I can see the micro-expressions people give – mainly: envy, resent … sometimes: disgust – when I tell people about my downsizing adventures. It’s as loud as an object falling on the early morning ground. If I explain that I don’t need something or another, there might be a glimpse of greed, and I’m still victim to it myself. I still see occasional shinies and think: I might like that… It’s probably a human reaction to want overabundance.
My materialism caused a mild anxiety episode yesterday.
The details of the situation aren’t important, rather, it’s something that – even as I look around my apartment-mansion with a sense of accomplishment that I can invite others over without feeling embarrassed over having to put away enough stuff for someone to walk around or sit down – I know means I’m not quite at that level of detachment where I could accept something without needing the proof.
We’re always going to want more.
Money is a social lubricant. It takes money to do anything, directly in the form of gas or a pass into the city or indirectly with an upfront cost to store items or paying this month’s rent. It can buy us the things we enjoy or think we’ll enjoy. If we can acquire things that we think might get us something, we can go that route, too. It’s all this vague sense of awe over things and the stuff they represent.
I’m learning to be more careful with materialism.
We need materials to exist and to help us exist more efficiently, but we don’t need a bunch of materials. I could get rid of my laptop and just write at library computers, but that’s just not efficient. I could get rid of my second laptop, but that’s my backup to ensure I won’t be in a rut for more than a few hours if my primary goes down. I wouldn’t need a dozen laptops, but this happens frequently at smaller scales.
Do we just not see all that we own?
When I’d go to thrift stores, I’d see things that I kinda liked, and had the ability to own them. With that feeling of ownership in my mind, its value in my mind would often drastically decrease. As I moved out, I found 7+ years of clutter, hoarded from thrift stores, then never seen again until it was time to pack it into a box out of materialistic desperation. I’m seeing these boxes now.
It almost always seems like I have something to donate.
Between me and the door is a donation box with a few items, including some CDs – I just kept collecting new albums without considering whether I even wanted them, or would even listen to them but once every ten years – that upon recent relistening I realized I didn’t care about in the slightest. Getting rid of my excess is feeling better than I could have imagined.
The number of mediocre memories I’ve donated…
The number of overabundantly anxious thoughts I’ve acquiesced…
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: I dropped this PVC pipe in the midst of an attempt at waking up early, but I had a headache that forced me to go back to sleep. That headache’s lasted throughout the day, and the remnants of yesterday’s anxiety, so this essay probably isn’t too clear.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: Rule of thirds with the PVC pipe.|
|Written On: April 17th [45 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|