Posted by: Anna | July 16, 2010


I have never spent much time thinking about how much I have. It’s a lot. I have started to notice this more acutely during the last few months. Since we are putting all of our stuff in storage and going to be with just a backpack for a year, we are trying to eat all of our food from the pantry and freezer. I have stopped buying new makeup, facewash, hair products, etc. I never realized that I probably have enough makeup to last me two years. I have enough hair products for several months. We have enough food in our pantry to last a long time. Why do I buy more moisturizer when I already have some? Is the promise of a different product so compelling? Why do I have four different shapes of pasta? Three kinds of mustard?

My grandmother on my mother’s side is famously frugal. My inner Grandmother June protests at the thought of throwing out food when we pack up. It makes me feel very uncomfortable to think of just throwing out makeup when I leave – I have at least 15 different colors of eye shadow alone. I should feel blessed to have so much, and yet I feel annoyed at myself for the waste of it all.

I still daydream about my dream house, with its beautiful outdoor kitchen, my pink office, and welcoming dining room. I watched Shopaholic (the movie) last night, and it just made me think about it more. Stuff, stuff, and more stuff. I like to shop as much as the next person. I love to have great clothes. I enjoy a nice environment. I’m not sure how that fits in with me.

In the book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin makes a resolution to spend money to bring joy – to really choose the things that bring not just joy at acquisition, but true joy. One of her assertions is that money can buy happiness, used properly. Not lasting happiness, but there are things that you can get with money that do increase your joy. It’s true – a visit from a friend from out of town (takes money) can bring happiness, a thoughtful card, a practical little convenience, a symbol of some accomplishment – can all truly make life a pleasure.

So the way of the aesthete is not for me; perhaps a mindful spender is more of a fit. I have some satisfaction in having a choice – more than one cleanser to choose from, more than one type of mustard – it’s like it makes me feel prosperous. I’m sure there is therapy for this sort of thing…

Anyway, today is Friday. Tomorrow we have our open water certification for scuba, where we dive in the lake. I’m very nervous. Wish me luck!!



  1. I am so enjoying your posts! I can’t wait to read about your dive in the lake. Be sure to write about it right away!

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