I was doing so well for one day - I didn't buy anything or bring anything into the house for one whole day as part of my new challenge.
The next day I went grocery shopping and just brought home food - which is allowable. But then, in a moment of weakness, I logged on to kijiji and searched through the local bargains galore. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was driving home with a trunk full of an itsy-bitsy little bit of backyard clutter: a pool.
|falling off the wagon|
I thought about my reasons for buying the pool, and here's what came to mind:
- It was a good deal. Don't we all love a good bargain?
- It's a childhood fantasy of mine to have a pool on my property. And isn't that what adulthood is all about? Fulfilling childhood fantasies?
- I could imagine a lovely summer family lifestyle avec piscine. I had visions of barbeques poolside, with the kids merrily splashing while the adults sipped wine coolers. All of a sudden, here was a fun reason to have friends over in the heat of the summer months. Here was a new lifestyle.
I know that this is how companies like Starbucks market their products. They say, "This is what your lifestyle will look like/feel like when you sip one of our lattes." And so I buy the lifestyle, and not just the product. I buy the vision of myself (what I feel like, and possibly how others see me) using that product. Sure, I like the taste too, but it's the coolness factor that tempts me and says "you really deserve this. Think about how relaxed you'll feel when you drink this expensive chai latte." I'm sold. Why does a cup of tea that can be made for 25 cents get sold for $5.00? Because I'm not just buying a mug of whipped spicy tea. I'm buying an experience; I'm engaging a brand.
So many things have come into our house because of my imaginary lifestyles. Like home-school mom. I will most likely never be a home-school mom, but I have all the resources I'll ever need, saved from my teaching career. And then there's tap-dancing me. Why do I have tap-dance shoes when I took one class in university, and haven't since? Do I picture myself as a closet tap-dancer? Or mosaic-maker, with a whole huge bin of broken pottery waiting for that day when I'll feel like making a beautiful mosaic. Even being a teacher is an imaginary lifestyle for me right now. I haven't done this in 5 years. And then there's knitting-sewing-arts-and-crafter. I have enough supplies on hand to lead kid craft workshops every day for the next 2 months. Will I do this? Absolutely not. So why do I hold onto these things?
I keep other things because of fear and "what if's" -- what if I'll need this someday? What if my kid doesn't learn her multiplication tables because I got rid of that math game? What if I want to knit something out of the blue, just after I've gotten rid of my knitting needles that I never use? Most of these what if's are fairly stupid and easily solveable - if I want to knit, I can buy some new knitting needles. Easy. And there are other ways to learn multiplication tables.
Some of my most satisfying, simpler times of living with enough were during camping, traveling, and living overseas experiences - making do with what I had, and feeling free - like it was more than enough.
So why can't I live like this at home, in my regular life?