Oct 252014
 

“I can’t believe how expensive these new phones are!”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I could retire now. I am shocked at how quick people are to complain about prices of things they could not have even imagined would exist a decade ago.

What should the value be of a device that replaced your $200 camera (plus the cost of film, flash bulbs, and processing), and your $250 video-camera (plus the cost of bulky VHS tapes and extra battery packs, a tape rewinder, cleaning kit, and a VHS player to play it), plus your $300 Gameboy (and all the individual games and accessories), your $50-$500 watch, your $500-$1,000 big, bulky computer, monitor and desk, your $60 beeper, your entire music collection (and now even your video collection), every encyclopedia, dictionary, and other book you ever owned, your Franklin Planner, stopwatch, alarm clock, home phone, black book, recipe collection, etc… how much should a device that does all that and more cost?

The many thousands of dollars in technology and storage that we all used to clutter our homes and bodies with now literally fits in our pocket at a fraction of the cost and we have the audacity to whine that smartphones are too expensive?

Nothing has ever been as cool or as useful in all of human history as any mid-tier smartphone today. The truth is, we should marvel that we do not have to finance them over 5 years at Tesla-like car prices!

Yeesh. If we slept on king-sized levitating beds covered with gold-infused satin sheets, I think many of us would complain about one corner being too hot.

 

Today’s lesson is… some people are just committed to never being happy.

 

 


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Oct 242014
 

I let her leave without kissing her goodbye so I could focus on catching up with work.

Nicole went to a yoga retreat and I let her slip out the door while I was on a conference call. When I arrived home, the place suddenly felt a lot emptier and lonelier and I realized I missed the opportunity to have a memory of that kiss.

My work is very important to me but I sometimes forget if the work goes away and I still have Nicole, life will still be good. However, if Nicole goes away and all I have is work, life will probably suck.

I feel like I re-learn this lesson (with all of my loved ones) a few times a year, so admittedly, I am still progressing on this one. The lesson, though, is to know the difference between what is an essential value in your life and what is just important.

Sometimes, your meeting can wait for a kiss.

 

 


Oct 232014
 

Between the wax warmer, rinse cup, electric toothbrush, shaver, groomer, trimmer, and soap dispenser there was nowhere to set my tablet in the bathroom so I could keep listening to podcasts while getting ready for bed.

I am grateful this is the worst problem I have had so far today, but it sent me on a 2 hour Amazon.com shopping spree in hopes of finding just the right over-the-toilet-tank-shelf for extra storage. I put three potential shelves in my shopping cart and narrowed it down to one for the low, low price of $24 (and free Prime shipping!).

Then I realized I was making a bad decision. I choose to live a minimalist lifestyle and I was about to buy a product to allow more clutter into my life! I wish I had realized it about 2 hours sooner, but either way, I know it now.

I rearranged the bathroom counter and sink area, and cleared more room in the mirror cabinet. Everything fits fine. It turns out I was just looking for any excuse to spend $24. What could I have done with the $24 instead? Here are 10 ideas:

  • Save it. Squirrel it away for a rainy day.
  • Save it, but towards something, like a new car!
  • Buy something more important–a shelf literally just sits there!
  • Put it toward a nice dinner with Nicole.
  • Nothing. This is always a fine option. I can choose not to choose.
  • Hold onto it and wait for a better idea to come up.
  • Buy a gift card for someone.
  • Give it to a homeless person.
  • Enjoy a bottle of wine with friends. I will probably remember that in 10 years but probably won’t remember buying a bathroom shelf.
  • Fuel my car, or get a car wash, or go to a movie, or buy a concert ticket, or…

     

It is okay to spend money on things we enjoy, that make our lives better. It is very important, though, to spend our money wisely, on things that bring more joy than was borrowed from us to make it.

What would a minimalist do with another shelf, anyway?