When enough is too much

I grew up with pretty much the basic essentials. My family didn’t starve, but when it came to luxuries, there weren’t many. My dad was a stingy cheap bastard and didn’t like to spend anything on his family unless it was a necessity. My story isn’t unique, it’s just the way it was.

So, when I was old enough and could support myself, I bought everything I could because I wanted to spoil myself. I play guitar, so I bought myself lots of guitars. I love playing and recording music, and making videos, so I bought every newest up to date piece of gear I could because I loved being able to do it. I loved having things. I collected things. Guitars, amps, clothes, DVDs video games, CDs, just anything that I wanted and liked. I eventually realized that after  a while, I didn’t really need any of it. And after the luster of owning the shiny thing wore off, I’d go look for another new thing to want and buy.

I was just addicted to buying things. Being a consumer. Shopping in general. The rush of seeing, wanting, then owning. Did it make me any happier? Not really. It was almost like it was merely for bragging rights. I had friends when I was growing up that had parents that spoiled them and gave them whatever they wanted. I was so envious of them. So, when I was old enough and had the means, I figured I would see what it was like to live the good life.

Going back to my dad. He was a cheap bastard, however he would always say the same thing. “You’ll get that, and then in a few days, you’ll be tired of it”. He was right. You can buy a brand new car with all the bells and whistles, and eventually it’ll be outdated, and/or it’ll just be your car after that new car smell wears off. I bought as much stuff as I could ever want. I even went into debt for it. Which I eventually got out of after years of credit card payments, yet, still, there was an emptiness inside that I couldn’t put my finger on. I couldn’t buy happiness.

I’ve been to Costa Rica which is a “third world country”, but the reality is, the people there are the richest in the world. The have everything they need and more, and yet they live in “poverty”. I never realized how much I didn’t need until I went to a poor country. It’s an amazing thing to experience.  I look at my house when I return from there and I immediately want to send everything to Goodwill.

I  guess the moral of this blog is that if I can look at the things that I already have that I didn’t have before, I can make an inventory of the things I really do need and get rid of or sell the rest because it’s basically clutter. If I can beat the consumer bug and not feel a need to keep purchasing new things all the time and be grateful for what I already have, I can get out of debt, and stay out. Because things don’t make me happy. Doing things with what I already have does. And sharing those things with my friends and family is the most important part. It’s no good to have anything if you can’t share it with someone. Even with a stranger. This life is meant to be experienced with others, and if I spend all my time working to buy more stuff, I won’t have any time to spend with my nephews and nieces, and all of my friends and family and the next thing I know, I’ll be too old and they’ll all be grown up.

So, on that note, I vow to take what I already have and find out what is really useful and important, and what I can sell the rest. Then share the RC cars, the extra guitars, and the 3D home theatre I have with my family instead of looking to go buy the newest video game console. I already have so much, I really don’t any more. Enough was too much. It’s time to be thankful for what I already have and use the current technology at this level to make music, or have fun with. Because having the news console isn’t always better. Not to mention, every time something new comes out, it’s full of bugs anyway. I’ll stick with the old OS…