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Posts tagged ‘family’

Stuff – 3 reasons why we shouldn’t feel bad about wanting it

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Photo credit: itsmeaamy.tumblr.com

We live in a materialistic world. A world where having the newest, shiniest thing is the biggest measure of how cool you are, what you have achieved and, if the self-righteous people are to be believed, how shallow you are underneath all your clobber. But worry not fellow stuff-lover, I’m here to tell you that loving bits and bobs is okay… even in a horrible, never-ending recession.

Buying nice things makes us feel good. It’s a scientific fact. According to a study, one third of women get a high when they shop. You don’t have to spend a lot to get that buzz, contrary to popular belief. So when you return home with lots of bags, be sure to make clear to the disapproving face in the household that you purchased most of it in the sale or in the stationery shop. Don’t lie though. If you are hiding your spending, find out why and fix it. You don’t want to end up in shopping therapy in Confessions of the Shopaholic style.

Nice things make days go quicker. I love my iPhone. It’s not my whole life, but it makes me feel better when I tap away at it and it looks nice. It makes writing text messages enjoyable and reading work emails at home bearable. I buy a variety of stationery for work because I like having a different coloured pen and a pretty notebook to take notes – it makes note taking in a three hour meeting fun. I even bought my own patterned coordinated desk tidies for my work station. Yes, I’m that sad but I’m happy about it. This doesn’t mean that I love or value my family any less. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have deep and meaningful conversations with friends or that I scream and giggle like a bimbo cheerleader in a teen movie. I’m not Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. I just like nice stuff. Sometimes people get those things confused. (I do love Elle Woods though. I’d like her to be my best friend. And I’d also like her car…)

Finally, nice things work better. If you take the time to choose and buy something, whether it’s shoes or a laptop, if you’ve taken the time to choose one you like the look of and does what you want, it will work better for you. Therefore it will be more rewarding and make your life more efficient and happier. Why not show off your soundly researched new purchase? You made an educated buy. Well done you. I promise that talking about your new printer with AirPrint, that also fits in perfectly with your decor, does not mean that you will neglect your children.

BUT…

You should have nice things because you like them, not because the diamond-encrusted version is the most expensive or the leopard print one is the most hard to come by. In most cases, it’s true that you get what you pay for but as has been trotted out by great leaders through time such as Zeus (NB: I might have made that up) money really can’t buy you taste. Nothing screams ‘I just want you to know how much money I have’ more than a pink Range Rover with Cath Kidston flower motif. Yes, it might be good quality, but I can guarantee no-one is thinking ‘I bet the seats are really well stitched in there’ as you cruise by. You know I’m right. If, on the other hand, you haven’t bought the pink one just because you want people to stare, then why not – it’s your money, do what you want with it. (You must really love pink.)

Learn whether people who are telling you that you are materialistic are right or just plain jealous. Most people would buy a big house if they had the money to do so. Most people would not then ditch their life-long friends who let them sleep on the coach in the hard times for the rock star who lives down the road. (For the record, I’d totally take you along for the ride.) If you’d sell your grandma for the new Chloé bag, then you’ve crossed the line.

So go forth, shop, talk about ‘stuff’ and write about it in coloured pens. I’ll be right here, waiting for the announcement of the new iPhone…

Family (58)

I wasn’t sure what to write about today. I have lots of holiday stories, and a few more book and film reviews but i’m not in the mood to write any of those. I’m actually a bit crabby and irritable today, but mostly i’m sad. So I thought about what could I write about to match my mood, and I immediately thought family.

No, no, not like that. I love my family, and I miss them, hence this blog post makes sense. I’m sad and missing them also makes me sad. Are you with me now?

It’s strange to go from spending almost 24/7 with them on holiday, to almost no time at all. I remember when I moved out to go to university, it was such a huge step but I was so excited. I was going to be a grown up and step out on my own. And as we all discover, it was hard but amazing all at the same time.

After uni I returned home for only a few months before moving out again. I love being out here by myself but I miss the family-ness.

It’s not just the lack of responsibility. Sure I miss having my washing done, meals made for me and not having to pay bills, but that’s not what i’m mourning right now. Currently I am missing the closeness of the family unit. Reading in the same room as someone who is writing, arguing about what TV programme everyone will end up watching, bickering over where to go out to eat, private jokes built over years, and the easy mocking that comes from knowing people so well.

I love them and I miss them, and my recent holiday brought the closeness back and then ripped it away. I’m sad about that, and i’m not ashamed to say it.

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