I call myself a minimalist but there are yet times where I just want to buy something. I don’t need it, I can certainly do without it but there is just that urge. I have been guilty of this a few times this year and those same items are sitting alone untouched and unwanted.
A really cool iPhone wallet that snuggles my iPhone, 12 credit or ID cards and cash seemed to be the perfect answer to combining my old school wallet with a source of protection for my iPhone. The problem came in when I put everything in it only to realize that it doest fit in my pocket.
And how about a folding bluetooth keyboard so I can blog right on my phone… Well that never happened. This too sits amongst the island of misfit toys.
I do have a fascination with technology and find myself attracted to certain accessories that seem to make perfect sense at the time only to give way to the thoughts of “Why the hell did I spend money on this thing?” A small military style backpack that turned out to be too small to tote my lunch to work each day has found a comfortable spot in my closet with dreams of serving a purpose one day.
In the end all of these items always seem to find a way to the garage sale one day pile only to give way to more lessons learned about those things that entice me. The truth is that there are very few items that ever bring me joy. The joy is felt in the unpacking of these items as a rush of excitement comes over me like a young boy on Christmas morning.
It is Saturday morning and as I sit before you at my computer reviewing items I received in my email box that I normally receive on a daily basis from Amazon my thoughts give way to other things that I believe that I need. As the weather turns a bit colder I think about new flannel shirts and possibly a new pair of boots which both I don’t need yet. Most of the time I don’t think about these things, but there are a few times during the year where my thoughts give way to the belief that I needs things. The truth is that I really don’t.
Even though I know without any doubt at all that at this point in my life there is very little that I actually do need or desire there are those times where I am looking at things that I don’t normally look at. Why? What are these feelings really all about?
The funny thing is that when I recall the thoughts of reasons for making certain purchases in the past it seems that I look forward to the reactions of others when they see me with these items. Is is feeling of acceptance amongst my peers that creates these triggers? I know as I child I was forced to do without the same things that other children had do to our family’s financial situation. Today I have more things in my life than I ever dreamed I would one day have. I own a house with I am slowly but surely paying off at an accelerated speed, a wonderful spouse who shares many of the same values as I and incredible children and grandchildren that bring an immense amount of joy to my life. I am doing the things that I love like gardening and spending a great deal of time in nature in a part of the country that surrounds me with beauty. I have a job I love going to each day and am surrounded by fellow workers who I love working with. With all of this how can I still fall back to feelings of insecurity at times and seek out items that I believe to close a hole in my soul that really doesn’t exist? There are certain scars left from my childhood that never seem to go away and rather than simply accepting those those things as being insignificant they seem to come back to haunt me and drive an urge to purchase certain things that bring me no joy at all. In the real world there is no item that can make us feel like we “fit in with the in crowd.” The “In crowd” doesn’t even really exist. We are all just individuals with the same feelings as anyone else and for all of us constantly searching for the feelings of acceptance we will never feel truly accepted for the things that we own.
It isn’t until we truly discover just who we are and align ourselves with other’s who share the same values to the point where just sitting down in the act of conversation with others who acknowledge us as a fellow human beings that will understand true acceptance. The iPhone wallet just doesn’t do it.
With these thoughts in mind it makes me think about the reasons that I work out. Do I keep myself in good physical condition or am I doing for the acknowledgement of others? Ultimately I know it makes me feel better on a daily basis but I have to admit that I love to occasionally hearing a compliment from other’s. Even though I strive to keep my ego in check there are times where pride seems to drive my intentions. What about my hairstyle or the car I drive? I have so much to be grateful for in my life yet there are those times where my thoughts are driven by the possibility of hearing that compliment from others. That child mind of mine is still alive in a 56 year old man and I don’t know if after all these years it will live on inside of me until the day I die. Does it live within all of us? Are any of us truly free of those feelings and experiences we lived through as a child? I just don’t know…
And what about theses posts that I write on this blog of mine? I am truly writing for me as a source to express myself? I love checking to see just how many people hit that “like button” or have commented on the words I share. Don’t we all? How often are people checking their Facebook status or Twitter to see if they how may acknowledged their latest post? I tend to believe that we are all at times seeking acceptance from other members of the circles we belong to and in the age of information the acceptance of others. It is the same prize as the prize of one acknowledging that cool new item we purchased. In a sense it is all pretty much the same.