On 11 March 2013, it is quite clear I was having a monster of a freak-out about decorations for my wedding, hence the truckloads of gorgeous drinks dispensers you'd find at an all-American 4th July party, striped straws, apothecary jars, ribbons, decorative paper pom poms, and basically everything in Martha Stewart's craft range. It really was over the top. Thankfully, I didn't buy any of these things (although a couple were sourced from eBay - ALWAYS CHEAPER).
It's funny to pause for a moment and think about what you wanted, or felt that you desperately needed, a year or more ago. It's more interesting to realize that you didn't get it, and you survived. My wedding was fine without the presence of Martha Stewart's many and varied range of craft goodies. My life was complete without buying "The Homemade Wedding" (actually pretty sure my stress levels were reduced as a result of not owning this book).
As Hubby and I search for homes for our wedding gifts and the assorted items we've each collected over the 30 years we existed on this planet before meeting each other, it's caused us to evaluate the value of "stuff". Some of our stuff is of huge sentimental value, others valuable financially.
But the items we have realized we value more than most is space and time. You can buy space (but you tend to fill it unless you live conscientiously), but you can't buy time. We stare at each other across a room of boxes, and feel this understanding swimming about us. I just can't figure out if this shadowy object swimming by is a friendly dolphin with a peace-loving message to deliver, or a stabby stingray who just wants to harm us with reality.
There is a wonderful quote from Charles Bukowski that sums up this concept that I've been toying with recently absolutely perfectly: "The less I needed, the better I felt".
I am starting to realize the power in saying "no" - no to myself to buy a pink jacket which I am sure would make me really happy, but would serve no other purpose than the one already filled by countless other jackets. Saying no to going to an event that will leave me unfulfilled, exhausted, bored and possibly feeling fat after watching a parade of skinny 20-somethings glide by. And in knowing what will truly aid me, and saying no to what will impede, harm or simply sap my finances, I see there is power in this. Power in knowing, power in "no" and power in prioritizing.
Have you had a startling life realization lately? As a genuine shopaholic, I am quite amazed that I don't need stuff, and that when I don't have it and when I reflect upon not having it, I actually kinda feel better. Weird.