Last week, as I raised my arm to put on my mascara, I, for the first time in years, looked, I mean really looked, at the “ancient” bright green robe I use every morning when I get out of the shower. It hit me that every morning for the last 25 years plus (and I’m not even exaggerating), I have worn this thing until my makeup is applied and my hair is done, and yet somehow, I hadn’t realized until that moment exactly how long it had been since my mom had given it to me when I was in high school. Over 9,125 days ago! As I look at it, the only thing really telling of its age are a few holes and the sleeves that are so frayed that they are no longer full length sleeves. Every once in awhile, I have to cut off another chunk to keep the frayed ends from dragging everything off the bathroom vanity. But hey, full length sleeves on a robe are overrated, so it’s all good. I thought about the reason why I still have this thing. I had tried to replace it on several occasions with something prettier, less utilitarian, or more updated, but nothing ever did the job or fit quite like that old green robe.
I had to think about my life, our lives, in general. How many things do we throw away or replace, not because they are no longer working and need replacing, but because we crave the new, the shiny, the latest…..new phones, tablets, computers, TV’s, gaming systems, furniture, homes, home decor, vehicles, clothing….the list goes on and on. It can take a toll on us personally, as well as on our finances.
Because of this and because of how I was raised, it is generally not hard for me to hold onto old things. I had it deeply instilled in me that you don’t go buy something new unless the old thing is done (and that’s after you try to fix it, hold it together with wire, glue it, maybe even use it broken hoping it will pass), but it is still difficult for me at times. Every once in awhile I feel the need to splurge, to just go buy that new, shiny thing even if the “old” thing will do. And sometimes I do, and sometimes it really is as spectacular as they made it out to be. But more often than not, I hold onto the thing that still does its job, and in looking at my adult life spanning over two decades now, I know I am better off for it. Just walking away from the temptation is hard, but when you really crunch the numbers, when you really think about how things add up, is it worth it? Is it worth working more hours? Is it worth the nail biting moment when you have to pay bills and you hope there is enough there? Is it worth the worry?
I would challenge each one of us to hang onto the old for the next two months, four months, six months and see if it truly makes a difference. You may be surprised at how much contentment and ease of mind can be found in resisting the temptation. After all, when it’s your decision and you own that decision, it’s no longer deprivation, it’s empowerment!
Home Repair Coordinator