Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

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Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Friday, January 20, 2012

Whadda Ya Want?

Over the past few years I've been on a 'road less traveled'... at least for me.

 The path of simplicity.
 Less is more.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

It's a satisfying way to live... not succumbing to the pressures of advertising, the Joneses and the dictates of my own fluctuating emotions. Oh yes, there are still plenty of things that I want; I'm not without goals...but the reason for those wants are different. For example, I wanted a little conversion van, and got it.. Reason: So hubby, me, and doggie-makes-three can travel together. We love to hike with our pooch-and we're not all that interested in 4-star hotels with fine linens and truffles on the bed; so this purchase makes sense for our lifestyle. It's simple.

I've learned from personal experience that consumerism, overspending, and hoarding stems from some kind of fear. It may be fear of lack. I was raised pretty poor. We'd drive past beautiful new homes and I'd dream of what it would be like to live there. I thought that people who live in pretty houses had pretty lives. So it's easy for me to go overboard on buying stuff for my house, still thinking that pretty house=pretty life. But it doesn't.  Others might fear failure; so they buy the best and most expensive equipment available to make them succeed. I know some golfers who fit this description. Fear of growing old might cause a person to spend inordinate amounts of money and time in spas, gyms, getting tucks and lifts, or just buying tons of makeup. How many homes do you visit where the fridge is absolutely crammed with food that cannot possibly be eaten before it spoils? I wonder what motivates that kind of waste? How about children who have so many toys that you can't walk through their bedroom without stepping on them? Hmmm. Is someone afraid that their kids might have an unhappy moment?  Newsflash: It's not your job to keep them happy every minute. They'll become spoiled brats if you do...and they'll grow to be unhappy adults with the unrealistic expectation that happiness can be purchased at Costco.

So the question is not only, 'what do you want?'  When trying to simplify your life, it's good to ask, "Why do I want this?"  

Please don't feel guilty. Living simply isn't about guilt. It's about doing things for the right reasons, and then being happy about it. If you choose to buy the sailboat--enjoy it. But for heaven sakes, use it! If you don't use it, sell it, or better yet; tell everybody in the family that it's there for them to use too! Life's too short for sailboats to sit idly in the harbor, meals to rot- uneaten in the fridge, or toys to be without laughing children. 



Linda O'Connell said...

Oh yes, people have way too much, especially when they need storage sheds to keep their things in. Children especially do not have to wait for anything. Instant gratification has created a huge problem.

farmlady said...

My goodness! Thank you for this post. I hope a lot of folks are reading this and REALLY paying attention. Especially the ones who are trying to buy happiness for their children.
Thank you...

jojo said...

I grew up thinking that if I could buy things/stuff then I would be happy...so I did, and I was happy for a little while. Then the bills came due and I got depressed and guilty for exchanging my happiness for this need. One day my hubs asked me "when will it be enough, how will you know when you have filled up the 'hole' in your heart/soul?" He's so smart! I always try to ask myelf now...why do I need this, what am I missing that I feel I have to fill with more stuff. It's a hard one but the answers are often much deeper. Thanks for a great post today. Are you thawing out yet?

Amish Stories said...

Money can be a blessing, but its sure not everything as im learning as i grow older. Richard

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

I love this post. As you know, we are SO much on the road to simplicity. It's felt so good to divest - we are doing it daily now as we get ready to hit the road. It is SO freeing, and I'm pysched up for the challenge of being simple and efficient in the RV.

Anneliese said...

Good and true thoughts to challenge us. When will we have enough? It seems that every generations seems to need more .. more stuff for baby, more toys, more clothes. I know our kids ahd more than I did and now my grands have mroe than our kids did.... where will it go? I hope I can be a better example of being content with what I have.

BECKY said...

Great post! I'm becomming more and more simple in my needs and wants. Sometimes I think it comes with age. I was like you when I was a young girl, too...wishing I lived in a nicer house, had the kind of clothes other girls had, etc. But I'm glad that I didn't, because I am who I am as an adult, for not having everything.


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