Happy New Year’s Eve!
2018 already? Wow. 2017 was jam-packed full of excitement, adventure, and chaos; lots of domestic travel, the birth of my nephew, and many other happy memories in-between. I personally love New Year’s Eve/Day. There’s something exciting and refreshing about beginning a new year and saying “goodbye” to the previous one. When we reflect on the past year, look at photos/social media, etc, it’s pretty amazing how many cool experience we’ve had. I feel especially grateful this time of year, and encouraged to make the upcoming year even better than the last. Additionally, I love this holiday because it’s something the world can celebrate together.
With all of that being said, I want to discuss something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time–being my best self. More specifically, thoughts on how I’m working on myself to lessen consumerism, live simply, and valuing happiness.
A few months ago, I was looking to purchase a designer bag that I had been eyeing. This was shortly before my birthday and I thought, “I work hard & my birthday is coming up, go for it.” I had seen this bag countless times, carried by women of all ages and styles. It’s a large bag and I thought it would be great for me since I travel often. No big deal, right? Wrong. As I looked over the various bag styles, I had another thought. “Am I purchasing this because I like it or because it’s popular?” “If the logo wasn’t on this bag, would I like it as much?” I couldn’t immediately answer these questions so I decided to hold off on the purchase. This was out-of-character for me, so I did some reflecting.
Materialism is something most people are guilty of to some degree. Whether it’s clothing, handbags, technology, cars, etc, everyone desires something & many desire the best of the best/luxury items. One of my problem areas is the “home shopping” category. Put me in a Z Gallerie or HomeGoods and I light up like Clark Griswold’s house in the movie “Christmas Vacation.” Random picture frame? Sure! A mirror that I have no place for, even though it’s gorgeous? Count me in! At this point, I’m buying for the sake of buying. This is something we could all work on, especially when things are on sale/clearance. Who needs six pairs of Halloween socks just because they’re marked down 79 cents/pair on November 1st? (Answer: my Grandma…not really, but she thinks she does). Instead of wasting money on things you don’t need, build up your savings or purchase something you do need/want. Feel me?
When it comes to clothing, handbags, & accessories, I’m much better than I once was. As a pre-teen and teen, of course I wanted the Abercrombie & Fitch jeans and Tano bags. I’d save my allowance because my parents couldn’t afford those types of things on a regular basis. Up until a few years ago, I unknowingly thrived on brand-names. “It’s brand-XYZ, it must be stylish!” Or so I thought. Nowadays, I purchase with intention & prefer quality over quantity. I have high end bags, but I bought them because I truly loved the design & quality, not because they shouted, “Look at me, I’m expensive.” I don’t care for labels too much; very few items I own actually have the brand names written on the exterior (a few LV bags come to mind, but I truly like the way they look, which is all that matters). It’s okay to spend money on a nice, high end item (if you can afford to do so), if you love it & truly feel it will add value to your life. I’m a believer in buying investment pieces—classic items that will last through the years—regardless of designer status. Reasons not to purchase something: you can’t afford it, you’re trying to impress people, or you’re purchasing the item to fill a void. I will never stop shopping and purchasing things I genuinely desire, but I refuse to fixate on items or allow them to define me. The older I get, the less I care about other’s opinions on who I am or what I own. I seek health, family, happiness, and love. Things won’t make you truly happy, but loved ones and experiences will.
Quick announcement– John Paul & I are officially moving back to Tulsa in August! If you followed my old blog, you know that I’ve been missing Oklahoma ever since we moved to Florida. We’ve gone back and forth on what we should do long-term and have finally made the decision to move back to my home state. We are eager to start a family of our own, and know that being close to all of my relatives and the area I was raised in, will be best overall. We will be building our home (under contract as of last week!) and decided to downsize a bit (less to take care of, simpler living!) & opt for a prime location. We’ll be less than a minute from coffee shops, restaurants, parks, riverside, etc. and less than 5 minutes from Whole Foods & Pure Barre (yay!). I love urban living and we feel this area gives us all the amenities we want yet is still tucked away enough for comfort. We’re thankful for the five years we’ve had in Florida, and will miss our friends dearly (as well as JP’s family, of course!).
We are *really* looking forward to 2018. At the risk of sounding cliche, I think this may be our best year yet.
Cheers to a fabulous new year!
P.S. Here’s a photo I snapped with my iPhone of a MAC ad on the tram in the Atlanta airport. Thought it looked cool.