It feels good to exercise our willpower muscle. I think it’s like our other muscles in that we have to exercise it once in a while to strengthen it. Otherwise our willpower gets weak. I’m happy to say I’m the proud non-owner of a few things lately.
I recently bought a new pair of shoes so I got rid of two pair. I loved the new ones so much that I when I got an email that they were having a sale, I thought I should probably get another pair. I even had them in my online cart but finally decided against it. If they had a sale once, they’ll have it again sometime. When these are getting worn out, I’ll think about buying another pair.
You may have noticed that have written multiple posts about books. I have a weakness for them and have difficulty resisting cheap or free ones. That makes it difficult when I’m at the local library and they have shelf after shelf filled with used books for sale at 50 cents each. A few months ago I bought an organizing book there hoping for some new ideas and inspiration. So far, it’s been a little disappointing but I’m still hopeful. However, I have resisted buying several other books that caught my eye so that must count for something.
The biggest and most expensive thing I’ve managed not to own lately though was a camper. I keep thinking that it would be fun to take trips in an RV or a camper. I guess I have visions of the kids lounging on the couch or bed in an RV rather than buckled into the backseat of our SUV. I picture having all of our stuff packed in drawers and closets so that when we arrive somewhere it’s all available, rather than me making 14 trips to the car to carry in all the suitcases, backpacks, and sleeping bags.
Then, reality sets in and I think about how it really will be. My kids will be fighting and wrestling, not sitting quietly. Our stuff won’t be stored neatly. They’ll have things all over the place. Then, there’s the maintenance. An RV is basically a small house combined with a truck. Both of them need to be maintained and can have expensive problems. I can’t even keep up with maintenance on the house I live in, much less a second one with wheels and an engine. It still sounds like it could be fun, but I’m glad I didn’t rush to buy one right now.
So there you go. Three things that I’m happy to say I didn’t buy. It actually feels pretty good to know I still have that money I almost spent on something I didn’t need and I don’t have to find time and space in my life for them. Unfortunately, I don’t think exercising my willpower counted as real exercise and it certainly isn’t going to help me run that 5K I have coming up in a few weeks. However, I think it is important. You should try it sometime.
I’ve been extremely busy lately with all the kids’ end of the school year stuff coupled with some projects around the house. Not to mention running to softball games, t-ball games, Church events, etc. I’ll keep this short and remind everyone that this Sunday is Father’s Day in case you forgot.
Like many holidays, people often buy gifts for Father’s Day so my job is to remind you to be thoughtful about your gift and not buy “stuff” that he may not want. If he has requested something specific, that’s different. In that case it will be something he uses and hopefully won’t become clutter. But please don’t run to the mall or jump on Amazon and pick the first thing that grabs your eye.
Out of curiosity, I looked at Amazon’s list of “What dad really wants” and apparently dad wants a new shirt, watch, or wallet. The shirt probably won’t fit. The watch will be the wrong color or style. And the wallet he has is just fine. I also found it interesting that Amazon’s list defaulted to “under $50”. Maybe that’s based on my shopping history.
OK. It was actually the Amazon Fashion list of Father’s Day gifts, hence the clothes and accessories, but you get the point.
Anyway, if you have no idea what to get dad this Father’s Day, I recommend consumables or experiences as always. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Just remember that the most valuable gift you can give anyone is your time.
Happy Father’s Day to all my fellow dads out there and especially to my own dad.
I recently wrapped up a trip to visit my family for a long weekend.
As always, it was great to see everyone for a few days even if I had to work for part of the trip. It’s a long story but my dad’s house was in disarray and he needed help going through boxes and rearranging.
He knows he has too much stuff, but comes from a generation schooled in the “you might need it someday” philosophy. We spent an entire afternoon going through boxes and moving things around to get somewhat prepared for the garage sale he was planning to have the following weekend.
I am not complaining about helping and I was glad to do it. However, it occurred to me later that this is a perfect case for not spending our lives accumulating stuff. Spending time with my sisters and my dad was still fun, but if he didn’t have so much stuff sitting around, we could have spent the day just visiting or doing something else together.
The problem with stuff is that it can get in the way of spending meaningful time with family and friends.
Instead of playing a board game or sharing a bottle of wine over good conversation, you end up spending weekend visits sorting through boxes of old books and VHS tapes. (I’m not kidding, every time we turned around it seemed like we found another box of VHS tapes). In one box, we came across an unopened cribbage game. I’ve never played cribbage and have no idea how, but one of my sisters plays. We talked about how after we finished, we should open it and she could teach us how to play. When I headed home at the end of the weekend, the cribbage game still sat unopened.
I challenge you all to not live your life with that possibility of spending quality time with your friends and family because you’re too busy rearranging the boxes of stuff in the garage. Maybe cribbage sucks. I don’t know, but it will be a little while until I have the chance to find out and play it with my sisters.
On a positive note, we spent the following day just sitting around and visiting with family at my nephew’s graduation. Some of us even excused ourselves from the party for a little while to visit the brewery across the street. I lost a bet with my brother-in-law and had to buy but I enjoyed one of the best oatmeal stouts I’ve had in a while.
Overall, it was a great visit and I came home reinvigorated in my pursuit to get rid of the excess stuff sitting around my home and to spend more quality time with my family. I hope you will do the same.
Copyright Dave Lubke and www.davelubke.com, 2018
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