Happier at Home. Possessions. 

September. Possessions. Find a True Simplicity.

My notes while reading, Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. Quotations are indented and attributed, else they are Gretchen’s.

September is a starting month because of the school schedule. I’m reading this book and writing this blog in June right after school let out. Although this is summer now, it’s very true for me that the year begins in September. As my kids head into middle school and high school, Gretchen’s quote about the days are long, but the years are short is definitely true. Every day and night is filled with activities and the year flies by. We can count on one hand the number of summers left to spend with our daughter before she heads off to college. September is bittersweet in the long view. It’s filled with the thrill of anticipation of new classes and new friends. New soccer seasons, new volleyball seasons.

Possessions. I follow a great blog by Joshua Becker on Simplicity and down sizing. He has a beautiful view that we don’t need so much stuff. Stuff weighs us down and prevents us from enjoying life. We live on a tight ship. We comb through our closets on a regular basis and give away old clothes and stuff. We are not attached to too much stuff. Nor do we prize too much stuff. There are some gadgets that I get particularly geeked up to get. But they are very useful to triathlon. Rarely do I splurge on a purchase that I regret.

In my 17+ years of marriage, I’ve learned an awful lot about delayed gratification. My impulse spending was nipped in the bud along time ago. Clothes are a reflection of what we what to look and feel like. I only buy at a few labels and it’s quality over quantity. Recently I bought a new black suit for a bleak tie event. Again, quality over quantity.

Possessions are part of happiness. An expensive camera phone captures memories to keep. A new suit makes me feel like a million bucks at a swanky party that we’ll remember for a long time.

We often deny the importance of possessions, or feel embarrassed by our enthusiasm for them, but the desire to possess has roots very deep in human nature.

True, money can’t buy happiness, but spent wisely, it can buy things that contribute mightily to a happy life. Peoples most pressing worries include financial anxiety, health concerns, job security, and having to do tiring and boring chores, and money can help to relieve these problems. Money can help us stay close to other people, which is perhaps THE key to happiness. It can help us support causes we believe in. It can help us pursue activities that bring us happiness.

True. True. Hawaiian vacation is money well spent that brings be happiness.

Be Gretchen.

Be Joe. I might wanna buy something that is just for me. It doesn’t have to meet anyone else’s criteria. It doesn’t even have to have a good reason. No one else has to see it or approve of it. I just want to enjoy is myself. 

Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. Albert Einstein

When I felt engages with my possessions, I felt enlivened by them, and when I felt disengaged from them, I felt burdened.

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