It’s the week after Thanksgiving and the holiday shopping craze has begun. From Black Friday and today, Cyber Monday, through Christmas Eve, it seems to be a cacophony of “buy! buy! buy!”, and “more! more! more!”.
I’m fortunate in that I’ve been able to have a lot of great things in my life. But in having many things, I realized something — things are a small part of Life. Living in a nice house or having the latest iToy isn’t going to make me happier. Owning a car isn’t going to do anything to my mental well-being. It’s the value that these things add to my life that make them worth having. But my life isn’t going to be inherently more fulfilled by having them.
To that point, I recently sold my Wii on Craigslist. It ended up being bought by a family of three and I even got to meet the little boy who would be enjoying it. While I was a little skeptical, I haven’t missed it at all. The handful of times I used to play it, I was with friends. And believe it or not, cards or simply hanging out is just as fun.
It seems that the job of our economy is to make us want more. I think the true challenge is discovering what is enough. Maybe having a Wii is part of “enough” for you, and I completely respect that — especially if you’ve thought about it and come to that conclusion.
This weekend, I thought about my things, and I took on one of the Bastion of Things in my life — DVDs. I used to pride myself on how many DVDs I had, and would prominently display them in my room. Yet, yesterday, I rounded up about twenty of my thirty-odd DVDs and took them to Newbury Comics to sell. (I may eventually part with the DVDs that I didn’t sell. Baby steps.) What I realized was that having these DVDs didn’t add anything to my life. They weren’t part of “enough”; they were excess.
Having these DVDs actually detracted from my life. They were another distraction that was easily available. I think there’s power in eliminating distraction. When I cut out media in February, I was able to really hear what I wanted to do. How I wanted to be. This is similar, but with “stuff”. Do you find that you have “stuff” in your life?
This is an easy first step. A few of the DVDs I sold, I also had on my computer. The rest I can rent – most of them instantly on iTunes or Amazon.
Maybe by parting with them, I’ll be able to have a clearer sense of what could go next.