This post is inspired by a recent post on Miss Minimalist.
In her post, she describes a baby swing that she purchased because it promised to make her fussy baby nap. Though she is a die-hard “minsumerist,” she wasted no time parting with her money to buy this swing, this promise of peace while her baby slept peacefully. Except her baby did not sleep. Uh-oh.
That swing made a promise to her and it fell short of that promise.
What about the promises we make to our stuff? Or the promises we make to ourselves when we buy the stuff that plagues us?
I have an easel. Priced at $45 at an estate sale, I took it home for $20. Oh, the things I was going to paint. And I have yet to do so, after owning the easel for months. It didn’t make any promises to me… it’s just an easel. I guess it promised to hold whatever canvas I put upon it, and it will be able to keep that promise. But I promised it I would use it and love it and paint upon it. I promised it a place of honor in my new flat (which it has, even if I never use it). I promised myself I would paint more with this easel. I have not painted anything in several months.
If you find yourself surrounded by the clutter of broken promises, evaluate them. What is the promise? Who made it? Who broke it? Can the promise be kept? If not, maybe it’s time to let go of the promise.
If you find yourself considering a new item, evaluate those promises too.
What is this item promising to do? Can you have that need met elsewhere? Are you, say, buying an easel, or a new pair of running shoes, when you haven’t been doing any painting or running? Those things won’t make you an artist or an athlete. In this instance, I think it’s better to work with what you have for now to make sure whatever promises you or your potential stuff make can be kept.
Many promises begin with good intentions. And it is okay to realize you can’t keep a promise. But we must be better stewards of our stuff and our lives and our promises and try not to make those we cannot keep (both to people and to stuff)! We must also beware the pretty promises that stuff makes when it wants to make its new home with us.
Have you made any unkept promises to your stuff?