As I mentioned in a previous post, I am trying to minimize the “stuff” in my life. It was something that I have been wanting to do for a little while now, but the decision to go ahead with it came after reading The Power of Less , by Leo Babauta, the second time. The first time I read it, I found the concept attractive and in sync with my thoughts. But I got distracted and I forgot about it. I came across it after later while I was browsing the library and this time I decided to atleast give it a try. As the first step I gave away quite a few of my books. I also sold some on Amazon. It wasn’t much compared to what I had but still it was a good start. Then I gave away many clothes and shoes with I don’t use anymore. It felt good on two levels – the joy of giving as well as being able to get my foot in the door of a new way of living.
I am ashamed to say that I made a splash starting from last Friday. I bought 2 new books from Borders on Friday. I had a copy of one of them from the library but I still wanted to have my own copy. I rationalized that this was a book that requires multiple readings and that it was a very good book and worth owning. I am still not sure whether this a good move. The 2nd book was one that I really wanted to get but considering my current situation I don’t think I would be able to get to reading that book for the next 6 months. Maybe I should have waited to see whether I would actually get time to read it.
On Sunday we went to Seattle Premium Outlet Mall in Tulalip and I bought quite a few new clothes. The primary reason we went to the mall was to get a pair of sunglasses for Rija and maybe some new clothes for her. When we were done, I had bought more clothes than Rija and also a pair of shoes. I have lots of clothes, I didn’t need to buy any new clothes but I gave in to the shopper’s impulse and as a result I have increased my Stuff. I am not very proud of this incident.
On Monday I was browsing through Amazon (I should really stop browsing through Amazon) and I stumbled on Set Theory and Continuum Problem by Raymond Smullyan. I thought this would a good book to buy as I had read other books by Smullyan and I have great respect for him. Also Binil had convinced me that learning some maths is good for anybody. The book was not expensive so I didn’t give much thought about it and decided to go ahead and buy the book. While ordering the book, Amazon showed me other books by Smullyan and I fell for end. All said and done I ordered 7 books. 7 books ! I am not sure whether I would ever get to read them, but I had to order it. Some part of me just craved for the transient high of obtaining new Stuff.
To top all this, yesterday we went to Walmart to get some medicine for Rija and I ended up with 3 new shirts ! How bad am I ?
Actually the books that I bought are very good and it will surely be fun and beneficial if I ever read them. The clothes that I bought are good and I look forward to wearing them. But did I need these ? I don’t think so. I could have bought the books when I have the time to read them and I could have bought the clothes when I have worn out my existing clothes or given them to the needy.
I have to be more aware of my thoughts, emotions and impulses. I should avoid the temptations if I can’t resist them. My first steps faltered, but I am not giving up. I am going to try my best to minimize the Stuff in my life, instead I am looking forward to experiencing more of life’s little pleasures such as spending more time with friends and family, going for walks, playing games, long drives with my wife, visiting places, etc. In general enjoying the experience of living rather than that of having.