Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why I Want LESS Stuff

I'm obsessed with my stuff. Contrary to what you might think a 37 year old male in the US would obsess about though, I'm obsessed with decreasing the amount of stuff I have to the bare bones of what I need to live a simple satisfied life.

When I first moved back out on my own, after 10 years of cohabitation with my ex-wife, I found myself indulging in retail therapy. I bought a new car, new glasses, new Italian jeans and other new clothes and a new plasma TV, none of which brought satisfaction or joy (okay... I really do enjoy my new little A4).

Since then, I've found the greatest pleasure in doing things - riding my bicycle(s), playing my violin, running, practicing yoga, reading - rather than obsessing over getting new stuff. I've donated far more than I've procured lately and it feels great. My home is clean and (relatively) clutterless and, while it looks like a fun toy that I may one day indulge in, I don't feel like I'm missing anything by not having an iPad yet. I even find myself feeling a bit anti-consumerist these days. How un-American...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to become an ascetic minimalist. But I am going to continue to focus on living a joyful life through experiences rather than through shopping.


  1. Nice to hear you're playing the violin again. And while I get the new car and TV (you probably needed them starting over), the Italian jeans does seem a tad indulgent. My iPad purchase excepted (I received a check for unused vacation days), I've been buying less and less the older I get. I think the largess of my money now goes towards activities, not stuff. I've even gone from shopping at Banana Republic to Old Navy. Getting older means getting wiser about things I guess.

  2. Chris, I have no idea what you're talking about. I am neither older nor wiser, but I am jealous of your iPad. Thanks for commenting.