Thursday, 19 December 2013

The materialism struggle (#firstworldprobs)

Ugh. This time of year, you guys. Specifically this year this time of year. Do you struggle with materialism? I do. Always have, probably always will.

This is not a post about what some might deem the deeper and more important things in life - about poverty or addiction or abuse or true suffering. It's just about one girl's struggle with materialism, and who's to say that's not an important thing in life, I guess. A struggle is a struggle.

The truth is, I like stuff. We have this plaque in our bedroom that says "the best things in life are not things," and I jokingly tell Matthew that I disagree... terrible to even joke about, I know.  But I do value aesthetics and the way nice things make me feel, and I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with that, in itself. I like to support those who make beautiful products that make life nicer for others, and I like to enjoy said products. But there's such an undefinably small line between just wanting beautiful, useful things in your life and always pining, pining, pining after the next thing.  How do you find the line? How do you keep to the conservative side of it? How do you not live your whole life working just to enjoy things? Is there really anything wrong with that, if you place a high value on people and health, as well?

I feel like this struggle is always at its absolute peak for me around Christmastime, when the push is on to buy, buy, buy, and stores are pulling out all the stops and wafting the best aromas just under your nose. It's this feeling of not having enough, which I know is an absolute lie. It's the push to buy gifts for others because it's the traditional thing to do, when you really can't afford it and should just say so.

This year I find myself systematically unsubscribing from store emails and purposefully avoiding Instagram and gift guides, just to eliminate that feeling of yearning for things. I haven't had time to shop for Christmas gifts even yet, and Christmas is in less than a week. Oh, and we should be closing on our house Saturday or Monday, so the next week will be a liiiiittle busy. At this point, I'm thinking about just bucking the whole system and skipping it this year. Not buying into the consumerism, since it absolutely isn't adding peace to my life. And isn't that what Christmas is supposed to be about? Peace? Unless you have all your shopping done by Decemeber 1st, which, let's face it, will never happen for me, there doesn't seem to be much peace around the holidays, and I crave that as much as I crave the ridiculous little blue ceramic fruit cartons at Anthrolpogie. Damnit.

This has very much just been a stream of consciousness type of post, so thanks for hanging in there. Believe me, I fully realize that I have a beautiful life and so much to be thankful for. I realize that even admitting this type of struggle will cause some people to bristle because, duh, it's pathetic. But unfortunately it's reality for so many of us in this day and age... and I'm thankful to at least recognize it for what it is, which is the first step to keeping it under control.

Hope you find peace and a reprieve from the consumerism over the next few days leading up to Christmas.... Happy Thursday... :)

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