A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gadgets and why we can live without them

Gadgets. I love gadgets. I have an iPhone after all. I wouldn't have one if I hadn't gotten it for free in a sale from my carrier, but that's neither here nor there. I love my phone.

I love my laptop too. It's four years old I think. It still runs well, after a brief issue with having to replace the hard drive a couple years ago. It runs the programs I need. It's taken to Ubuntu like a champion, and I love the Linux based operating system. I can't play many games but I don't care. I can still write, play online, and chat with friends. It's faster at loading than Windows ever was.

I don't mind Himself's computer either. It's a PC he built from the ground up. It's not as spiffy as he'd like, but he's got the chance as time goes on to upgrade it until it gets where he wants. It's going to take some time. But it'll get there.

Now, the reason I bring up my love of gadgets? I want more. I used to have the basic Kindle. We sold it for gas money when we were really hard up a little over a year ago. I want one again. Only this time I want Kindle Fire. Or I want another tablet that I can run the Kindle app on.

I want a new laptop. I said I loved mine and I do. But it's four years old. There are laptops out there faster and spiffier than mine. I want one. I'd have to take Windows 8 until I made the decision if I was going to put Ubuntu on it or keep Windows on it but I still want one.

A PC. I'd love to have PC as well as my laptop. Then I could have Ubuntu on my laptop and Windows on my PC. I could play my games on my PC and work on my laptop. I could play Sims 3 again. I'd have a computer beasty enough to play it on.

Why am I talking about my wish list here? Because I want to make a point. Yes, I do want all these gadgets. But you know what? I'm happy with what I have. None of it is the latest and the greatest. They've all got problems of their own. But I don't feel the need to go out and buy whatever shiny hits the market. I don't need them. They're not a priority in my life.

Now I'll be honest. Part of that is because I can't afford it. I've come to realize though that even if I could afford it I wouldn't do it. I'm content to keep the things I have now, and only replace them when it becomes necessary.

Our society is so focused on instant gratification that we fail to realize we need to stop and look at what we have. If something is slower than what's on the market, not as fancy, not as new, we have to get it. We focus so much on the material that we forget that we can be happy with what we have.

I'm learning to be happy with what I have. I'm learning to get rid of the same mindset I accuse general society of having. It's hard. Some days I want more. But others I just accept that what I have is what I'm going to keep and that in the end all of it is just stuff. Stuff can be sold, traded, or given away.

No, I'm not getting rid of my laptop or my phone any time soon. I do place a value on them. But my Kindle, the thing I couldn't live without? Gone. Many of the books I thought I would read over and over again but never did? Stacked up in a pile to be donated to Goodwill. Clothes I always said I'd diet down to? Also going to Goodwill.

We need to declutter and destress our lives. Take a minute. Focus on breathing rather than desiring what's out there. Sit down with what you do have. Find reasons to be happy with it. And then keep those in mind as you see commercials for the newest things. As you listen to your friends talk about their new toys. Or when you see something go through your Twitter or Facebook feeds. Close your eyes and remember that you're happy with what you have. When you come to believe it yourself, you'll have taken a huge step in freeing your mind.

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