Saturday, November 8, 2008


i didn't grow up having a whole lot. if i needed new clothes or shoes, i waited until christmas or my birthday. then i put the important things on my list, and what i got had to last me until the next time i got gifts. this was fine by me and taught me a lot about what is really important in life. my family got along well and welcomed people into our home. friends would stop by and were made to feel a part of the family. i never felt lacking in any way.

that way of living has followed me throughout my life. i've never even had a clothing budget... gasp... it's true. not because troy won't let me but because i wouldn't even know what to do with it. buy clothes, i guess :) even now i will save up a list of things i need and ask for them for christmas or birthday. and i'm really happy.

but sometimes, it feels like i shouldn't be. recently, we went over to the mall (an exceptionally yuppie mall, in my opinion) to get out of the rain and have a place to hang out. i was overwhelmed. everywhere i looked i felt as though i was bombarded by a "look like this", "wear this", "smell like this", "eat this", "have this" attitude. there has to be a balance. i want to look nice and put together. i want to feel good about myself. but i don't want to get sucked into that consumer mindset. i feel like i get pulled from one extreme to the other. i really admire people who are able to find that balance. and it's something i'm working on.


Amy said...

I can definitely relate by feeling overwhelmed by going to the mall or other places like that...all of a sudden I feel insecure and out of style and like everyone is silently saying that I need to have something different or look differently. I guess that's why I don't like shopping much! I can't imagine just browsing through the stores when I'm not looking for something I really need and knowingly walking into a situation that makes me feel like that "for fun". The good thing is that a lot of times when you stay away from those places, you feel just fine about everything. :)

Trevor Hardy said...

I, too, struggle with the fighting consumerism and materialism. I tend to despise malls to the extent that I really prefer to never enter them. I rarely have visceral reactions to my environment but malls are a great exception. When I enter I feel overwhelmed with intanglible demands to better myself through stuff. It is repulsive.

No, my struggles are on the other end. Right now, my wife and I both have well-paying jobs, live in a low cost-of-living city (Wichita) and have no children. We make more than enough money to survive and that makes it easy to be generous towards others and bless them as we have been blessed. My struggle with materialism comes from the fact our high income puts a lot of stuff within financial grasp. Our fight is to be responsible with money we have and to do our best to try to live more modestly with each passing year.

My income has varied enough through the years of my life to know that regardless of your income, it is never going to be enough to do all that you want, even if what you want is very noble (charity work, for example). My fight is to learn to be content with whatever financial situation I am in.