Sunday, September 12, 2010

An Embarassment of Riches

As I lay in bed this morning, with Little Man snuggled up on one side of me, Hubby snuggled up on the other side of me, and the dog nestled in the crook of my knees, I realized that I am richly blessed. Laying there in my comfy cozy bed with my 3 guys, it dawned on me that I don't appreciate the fact that I already have SO much.

I think it is having so much (and not realizing it) that has turned my need/want filter off. While I do think there is some societal pressure to "keep up with the Joneses," I also feel like it is because I have all my basic needs met, that I have a harder time differentiating want from need. Somehow my suburban middle-class existence has made stuff like new brown shoes into a need instead of a want. As in "I really need a pair of brown shoes to go with this outfit." I already have two pairs of brown shoes, so I don't actually NEED new shoes, but in the moment, the fact that those two shoes aren't exact matches for my outfit make me feel like I NEED new shoes. In reality, I just want them.

This is the crux of my over-buying and over-consumption. I WANT things but haven't learned to differentiate my wants from my needs. I think that is what I'm going to work on next. Of course, some things are a want/need... as in I want to finish my scrapbook, so I need to buy some replacement pages. It will be tough to tackle THOSE types of wants.

But on the whole, when I find myself bemoaning the over-priced, under-sized nature of my house, or our lack of yard or whatever, I need only look around me at all that I already do have and be thankful for that.

In other uncluttering news, I tackled the shelf on my side of the closet and managed to get rid of 4 shoebox size boxes of stuff. I had boxes of photos and memorabilia that I had boxed up in the hope that I would scrapbook it one day. It is actually pretty sad, because I have all these great photos from trips, but they've spent the last 5-10 years boxed up  and out of sight. So I went to target & got a few regular photo albums and filled them with my photos. Now I can actually enjoy those memories and if I get a chance to make a scrapbook for them, great, if not, at least they're out where I can see them. Added bonus was that I got to take a little trip down memory lane, I got to realize I'm much better looking with age and I got to find some great photos of me with my aunt who passed away this past March.

I've also decided to start a very simple scrapbook for all those cards & photos and other flotsam & jetsam that I keep in boxes. Same principle applies to these items as to the photos-- why have them boxed away when I could have them out where I can enjoy them more regularly.

The purge continues around the house. I got rid of some books-- always a difficult task-- and some knick-knacks I've been keeping around the house that I don't really like or need and some queen sized sheets from our old bed that I was hanging onto for the "someday" when we have a house with a guest room. It feels good to have another load of stuff to take to Goodwill.

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