Acceptance

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.

71hcobmllcl-_sl1000_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. 71i1mjxxedl-_sl1500_

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 51jodmbq78lway 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.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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31 Responses to Acceptance

  1. D says:

    I could write a lengthy comment but will refrain as I DO tend to get verbose at times. I am quite similar, especially with my need of electronics. I have an iPad mini that I “had” to purchase despite owning an iPhone and a Mac Pro. The iPad sits ~ along with the expensive Zagg screen saver. I had an aborted hike last year and about the only thing I took from it was that many of the things I felt I needed were really substitutes for the love and affection I sought so desperately as a child. Have no idea how I came to that conclusion but I did and as this year passes I find that I am right ~ many of my purchases are siply to fill a hole that despite passage of time, still exists.

  2. Brit says:

    Posts like this are really valuable. The conversation about why we do the things we do is something that more people need to have, in self-reflection.

  3. Hi Sir, I think you don’t need to worry… it’s very human… I love this post & most of your posts. Have a nice weekend with your loved ones.

  4. I think that there’s 2 different factors at work here.
    One is the emotional childhood pull and second is online buying.
    Like a lot of people growing up, there wasn’t a lot of money left over after feeding and clothing us and so I missed out on a lot of the things that my school friends had. When I started earning decent money, I treated myself to ‘toys’ in an unconscious effort to make up for my childhood and I still do that, to an extent. And, I don’t feel bad about spending £5-10 on small item.
    The second thing that feeds into this for me, is online buying. Let me explain.
    I’ve been doing a number of 3-5 days trips this year using a small backpack. Just over a month ago, I did a 7 day trip and the backpack wasn’t going to cut it. As I didn’t own a suitcase, I went to Amazon looked at small suitcases and bought one. Looking at it online, reading the reviews, checking the measurements, it seemed ideal. When it arrived, I discovered that it didn’t hold that much more than the backpack. As I was leaving the next day, I used it.
    I think that without being able see and touch the suitcase I made a bad decision and will, probably, need to buy a bigger one.
    I’ve noticed that a few times with things I’ve bought from Amazon and others is that just looking at the pictures, etc doesn’t really tell me what I need to know and that I end up wasting money and time. So, even though it may cost a little more, for somethings I need to buy them from a real store.

    • I have to agree. Many of the wasteful purchases that I have made have been the Amazon ones. There are certain items that seem to be right but upon arrival and examination they just don’t fit the bill. I too am looking for a day pack for the last 6 months and have simply used the old one because I haven’t been able to find exactly what I am looking for.

  5. I share your fascination with technology and often the buyer’s remorse. Great post.

  6. Minimal Belle says:

    I love this post. It is so honest, and spot-on about everything. I, too, find myself caught at times between the urge to clear my life of all but the basics and the urge to buy a shiny new watch or a handmade piece of miniature furniture for the bedroom. I think the urge to splurge will always be there to some extent, given the power of advertising in the society we live in, but it’s all about knowledge and preparation. The long-term goals and values as opposed to easy, short-term satisfaction. Having that urge and resisting, knowing it will pass. It sounds like you have a real understanding of those urges and the reasons behind them in yourself–which is more than most people ever contemplate. It’s good to make your acquaintance!

  7. gitfitsite says:

    Thought-provoking! And isn’t it crazy how we then hang onto those ‘mistake buys’, as if to get rid of them is to admit our mistake. Great post.

  8. juantetcts says:

    I’ve always believed this is one of the reasons my marriage fell apart.We both grew up in families that could only provide the basic four walls, with little or no extras. My ex-spouse and I were both spenders (even though we didn’t have money in the bank and it wasn’t a concern), and made purchases we didn’t really need. Until my son was diagnosed with a serious illness. I painfully adjusted to living on a budget and distinguishing between wants versus needs. He failed the test. Apparently the unplanned spending wasn’t very compatible with a budget.

    • No, it takes both partners to make a budget work for a household. I went through the same situation with an ex. Sometimes I really wish that schools teach a basic class on money other than how to write check.

      • juantetcts says:

        The good news is that Dave Ramsey offers a high school curriculum for his Financial Peace University course! That’s a huge step in the right direction, but schools have to be open to receiving it.

      • Oh, I didn’t know that. That is fantastic news. This is where it has to start. Our future depends on it. I love listening to Dave and although I haven’t taken the course I have read many of his books.

  9. New Journey says:

    My addiction is dishes…not electronic devices…LOL I have to stop myself from picking up yet another coffee mug because it looks like I would enjoy drinking my coffee from it…I was at Target yesterday and had to stop myself more than once from getting a gadget from the kitchen area…I am so blessed in my life to be able to have whatever my little heart wants for my kitchen and daily life….but like you I really do not need another item to make my life better….and I think its healthy to feel and want to be told you look good, kinda goes back to our primitive side when the most impressive male got the girl kinda thing…(I am thinking of course of the bird world) and no that your looking for a new mate, but its all relative to wanting to look and feel your best, not only for yourself, but for how you reflect yourself out onto the world….man I need to stop rambling here…LOL Hope you weathered the storm alright, my sister in Port Angeles made it through with out the lights blinking and no trees fell on there property…they live on the side of Mt. Olympus….it protects them some…..but I did hear that Forks was without electricity for over 19 hours over Friday to Saturday, haven’t had an update yet from sister this morning…..kat

    • Yes, some areas got hit harder than others. Here in the Portland area it wasn’t too bad. It’s funny than you mention primal instinct in selecting a partner. I read that it is natural instant for a male of our species to select a female based on the size of the hips and breast. It’s all about being fit to produce and raise children for survival of our species.

      • New Journey says:

        Agreed…when you start to put it all together, it comes down to primal, primitive and strength…..rather simple when you get to the basis of most things…..kat

  10. It’s good to read a post like this and realise we all share experiences. I’m 58 and still conditioned to act in certain ways since childhood. I also have lots of stuff I don’t need, but I’m gradually working to control it. 😉

  11. Dede says:

    Post divorce I learned I had bought all those things while I was married trying to fill the empty space in my heart which my husband should have filled with love. Surprising how much less I can do with now.

  12. Thank you for sharing this. It was serendipitous that I read your post when I did too. I logged on just now to finish a post I had started the other day, only to realize that it never saved and is now lost. Needless to say, I felt very frustrated and somewhat defeated. However, after reading your last paragraph it really put things in perspective for me. I had been struggling to write the “lost post” for a while, because I felt like I just couldn’t get the wording right and wasn’t sure if people would understand or appreciate what I wanted to convey. Your writing helped me refocus and ask myself: “why do I want to write?” but more importantly, “am I wanting to write for a healthy purpose?” Anywho, thanks again and I look forward to reading your next post 🙂

    • Thank You, that is one of the best compliments I have ever received. At times I too struggle for the right words and format and know it’s not a good time for me to write. True expression is simply conveying one’s thoughts at a given time and those thoughts to words are what allow me to move the energy in my brain to the fingers that pound upon my keyboard. Just get it out and forget about what others may say, That’s my motto. 🙂

  13. Canuck Carl says:

    A very profound post. I do try to live with the adage of “less is more” but my weakness is in running gear and in particular shoes. All it really does is make my life more complicated.

    I do try to think I run for my health, and you hit it on the head about how many likes or comments on those status updates.

    Like yourself I am very blessed with where I am in life in regards to job and family. Yet there are those deep seated insecurities I have to constantly be uprooting.

    Thank you for sharing!

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