Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The fine art of wanting less

It occurred to me this morning that today is Payday. Or at least it would be Payday if I was still working my old job. How nice it was to have a steady income on the 15th and final day of the month. But seriously, folks, I've only had one moment of doubt since I took this plunge, and it was probably more like a nanosecond than a full moment. The key to my blissful state? There's nothing (as in No Thing) I want that I haven't already got!

I've never been a materialistic kind of gal. The only "things" I've ever really wanted were food, music, and books. I list food as a want instead of a need because I don't want just any food: it needs to be the good stuff. But I find that I can still have the quality I want if I just reduce the quantity.

Several years ago, I read a book called Affluenza, which really made an impact on my thinking. (I haven't seen the documentary of the same name.) The premise of the book/documentary is that we buy stuff because we're trying to fill a hole in our lives. Actually, we don't just buy stuff - we go into debt to buy stuff. Stuff we don't really need. If a new thing comes out, we want it, so we buy it. And when we get tired of it, we throw it away, even if nothing's wrong with it.

It just doesn't make sense. Maybe we (as a society) need to start asking ourselves why we have that "hole" to start with? And work on that? Hmm. Yes, I think that's a good place to start.

Ever since I read Affluenza, I've been trying to make improvements in my life. Maybe it's easy for me because I don't have that so-called hole as much as some people do. If this is true, I know I'm lucky. Of course, I'm not perfect . . . I'm a work in progress when it comes to this, just like with everything else. But just getting it through my head that I don't need anything I don't have is really helping me to not want what I don't have.

It's like my Mom's friend Jonnie says: "Less is More." :-)