Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Want" vs. "Need"

For quite some time now, I’ve been mulling over the difference between what I need and what I want. Perhaps this is the result of not having had a “real” job for the past four years. I gave up my two vices as a result – buying books and CDs – and have had no problem visiting the library every week instead of adding more books to bookcases already stuffed or buying more CDs.

Or maybe I could blame the DVD my son raved about and said I should watch: “Capitalism, A Love Story”…a Michael Moore movie. I watched it and it made me think, reinforced my mission never to step foot inside a WalMart store. I applaud Michael Moore for making movies that make people think; there is so little of that any more. Perhaps my recent reading of “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn and reflecting on his theory of Leavers and Takers plays into this, too.

I look around at the items we have accumulated in the ten years hubby and I have been together added to those things we had each salvaged from our first marriages. We have too much……stuff. I’d like to call somebody who’ll just come and take it all away. Hubby is much more attached to his stuff, and he’s taking a slower, “let’s go through it room by room and see what we need” approach.

Here’s where the “want” vs. “need” comes into play. We have an extensive music collection. I’m ready to give it up. I’ve enjoyed listening to all those LPS….have indeed moved those two hundred plus LPs about twenty freaking times as well as the boxes of cassettes and CDs. I’m ready to let someone else enjoy them and NOT move them another time. It’s the same thing with my books. I already cleaned out my bookcase. It’s empty, ready to go on Craigslist and I have seven boxes of books to be taken to the used book store. If I “want” to listen to music, I can go find live music somewhere to listen to. If I “want” to read a book, the library is just down the road. I don’t “need” all those books and CDs cluttering up space…..and I don’t want to pack them when we figure out where it is we want to go.

Needs are simple for me. A bed, a chair, a table, a lamp, my laptop will do it for me. I don’t care if I have a television. I’m tired of dusting candleholders, ceramic pots, wooden bowls. We have beautiful original art on the wall. I’ve enjoyed looking at it. But now I’d like to look at the ocean or woods someplace where it doesn’t snow. I’m ready to take the artwork down, sell it and move on. Let someone else enjoy it. I don’t “need” it. And quite frankly, I don’t even “want” it anymore.

I’m not one to shop, never have been. I literally have to be dragged to a store to buy new clothes, and even then I prefer to go to The Salvation Army Thrift Shop instead of Kohl’s. You will not find the floor of my closet littered with shoes. It’s not important to me to be fashionable. I “need” and “want” clothes and shoes that are comfortable. Period.

I am going to hang onto Grandma Priscilla’s green serving plate though. I’ve moved it several times already. I’ve been told it’s some kind of rare depression glass. I don’t know about that. I pull it out sometimes when we have company and put pickles and olives and other goodies in its little sections. I keep it because Grandma used to mix up finger paints for me in it. I “need” this plate.

Oh, maybe downsizing won’t as easy as I think it will be.

No comments: