Yesterday I talked about how I am now intentionally striving for contentment in our pursuit for a simpler life.
I pride myself on being the "master" of window-shopping -- both online and in person. I can add 40 books and gadgets to my Amazon cart, walk around Target for an hour, and fill an entire cart at the dollar store, but then not spend a dime.
But lately I'm wondering if this is really contentment. Maybe contentment is not just resisting temptation on the outside. I also need to eliminate the dissatisfaction on the inside to truly to be content.
So, why do we want to buy stuff?
It's normal at this time of year, as we approach the holidays, for Americans to get into consumer mode. Add that to the fact that we are about to close on our first house and we have about a billion things we could, should, or want buy and even more reasons to justify it.
But really, why do we want to buy stuff?
Why am I obsessing over picking out the perfect new curtains? Why am I searching Craig's List and every thrift store with 15 miles for a new dining room table? Why do I stop at every single estate sale I drive past to see if they have any more mason jars to add to my already unnecessary large collection?
1. Shopping is FUN
For some people shopping is fun and a social, casual event, but for me, shopping is a game. I want a high quality, unique item, for the best deal.
I love the hunt. I love walking through a store with my coffee in hand and getting the most I can for the least amount possible. 12 new baby shirts for $8? Sign me up!
2. Everyone does it
Seriously, do you know anyone who never steps their foot in a store nowadays? It's normal to consume.
3. The Big One - Advertising
This is the one I now realize I've unintentionally become immune to. Advertising is everywhere. Having the TV on in the background, listening to the radio, on every blog you read, website you visit.
Even advertisements to consume for an idea are everywhere. I wonder what the statistic is for how much extra you spend for each hour you spend on Pinterest.
Shoot. No wonder my heart isn't content.
How do you change the spending habit? Or even more, the dissatisfaction?
1. Think: What are you surrounding yourself with?
Do you walk through Target 3 times a week or drive past the car dealership everyday?
Consider removing yourself from these situations which cause you to unnecessarily desire more stuff that you don't need. We are humans - put a chocolate cake in front of me, I'll eat it. If you're on a diet, don't hang out with cake or talk to cake and you'll increase your chances of never thinking about cake.
2. Count Your Blessings.
I'd like to get into the habit that whenever I feel the urge to peruse Target or flip through Pinterest, I sit down and write a list of things I'm thankful for instead.
I'm thankful we don't have any debt.
I'm thankful my toddler can entertain herself for 2 hours with a 50 cent piece of playdough
I'm thankful my feet are warm.
I'm thankful for coffee.
I'm thankful my husband has the flexibility to stop home for lunch everyday.
I'm thankful for fresh air.
There are so many things I can be thankful for. But how often do I take the time to reflect on them? (Answer: Not often enough).
3. Watch the video The Story of Stuff
And learn about who is really paying for what we consume everyday.
What about you? Do you struggle with delaying gratification? How do you keep your heart content for what God has provided?
This is Day 27 of 31. Click here to see the entire series.
Thank you following along on our journey to simplicity & contentment. Please be sure to learn about our family, like our page on Facebook, and visit the right column to subscribe to our posts :)
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."