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A Shift In Priorities

I’ve felt a shift in my priorities lately.
When I was a 20-something, I thought my success was best reflected in my spending power.
Carrying or wearing a designer label obviously meant I had the means to afford it, right?

At some point I realized though, if I kept spending my money the result is I would have no money. Just stuff. Clutter. And then, that stuff would be relegated to the donation pile due to its lack of use. Or, those short-term assets would be sold to fund my short-term debts.

What was the point in keeping up with technology if it’s obsolete within 6 months?
… And the version I have still worked perfectly despite all the media buzz?
And without discrediting brands like Burberry, which are obviously built to last, I stopped considering clothing, shoes and handbags an “investment.”
I’d rather invest in my marriage, and my relationships with my children.
I’d rather spend money on experiences, for that is one thing we can spend money on and we’ll be richer in the end.

Perhaps this is a sign of the evolution from 20-something to 30-something: to buy and use only what we need, and save the rest for really living. 

Especially lately, I’ve grown uncomfortable with the amount of consumption I’ve observed. 

I understand we need things – we need shelter, we need clothing, and we need shoes. We need to put food on the table, and “cover the four walls” by paying for our living expenses. But who needs expansive estates, when even Warren Buffet still resides in his suburban Nebraska home? Who needs 15 vests when you can only wear one at a time? Who needs so much jewelry that they “forget” they have particular pieces? And yes, I am guilty of all of this myself.

Two things are behind this current train of thought: Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her concept of keeping only what “sparks joy;” and the documentary, “The True Cost,” which is available on Netflix. The documentary especially has forced a closer look at my footprint as a consumer, and I highly recommend you watch it as well.

Maybe, just maybe – success is instead reflected on our power to save and our power to experience.
Maybe success is reflected in our ability to clock out at 5 p.m., and not think about work until the start of our shift the next day. Then, those hours in between are invested in the time we have with our loved ones.
No one speaks “I wish I had worked longer hours” as their last words on their death bed.
Work has become this all-consuming thing to the point that people’s only reason for traveling, is for business trips.
And that isn’t what I want my children to use as a model for their lives.

Society has gotten so busy making a living that they forget to make a life.
I’m making some changes, thankful for the lessons I have learned and for the knowledge that has come with it.

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