Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Simplicity




Maybe it's like this.

I was reading the cover story in this week's McLeans (a toned down Canadian Newsweek). It's all about frugal living (that new buzzword, frugal, is bandied about everywhere these days, kind of like luxury was a few months ago...how fickle the marketing world is...) and it was full of all sorts of mind boggling tips, like don't buy three hundred dollar jeans and cook your own food.

But what I did like about the article, what was a new and interesting insight (for me, at least) was the discussion on the younger generation (*I like being able to say that. I think that being able to say that qualifies me for a whole bunch of things. Things like a full and matching set of pots and pans and bake ware that isn't dented and blackened.)

The younger generation, the article stated, is not so interested in the material world and more interested in quality of life. When I read that I immediately scoffed and thought well, who isn't? Then I sat back and contemplated.

I've been totally guilty of being caught up in the material side of things. Lots of times I do it in the name of quality, but more often than nought it's a simple expectation, an "I deserve this" attitude.

It's taken me a little bit by surprise, this realization that I've basically bought into all the marketing ploys that I raged against in my youth. When I decided to lay down the feminist torch (not snuff it out, lay it down - it gets heavy after a while) and just live, I found it easier to go along with the trappings of just living. Like wanting simplicity in the form of pre-made soups from Costco instead of making my own and designer jeans because Gap ones "bag out."

I tell my husband often enough, if I can't have exactly what I want I don't want it at all. Typing it out and actually thinking about that reminds me of a certain four year old in full throes of a tantrum. I'm a lot more lucid and my face isn't blotchy and purple when I speak those words, but fundamentally, it's the same thing.

I'm going to give it some thought. The credit crunch, to me, here in Canada, anyways, is a full-blown crisis created in large part by our media. But this may be the perfect time for me to re-evaluate just why I think I need what I need. And what might be more important.

8 comments:

flashmom said...

i've been thinking alot about that too, about how to save money and what is really important in our lives. we recently moved to a big house and doubled our mortgage, which means that I had to apply for a better paying job (which I got). now, though, life is really busy and sort of frantic. itt not really turning out the way we thought, becasus its so busy. interesting post. made me think!

flashmom said...

good grief there are alot of typos in that! oops.

Anonymous said...

My husband comes from a material world (he wants it, he buys it) but another word just got entered into his vocabulary, BUDGET! Seeing our RRSP's, mutual funds and other investments fall has not been good for the faint of heart. This was the perfect time for me to stop the bleeding of our bank account. Ever since we got married our incomes have gone up dramatically but with that so did our spending habits. Instead of waiting for something to happen like a decrease in income, I start now with a few cutbacks and maybe we would be ready to take that step back (if it did occur)instead of off a ledge. He has taken it well and who knows how long it will last but at least I know I have made him conscious of his spending habits for now.

spinregina said...

omigod I love that, "my husband comes from a material world." could be a title of a book! nice writing; "step back instead of off a ledge."

flashmom - it's funny, or not, how we strive and strive for all this stuff, but we (typically) have to sacrifce to enjoy. I know of what you speak.

Tyler said...

Next semester I'm teaching Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in my Engl 100 class. One of the major themes of the book is "quality," a subject this blog got me thinking about. You should have a go at it, used copies are everywhere in this town...

lotusloq said...

I'm right there with you on this one. I hate to even consider how much value we've lost in the last few months. I actually quit looking. My husband tells me periodically. There are quite a few things I've given up like new clothes and things for the house. I can't give up the books, but at this point that one is still manageable.

A friend and I were talking about this last week and she said that her husband's new mantra is "If we can't eat it, we don't need it."

I can't eat my books, but I need them all the same.

spinregina said...

technically you could eat a book, but it might not work very well for you.

I'm totally agreeing, books will be last to go.

Very excited to have a new book recommendation; I started Christie Blatchford's Fifteen Days, which I want desperately to love as much as I love her, but so far it's not working for me...too many acronyms that I don't get. I'll keep plodding along; I owe the subject material that respect, at the very least.

lotusloq said...

Right now I'm reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. It's very interesting about the way we spend money and make decisions in ways that don't make sense.

Some of the things I've heard before, but some of them are new.

It's an eye opener and I'm hoping it will help me think more clearly when I'm buying things. Question myself before I spend and that sort of thing. Time will tell. I may be fighting a losing battle. haha!