Friday, 6 April 2018

April 6, 2018 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings

   I recently read about a gal who decided to go on a year-long shopping ban, and at the same time, she purged 70% of her belongings. 

   Now, she freely admitted that she was completely caught up in consumerism, but the big thing that she noticed when she did this personal experiment was that she had a house full of stuff for who she thought she “should” be, not who she really was.

   She had bookshelves bursting with the type of books she thought she “should” read to be seen as intelligent.  She had a closet stuffed full of clothes that she thought she “should” wear to be recognized as competent and professional.  She had cupboards, and a fridge, crammed with food items that she thought she “should” be eating because all the diet books told her to eat those foods.  She had piles and piles of unopened boxes containing supplies and equipment for hobbies she thought she “should” be doing to make herself a better person.

   Yet, none of these items that she thought she “should” own were used or appreciated, because she didn’t like them, or even really want them.  And, because her house was so full of these items, she was constantly reminded that she wasn’t who she thought she “should” be, so she was always feeling intense stress, which affected her health on all levels. 

   Once she got rid of it all, and started accepting she was who she was - reading what she enjoyed reading, wearing what she felt comfortable and at ease in, eating what made her feel healthy, and revisiting the hobbies from her past that she actually enjoyed doing - she discovered that she was much happier, healthier, and less stressed all around.

   I’d like to clarify a point here.  The author didn’t accumulate all the stuff in her house in an effort to be the person SHE “wanted” to be, but to be who she thought OTHERS wanted her to be.

   So, how much of your “stuff” reflects who you really are, and how much of it reflects who you think you “should” be? 

   Once you know that, buying something new to create a better version of yourself, for yourself, not others, won’t bring stress and guilt, but joy.


Contact The Chautauqua via email: or via Facebook: