally had the money saved, I found out I was pregnant and decided not to buy them because I knew my feet would swell and possibly grow larger. To this day, I still think about those beautiful loafers.

    I wished I could give everything away (in my old home) but I'm not that brave.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07