Wednesday, June 5, 2013

stuff. (or simply, how I am addicted to Amazon Prime.)

I am a "stuff" person.  I realize that in all of my "I don't want to be so First World-y" thoughts, this is a contradiction.  I've read all the books, and I agree with them in theory... but in practice, I'm a stuff girl.

Yep. I'm not quite the extreme of Madame Blueberry, but I understand her issues.

Part of my issues are healthy.  In the idea of "Love Languages", mine ends up being a tie between "Words of Encouragement" and "Gifts".  (Which is probably why I love stationery so much.  Words of encouragement packaged as a gift?  Perfection.)

But part of this is unhealthy.  The unhealthy stems from the time when we didn't have money when we were first married.  Those tight years of making returns to Wal-mart at the end of the month because we needed cash more than we needed the unopened item are moments that are permanently etched in my head- and more so in my heart.

Now that we are not as strapped financially, the decision to make purchases comes quite easier.  In fact, too easily sometimes.  Rather than think about if I *really* need to body tattoo glitter pens, I click on sweet little Amazon, add it to my cart, and within an instant it is heading my way.  (Yes, this happened.  Saturday.  And yes, the package is scheduled to arrive on my doorstep this afternoon.  I'll be sending all of your children home from events at my house this summer glittered up like a bad prom dress.  You're welcome.)  Rather than think about if I *really* need the coffee that I had at Laurie's that was so yummy, I click on sweet little Amazon, add it to my cart, and within days I'm drinking it for breakfast.

Free shipping!  Instant gratification!  Win!

Realistically, some of that is frugality.  I chose to find the cheapest version of the coffee, I saved myself a trip to the store, and I saved myself a moment from being tempted to buy something else.

But what about the little guy making coffee down the street that I care so much about?

And what about the waste I end up with because I buy in a moment of want rather than need?

And even more... what about the frustration I feel when I go into Elizabeth's room and see just how much CRAP she has accumulated... the stuff-apple hasn't fallen far from the stuff-tree.

I can justify all day long my reasons for buying things.  And in the end, some are valid, some are not.  Some are mere retail therapy- and in the last year of my life, I will admit that there are moments that even a "bad" purchase can feel great.  But, ultimately, that's not what I want to teach Elizabeth.  That's also not how I want to live my life.

In this "middle space" of learning who I am now, I am hopeful to change.  While I know I won't give up shopping, nor will I give up gift giving, I hope to give up impulsive buying.  I hope to think more about where my money is going and how it is "doing good"... and not merely making me feel good in the moment.  I hope to purge the unnecessary clutter from my house- from my life- and live more simply.  I also hope that I have friends who will celebrate second hand gifts in the days and weeks to come as I begin the big purge.

This is not a cry for help.  Shoot, it's not even a cry for accountability.  It's merely a girl thinking through her junk and wondering if you share some of the same issues.  If you have some of the same, I'd love to hear about it.  If not, congratulations.  And for the rest of you, your children will sill benefit from the same glittered up glory in the days to come.  Again, you're welcome.


Courtney said...

Whew. I am
Having the money to buy the stuff I WANT & having the Amazon Prime membership to make it possible has been weighing heavy on my heart these days. Thanks- as always- for your honesty & vulnerability.
Right there with ya', sister!

Allison said...

I totally agree - when Dale and I first got married (he has even made this comment) I was VERY STINGY with our money. Now, I am very wasteful! Thanks for your thoughts, I feel the need to follow your example and I will be following your example! Please keep me posted on things are going for you:) You will be in my prayers and thoughts as we make this commitment to cleaning up our $$$ act:)

RLR said...

I'm less of a "stuff" girl now than when we were first married (and it got worse when I became a mom, but I've recovered a bit) - mainly because all of my spending (except filling up the gas tank) happens with cash. And also because I'm so darn tired of cleaning up the stuff that I don't want anymore in the house. I avoid Target as much as I can.
Flip side to this - not being able to find the "right" gift for someone when it is time to shop. I don't really even know what's in the stores! Birthdays, end-of-year teacher gifts, and even Christmas can make me cranky. How can we help each other out? Sounds like meeting somewhere in the middle would be awesome :)