Living Simply: Determining What We Need

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When I was a kid, I would go to my mother around dinnertime and whine “Mom, when’s supper? I’m starving!” This was, without fail, met with a reminder that I have never been “starving” in my entire life. (You know you can relate!)

Even as an adult, I find myself using hyperbolic language. One of the words I tend to abuse the most is “need.” “I need a new swimsuit.” “We need a new blender.” “I need a better computer bag.” It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. When did desire become the mother of consumerism?

While some things in my life are genuine necessities, I’m beginning to see that too many things I consider to be necessary in my life really aren’t. Should I own a comb? Absolutely. Do I need three hairbrushes, a comb set, a hair dryer, a straightener, a curling iron, $200 worth of product, and a basket full of clips, bows, and headbands? Nope. None of those things are bad. Owning all of those things is perfectly fine. But they aren’t necessities. The same goes for clothing, kitchen appliances, furniture, and even technology.

As I downsize my life and re-prioritize, I’m trying to distinguish what I actually need from what I only want.

And for the record, I really, really want a new computer bag.

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