Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dealing with materialism

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I’m shocked sometimes how much I can be thrown off balance by loss of or damage to my possessions. I’ve always tried to cultivate a spiritual outlook on life, recognizing that material things are temporary and not the foundation of happiness or well-being. I have, at times, lost things and let them go without a blink. Sometimes, though, I obsess for a long, long time. Three vignettes:

1. I purchased a black v-neck fitted merino wool sweater last winter. I loved it. It was so comfortable, professional and yet cool (okay, maybe not for others, but for me!), and simply elegant. I wore it, but not so often because I treasured it so much. And because, yes, it was a bit of a pain to hand-wash. I wore it twice this season, and just hand washed it, and when I squeezed it out to dry I realized that it had been completely chomped up by moths. Irreparably. Devastated, and find myself declaring that I’ll never buy anything new again as it’s not worth it.

2. We went to VV tonight for shopping and socializing :). Driving away I realized that we didn’t have our girl’s hat, and I knew she had worn it into the store. This was a simple, comfortable, cute and warm winter hat that is my top choice for her every day. I think it cost a dollar, and as you probably know, cost is unrelated to value. There really didn’t seem to be any point in going back to look for it. We have other winter hats, but I can’t stop brooding.

3. Before we moved, we gave away my old printer. I’d had it for 10+ years. It was an ancient laser jet. I used it rarely, and had never replaced the ink, and it smeared on the edges, and we had to buy an adapter for USB ports, and I loved it, passionately. Old and reliable and classic and easy to use. We bought a new wireless all-in-one laser machine. Guess what? I can’t print to it. I’m furious, angry, frustrated and totally unable to deal with the loss of this ancient item. I try not to think about it or I find my emotions interfere with my body – I want to flail my arms and scream.

Do material things matter? I have many thoughts on this. I’m also a bit tired, so I’ll leave those for another time.

My Goldilocks Bag

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I’m on the hunt again, and I blame my husband.

I’ve been perfectly content with my current purse for almost a year. It’s a compact nylon bag by Karst with room for all my cards, money and small items. It fits neatly into a larger bag, and carries easily over my shoulder. Fully functional, though not gorgeous. However, my bag needs and wants go further that it can provide, and that’s where the problem lies.

I have a baby. That means, whenever I leave the house with her, I need to carry some stuff. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown diaper bag, but a few things (snacks, a diaper, a book). I need either a bigger bag to hold everything, or something I can toss my purse into. As it is I’ve been carrying shopping bags with the extra items – awkward and ugly. I’m also a person. I like to go out with a book and my tea mug, sometimes some files, and sit and read and write. Sometimes I run little errands and want to fit a few more things into my bag. Once you start adding up all these items, you can end up with a big, ugly bag. I want a smallish, cute purse. That is the crux of my search.

I would have ignored the situation for a while, but husband catalyzed me. I mentioned seeing a certain designer’s bags at the Bay – I recalled the name from lusting after a colleague’s purse last spring (so unprofessional – I saw her speaking at an event and all I could really remember was her purse!). Husband went down to the Bay and bought me one of his bags. Yes he did. It was lovely, but the actual style was a bit too big (so looked awkward on me) and pocket-y (so looked kind of funny). Since then I’ve been back a few times, and looked at the selection at another store, but still can’t decide. I’ve found lovely smallish bags that would hold tea and a book, but not a diaper or kids’ snacks. I’ve seen larger bags that would hold it all, but they start to feel cavernous and look huge on my short frame. One is promising but not ideal for holding a mug. What to do?

Now, of course, I can’t stop thinking about bags. Whereas before I was content with what I had, now I am desperate for the day when I can settle into my new, perfect bag. Going on errands will be more fun with this bag; doing outings with baby will be easier with this bag. But will I ever find the one, perfect bag for all my needs?