Stuff: To Have or To Do?

We may (or may not) be coming off of a time when having stuff was the material measure of success in life. Bigger and more. More cars, bigger houses, more toys, bigger property. I don’t like stuff. It gives me anxiety. Please don’t ever give me a Margarittaville mixer for Christmas. But beyond an idiosyncrasy for avoiding clutter, having stuff is often the opposite of doing stuff. For instance, people work many hours per week to be able to afford the stuff they want. They need to prove their material success in order to obtain more of it, so they work even longer. They work longer still to provide their kids with all the stuff they want. But how often do they enjoy it? Does the ATV sit idle in the garage? Does the boat get on the water more than twice a summer? It’s a matter of opinion, I suppose, but doing stuff is way better than having stuff. Doing stuff: spending time with my family, sky diving, traveling, running, reading, lifting weights, horseback riding, volunteering, studying martial arts, hiking, perfecting a hobby. I’m not interested in buying exercise equipment because that’s what gyms are for. It’s a good example of being able to share stuff, but not being able to share time. I’ll need a bigger garage or a bigger basement to store my universal gym. So I’ll need to work even more hours to afford it.  In the interest of integrating with society I have to compromise on some of this. If I had it my way I would live in a studio apartment with a mattress, some clothes, and my laptop. Everyone has some stuff they want, and rightfully so. I’m no exception. I’m just only interested in stuff that will provide me with more memorable experiences again and again (i.e. a summer cottage). I have a cousin that has spent a lot of money on airsoft equipment. But that stuff, is used on his cousins and friends and allows us to have a fantastic experience together. That’s a good stuff investment (especially for me). What’s at the very top of your short list—something you don’t need but you really, really want?

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