Thursday, February 02, 2012

I Don't Own the Eiffel Tower

Night photo of the Eiffel Tower, courtesy of Destination 360
Photo courtesy of Destination 360

It happens all the time: you wander into a store, see something ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, and buy it.

On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with this, but do you truly think that every beautiful thing in the world must belong to you? Of course not...

We can easily distinguish between our admiration of a beautiful painting, or structure, or city, and our need to own that object of beauty.

However, when it comes to beautiful things that are available for sale, we often lose our sense of perspective. Just because a garment, scarf, handbag or piece of jewelry is aesthetically pleasing and well-crafted does NOT mean that it's appropriate for us to purchase.

Your closet is not a museum, and you are not responsible for being the curator of all of the world's loveliest objects.

Perfect objects may not be perfect for you. A hard lesson, but an essential one to learn if we are to avoid wasting money, and complicating our lives with an abundance of confusing delights which don't suit us.

love,
Janice

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies



21 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness--how true, how true!! I think I need to write that on a note card to keep in my wallet!

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  2. This week (which I am going to further discuss in a post), my husband and I have switched to cash only--foregoing the use of our credit/debit card. I know how much I am aloud to spend for the month...I have it in green bills in my wallet. This is powerful because yesterday as I was walking around a store (a thrift store no less), I had a variety of things in my clutches (and it was all for other people--"oh, my nephews might like this book...so and so might like this cookbook...mom might like this bag"). In the past I wouldn't have thought twice about going to the register and paying $20 for my found treasures--ching, ching--all things that were really just "mights". But having the $20 come out of my monthly allowance, it made me stop and consider if what I was going to buy was worth it. I put everything back. ~~Bliss

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  3. What's difficult for me is trying not to own all of the clothing that is perfect for me. I can't own every gray sheath dress (although I do my best to, unfortunately). There is always that voice in my head saying, "But what if this is the one dress that is PERFECT and I miss out on it?" That's a dangerous voice.

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  4. This is so true; in fact, the second half of the last sentence of your post rings in my mind: "complicating our lives with an abundance of confusing delights which don't suit us." What an elegant way to sum up the result of too much acquisition (you REALLY should write a book). And as Mrs. Jenner notes, the idea of "missing out" is a powerful drug -- what if I miss out? I value your insights and they really help me process my desire for beauty with my mission to simplify my life.

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  5. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this timely post. I will post this in a prominent place so that I see it daily. I soooo needed this. Well said.

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  6. this is a wonderful post - I used to suffer from wanting every single nice thing I ever came across, until I realised that owning all of those things and having too much stuff devalued everything in my closet. I'm now much happier with a more minimalist wardrobe :) love your blog! you're a great writer - do you write for a living? (if you don't mind me asking).

    xx

    www.foxtrot-echo-november.com

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  7. This is another insightful and well-written post. Thank you for the fabulous reminder!

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  8. So, so true (and your post is so well-written!)

    Another thing to remember when I'm tempted, is that there will always be more beautiful things. I might find the "perfect" thing today, and then next week there will be another "perfect"thing.

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  9. Such a true post! I am going to try and remember this each time I am tempted by a new purchase this spring. All the bright colors in stores right now make me want to add them to my own closet because they are fun and bright and feel fresh and new. But my personal style is not full of bright colors!

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  10. Thank you for todays post. Can you update your post from last year on brands, packageing and wardrobes? As I see it our wardrobe can be used as our brand. Owning too many things will spread us way too thin and take our focus away from the important things, whatever they may be.

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  11. i very much needed to read *this very thing* at *this very moment*. i had to go to the dreaded mall to pick up some necessities for my ever-growing daughter (thank goodness, children *do* grow!) and almost everything is on sale. ev.er.y.thing. and women were walking around with armloads of bags. i didn't buy because i don't need, but the temptation was strong... and then i came home and read this. a million times, thank you for reminding me that i am not alone in my thinking and philosophy.

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  12. Such wise words, and yet so hard to remember when one is listening to the siren song of an absolute lovely in the display case. I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this: what do you do to avoid the temptation? How do you distinguish between the 'perfect' one and all the many, many runners up? And what do you do when you've resolutely turned your back on the lovely thing and that acquisitive little voice in your head keeps insisting "you should have bought it. It was perfect. And now it's gone."?

    I second VO's opinion: you should REALLY write a book. AND offer wardrobe makeover consultations for paying customers.

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  13. Wonderfully put.

    I had a friend who used to walk through stores audibly muttering, "I don't want it, get it away from me". "But Arlene," I would cry, "you *asked me* to go shopping." She had a very conflicted relationship with the notion of acquisition. It's important to get right with yourself about this matter, and to realize that the urge to get stuff may wax and wane.

    As people mature, many lose that lust for more, while others, especially people who have experienced deprivation, or those who measure self-worth by possessions, keep piling it up. It is also a sign of OCD. Deep topic.

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  14. Replies
    1. aesthetic intelligenceFebruary 3, 2012 at 3:42 AM

      Ditto on that book.

      I also tell myself that acquiring that perfect item which I really don't need, deprives someone who may really need that. That perfect, beautiful skirt hanging in my closet unworn may have been just the skirt someone needed for her capsule wardrobe, in that size, color, etc. And, she would have worn it regularly.

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  15. Lovely post. I think we are biologically wired to acquire, humans weren't designed to deal with excess and abundance. So acquire we do!
    I find taking a photo in order to remember a particularly pretty object satiates the need to own.

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  16. " Your closet is not a museum, and you are not responsible for being the curator of all of the world's loveliest objects.

    Perfect objects may not be perfect for you. A hard lesson, but an essential one to learn if we are to avoid wasting money, and complicating our lives with an abundance of confusing delights which don't suit us."
    I should get this quote tattooed on my hand, so I'd see it just when i'm about to buy something absolutely beautiful I have absolutely no use for.

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  17. Is it okay if I print this page? Personal use only. It is just so well written

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  18. Is it okay if I print this page? Personal use only. It is just so well written

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    1. You may do anything with this page that you wish, just remember to give me credit! I'm very flattered that you like it.
      hugs,
      Janice

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