Friday, September 05, 2008

"The Idea of Having" via Get Rich Slowly.

This is brilliant, and I have the same problems. With the same items. Work in progress.

The Idea of Having ∞ Get Rich Slowly:
"...When we got home, I spent some time alone, thinking. I sat in my office and looked at the bookshelves. I looked at the rows and rows of comics. It occurred to met that although I’ve gained control of my current and future spending, I still struggle with the past.

“Will I ever read these?” I wondered. “Or are they just clutter?” I remembered a conversation Kris and I had last week.

“You know why you can’t get rid of Stuff, don’t you?” Kris had asked.

“Because I want it,” I said.

“You think you want it,” she said. “You like the idea of having certain things, but you don’t actually use them. You’ve got dozens of books stacked in the guest room. They’ve been there since the last time you purged Stuff a year ago. Have you needed any of those books in that time?”

“No,” I said.

“That’s my point. You can’t bring yourself to get rid of them, yet you don’t use them, either. You don’t even really want them. So they sit there. You wouldn’t even notice if you got rid of them.”

Kris is right. It’s the idea of having that appeals to me. When I look through my stacks of books, it pains me to think of purging them. Yet it also pains me to have them cluttering my life, always within eyesight, taxing my mental energy. I like the idea of having them, but not the actual possessing.

...“We each have so many interests, and certain things — like books — keep us connected to those interests, or give us the illusion that they do,” she said.

“But they also clog up our lives and make us less efficient at doing what we are and what we want to do right now. It’s hard to let go of the things that we believe represent parts of ourselves, or we hope represent us. In many cases, these things represent who we were or wished to be at one time — not who we are right now.”

Looking around at my collection of comic books, I had to ask myself, “Is this who I am? Is this who I wish to be? Are these books a part of me?”

I didn’t have an answer, and I don’t have one now."

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