on wanting things

We have too much stuff. We try to actively declutter – clothes, toys, books, things – but some days it seems that we accumulate as quickly as we cull. And some days the dance between WANTING something but not wanting MORE STUFF is a fast and complicated one, and one that causes a fair bit of conflict (both internal and marital!).

I have recently finished reading Changing Gears. The impact that it had on me is worth it’s own blog post, but one of the main things that I took from it was how stuff creates stuff creates stuff (that’s the Jenn version; Greg Forsythe is a tad more eloquent.) An example of this is the idea that we need to shower. Incorrect. The human need is to wash – the invention of the shower is just the tip of the iceberg. With the shower comes the shower gel, the exfoliator, the pumice stone, the cleanser, the shampoo and conditioner. The back brush, the shower curtain, the glass door, the squeegee to clean the glass door. Then there’s the easy off BAM!, the shower spray and walk away, the gumption, the old tooth brush for the grout. Don’t forget necessities like the shower caddy, soap holder and bath mat… But I digress (also, I love showers).

I’m currently challenged in the babywearing department. I used an ErgoBaby carrier with our first and it was great. Fast, reliable, easy to use…  By the time number two came along I’d had the (mis?)fortune of seeing what else was on the market. Stretchy wraps, other soft structured carriers, ring slings, wovens. I bought a Hugabub before he was born and a Breeze Baby mesh ring sling not long after. The Hugabub gave me the confidence to wrap and I loved feeling him close by. I decided I’d love to get a woven wrap so set about selling my three other carriers to fund my dream wrap.

baby wearingWhen I found *the one* I was chuffed to discover that it wasn’t quite as hideously expensive as I feared it may be. It was perfect. Earthy reds, right up my colour alley, with stripes that weren’t rainbows (I think I mustn’t be crunchy enough for rainbows, they just don’t do it for me). I contacted Natalie from Woven Wraps Australia and explained to her that it was to be my only wrap, so I wanted it to be just right. Soft enough for an infant, strong enough for a toddler (I desperately wanted to carry Miss 2 as well), easy enough to break in. She steered me away from the TRIspice (pictured) as it was 100% cotton, and suggested a cotton/linen blend for added strength and durability. I checked out the Ellevil linen range and chose the Zara Bluez instead. woven wrapIt arrived in record time from Norway and my little guy loves it. When he’s upset he visibly softens and settles when he sees me unravelling the wrap. It’s comfortable, softening up nicely, and meets our needs perfectly.

And then.

A couple of weeks ago on the local baby wearing buy/sell/swap page someone was advertising the TRIspice in a cotton/linen size 5, fully broken in, for a really reasonable price. I was gutted. It was my dream wrap! I didn’t think it came in linen! And the size was right! And it was soft and floppy already! Gah!!!! I moaned to my husband but managed to pull myself together for long enough for other people to show interest in buying it, by which stage it was revealed that it was in fact 100% cotton, and not a blend. Crisis averted. Until my mum wanted to buy me something from Europe for my birthday and I thought maybe I could find a French or German woven wrap. And then I decided they were too expensive and thought I should look closer to home and second hand so I didn’t have to break it in. And then I obsessed over whether I should get a ring sling or a shortie and some sling rings (for more versitility), or a mid length wrap. And then I spent hours back on the Buy Sell Swap page desperate for a broken in bargain, still unsure about what I was looking for exactly, certain that I’d know it when I saw it, possessed by the Fear of Missing Out, cursing when I missed out on several said bargains by 20 minutes, feeding the Facebook monster and recently suppressed addiction once more. All for a bit of baby wearing fabric when I have a perfectly suitable and beautiful wrap already that contains just the right amount of Sleepy Dust and that the Boy Child loves.

Stuff! Besides which I really *need* a running pram and the $80-100 that I was looking at for a wrap would cover a second hand pram that I could take the baby running in. We’re so gripped by consumerism that we buy several pairs of the same shoes in different colours. Or several different pairs of shoes for essentially the same purpose. That we upgrade our smart phones, televisions and computers every 12-24 months because we’re told they’re no longer smart/pretty/slim/big/technologically advanced enough for us. That we buy magazines to tell us what else we should buy. That we have daily deals delivered straight to our inboxes for stuff that we *need* but haven’t yet realise that we need. That we think we need a running pram even though we have Big Bertha the mother of all double prams and a little runabout single and we’d much rather run kid-free anyway… Ahem.

Try long-lasting consumerism{image from here}

We have pretty simple needs really. Sure, creature comforts can certainly enhance our lives and it’s fun to collect beautiful things (plus did mention I love having showers?) but too often we get caught up thinking that more possessions equals more happiness and that contentment can be bought with a credit card. My challenge is to be grateful for what I have, to take pleasure – and be creative – with what I don’t, and relinquish my Fear Of Missing Out by replacing it with a fat dose of Joy Of Missing Out.

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Two Beautiful Bunnies

I'm a mama to two beautiful babies. I have started this blog to gather my thoughts and try to improve who I am as a person but particularly as a mother, wife, daughter and sister.

Gabrielle Bernstein, Inc.

Become the happiest person you know!

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