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If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
When It Comes to Accumulating Things, Less Really is More
Why is it that every day my daughter expects something new? From a stuffie (stuffed animal) to clothes to a piece of candy.
It is the something/anything syndrome.
I am trying to teach her that we are in a recession. Her pronunciation of it is difficult enough. Though it is the explanation that counts.
Money. Have to save. People are losing their jobs. No Daddy still has his work. Yes, Mommy is still bringing in money, too, however small it may be.
Mimi does get it. The problem is that she still wants it -- something/anything.
No, has become a very big word in my vocabulary: as have -- be appreciative, be grateful for what you have, not for what you don't, maybe for your birthday.
Confession: I want things, too. The worst the recession gets, the more I want, even though I've never needed less.
My car is perfectly fine. It is a 2001, in decent shape and has only 60,000 miles. Yet, I will have a new car before the end of the year. This week I will test drive the new Prius, in black, and the Honda Insight. I feel as though I have to make up for our family's lack of ecological karma, what with two SUVs polluting the planet. Plus, the inside of the Prius, the way it lights up, I feel like I'm on a space ship ready to take off (though I think the acceleration is probably a tad different).
My latest obsession is the new iPhone. About three months ago I bought an iPhone, even though I instinctively knew that a new one would be out in the summer (despite Apple and AT&T telling me not to count on it). I didn't think I could wait until then so I bought the one they had at the time. Then the iPhone 3GS just came out. It is twice as fast, double the battery life, has a much improved camera and more importantly, video recording capabilities that can be immediately downloaded to YouTube.
Mind you, I've already loaded the new software for my old iPhone onto my current phone and it provides many of the improvements found on the new phone. You can write in landscape mode, it has an audio recorder, you can cut and paste information.
Still, it's not the same. I want the new one.
There is the small matter of the $500 I would have to pay AT&T to get a new phone, even though mine is only three months old. There is no way I am going to do that.
Cheapness wins over function every time when my brain cells are all firing. I will keep my iPhone. Besides, I don't need the new one because I already have a flip camcorder for downloading to UTube, which I rarely use.
Still, every ad for the new iPhone speaks to me. I try not to listen.
Something/anything. Am I really any different than my daughter? I want, want, want, too.
I very much use the mantra of -- less is more. Mimi very much neither uses, believes, nor understands the concept. One day she will. Fewer things that really count, have meaning and memory are what matter. Not the number of them.
On the car, though, that one I feel I do need a change. I want to leave a smaller carbon footprint behind (my husband rolls my eyes at this. I kinda do too. As soon as the words spring off my tongue, I think, 'You are so full of shit. You just want a new car.')
The truth is I could lose pretty much every thing I have and I would be fine. It is a lesson I continually teach my daughter and one I still need to remind myself.
Something/anything? How about nothing? There is something very elegant about it. I think my daughter and me might try it more often.
By Dawn Yun
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