Clevedon Market, July 31 Mika with Oma, Grandpa, Papá and Mamá.
What matters: Having enough. What doesn’t matter: Having more.
It’s unbelievable how hard it can be to say no to clothes and toys. Mika can’t even ask for anything yet and I already find it hard. The toys just stare at me and they’re all like ‘I’ll make Mika so happy’ and the clothes stare at me and they’re all like ‘I’ll make Mika so cute’ and I’m all like ‘Really toys? Really clothes?’ and they’re all like ‘yeah, we promise’. And then I catch myself and I remember that she doesn’t. need. all. that. crap.
Another bright ball won’t make her smarter and a new sweater won’t make her cuter.
And on that note, a new running jacket won’t make me run faster and a diet coke won’t make me skinnier. During the day I try to spend my time with Mika visiting the library, visiting friends and other babies, playing at home and walking through the park. But more often than I’d like, I find myself walking past the shops. The shops that scream out ‘YOU’LL LOOK SO MUCH BETTER IF YOU OWN THESE CLOTHES!’ and ‘BUY BOOKS! IT’S BETTER THAN BORROWING!’ and ‘STATIONARY?? YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH MOLESKIN JOURNALS!’ And the shops attract my eyes like little magnets and I wish I had those blinker things that they put on horses to give them tunnel vision so I could just focus forwards.
It’s this ‘must have more’ society and culture that we live in that leads us astray. It’s the false notion that something new will make us happier.
I was reading this interesting article in MindFood yesterday that talks about satisfaction. “Acknowledge that humans inherently want more than they have.” The article says. “The ‘wanting’ circuit helps us strive and achieve and seek pleasure, but it has the downside of needing an ‘off’ switch. Buddhists have learned to observe their cravings and thoughts without reacting to them. This is increasingly taught in psychological circles as part of mindfulness.”
Acknowledge. Observe. Move on.
So the next time I walk past the shops I will say “Oh hey there new clothes, brand new books and nice smelling stationary. I know how I think you’ll make me feel. But I don’t really need you right now and those feelings will be temporary. I already have clothes, I can borrow all the books I want from the library and that stationary won’t smell so good for too long. I’d much rather save our pennies to travel the world and give Mika glorious opportunities. So I’ll just keep walking thanks.”