When I look around me, I see educated and very intelligent sick people. The disease they suffer from is affluenza, a serious addiction to buying . . . stuff.  Stuff they do not need or even really want, but stuff they feel compelled to buy. At first glance, you would say they are healthy and happy and wise about their spending, but they spend a lot of time saying: “I’ve just bought this!” and, “I got this on sale!” and, “I’m so excited about my new this!” Usually they are also very good at justifying their need for this new stuff.

p1170160
The Pink Lady in 2009 — A 3-story house with 21 rooms full of stuff!

It is obvious that many of us are suffering from some degree of addictive consumerism. The tv commercials, and ads on the internet, in magazines, and on billboards are so very seductive that, for most of us, it can be hard to resist. It takes great effort to not take out the credit card and then bring home more stuff.

The problem with giving in to this impulse is that it’s bad for our mental, emotional, and financial health, to say nothing of our living spaces and the environment. One of my biggest challenges is resisting stuff that is actually not at all expensive, and in fact, often free. But it is still stuff that I could end up accumulating and storing and dealing with! And this accumulation makes me anxious.

So I’ve started to do something about it. I’ve tried very hard and I’m making lots of progress. In fact, I could say that I’m almost there. I mostly have enough!

Enough. Such a beautiful word — and one that gives me great satisfaction when I say it. More and more, I’m not even tempted to buy. And it’s not because I’m cheap, or poor, or massively in debt. I’m none of the above. I’m just reaching the healthy stage where I can say, “No thank you. I have enough.” What a liberating, happy and powerful feeling! The temptation to buy is gone and I am effortlessly in charge.

How I admire minimalists! I’m not there yet, but it is a goal. I’m starting a new habit: getting more stuff out of my life. It may not be good for the economy, but it is very good for me.

thrift store stuff

How about you? Do you support a growing economy by buying stuff? Do you suffer from consumerism? Or are you, too, learning to say, “No thank you. I have enough.”

4 thoughts on “Enough Stuff

  1. I too would love to be a minimalist but whether I will ever reach that goal…….only time will tell. I think there is a happy medium, somewhere in the middle between tripping over rooms full of unneeded things and walls which are lined with furniture and other ‘stuff’ that never leaves its place under, or on, or beside or behind. I have often wondered if it is started by a poor upbringing? Our parents lacked the ability to provide the extras that we felt we should have, leading to us over accumulating when we have the means or the opportunity. I truly agree that this is a sickness, and once this ‘bug’ is contracted, it is a hard one to get rid of!

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