One would have to admit that there is such divine simplicity in less is more. I realize this is not a new concept, but we all know it to be shamefully true. We can’t help ourselves, we are in our own way. So I’m thinking we should keep revisiting this notion until we actually get it. Of course, “buy better, not more” makes complete rational sense. So why do we feel compelled to keep buying stuff and clutter our homes with things we don’t really need? How many of us buy, just to buy? We all love to acquire new things because it makes us feel good. It’s an affirmation that we are doing OK. It validates a certain level of personal success, and when we indulge our children with new toys (and grown-up toys for the grown kids) we feel like better parents. I confess, I’m a boomer, so I have been on both sides of that tipping scale; a proud member of the “sandwich” generation that is a spoil-ee as well a spoil-er. Admittedly, I only feel shame and remorse when I consider that as a child, I was enamored with Leave it to Beaver and watched Beaver and Wally Cleaver grow up with far less extravagances, and they survived just fine. It appeared that June and Ward did a stellar job. Back then, they were the perfect model of a modest American family. Reminiscing about my childhood stuff only triggers happy and innocent days. I am sure that you fellow boomers out there have received the countless e-mails on the Internet paying homage to the 50’s and 60’s celebrating our youth. The days of pinky balls, roller skates, hopscotch, and just playing with a stick and some dirt, occupied an entire day, and was what we called fun. It reminds of how simple life was then, and certainly… happy. We try to explain to our children that there was life before video games, cell phones, and color TV, and the list goes on. So how did all this over-indulgence exacerbate? When did having more engulf us? Everybody has way too much stuff, you know it and I know it, and it’s abundantly clear that this excess has become a universal concern. We cannot pretend to be proud of our over-consumption. At the end of the day, it just becomes endless clutter because we tire of things so quickly. There seems to be always bigger and better, and faster technology. And in most cases, we don’t discard the old things, so disorganization festers easily. The planned obsolescence successfully feeds consumerism but there is a price to pay (pun intended) because it feeds our anxiety as well. It is often so stressful to keep up with the latest technology, latest fashion trends, and updated anything. We all get caught up, I know I do. Shouldn’t we be asking ourselves when is enough, enough?
With holiday spending on all of our minds, and our tighter budgets in the forefront, it will be a great opportunity to evaluate what we indulge in this year. Let’s not be lured into the hypnosis of shopping mania, and instead make better decisions. Impulsive buying can be dangerous, not to mention expensive. Sometimes I think we should all have a group hug and decide to just stop and get off this merciless merry-go-round. Let’s implement a do-over and get a fresh start. We all can live with less. Buy better and not necessarily more. It’s far easier to organize less stuff. Keeping it simple can be liberating. We should all try it, we may like it.