My Experience Buying New Things With Humility
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In a blog I wrote called Seeking Timelessness in a Temporary World, I described an event where I caught myself in the discontentment loop on wanting a new thing. You know the one – minutes, sometimes hours of daydreaming goes by about a hypothetical purchase that will reinvigorate your life, until you dare to look at your bank account. Even then – you daydream the bank account to be fuller than it actually is with the daydream of a higher paying job, so that the other daydream of buying that new thing can be a self-fulfilled prophecy. Oh it happens so often to me when in season. It is a gift if you can stop yourself just shy of this particular rabbit hole as it is a lesson in being content with what you have. Make use of every bit of a thing until it is properly dead, broken or given away.
Well today I wanted to talk about the flip side. When it’s time to wisely tell yourself to shut up and buy the thing.
For those who know our family, we have used buses/trains/taxis as our primary means of transports for many years. Where places were impossible to get to with public transport we were dependent on others giving us rides in their cars – kids and pram in tow. Thank you, if you were one of the people who got us to where we needed to be over the years.
As of late, we took buying a car more seriously after several number crunches of the scenario. One minute we were talking about it over lunch at a pub killing time, the next we were sitting at a car dealership asking the questions, a week or so later I drove our first UK car home. For anyone who knows me well enough I don’t make large purchases quickly. Computer parts or a phone? Many weeks reading reviews. Tools, DIY or home goods? Same. Even food at the supermarket? I can spend minutes weighing the shelf options for each item.
A car? this should have taken way longer. I think my wife is teaching me something about faster decision making with money.
Being without a car for these years was something I came to the UK determined to conquer anyway. It was one of the original things I admired about my wife was how easy she made it look – the ability to know what bus goes where with so many names and numbers to recite – even down to remembering the bus schedule itself. I played games with myself to appear with perfect stride at the bus stop exactly 5 seconds before it arrived, which I believed gave me a fun super power that I had a private butler bus driver that picked me up right when I needed. In the end I’m pleased with the level of skill I developed from bus hopping. A solid 9/10 for overall knowledge and prowess around Bradford.
However this was all coming to an end rather quickly for my liking. Though I day dreamed frequently to have my own car to drive home, especially when winter would assail me whilst waiting half an hour or an hour for a bus was a common reality. I would pass time by pretending I was actually Bear Grylls waiting for my rescue helicopter ride away from the wet wilderness. Toughened and unphased by the elements. We’ve planned many hypothetical road trips in the past, and now it’s strange to need to put that into action. Can you relate to a similar conundrum?
I had to humble myself to upgrade my lifestyle. This trivial goal of being the bus master would come to an end as soon as I signed the paper for the keys to our grey Hyundai.
It was silly because nobody gets trophies for being a bus master, it was just time to embrace change. Embracing change sometimes looks like letting go of things that we ought to and sometimes it’s accepting the responsibility of a new shiny thing, as we ought to. Taking responsibility is really the summary of this post that we would all do well to remember.
So this is where I leave you. I am just here to add to the pile of people who remind you not to be attached to things that don’t matter. Don’t become too proud to upgrade your lifestyle, if God so providentially wills an opportunity in your lap to be responsible in new ways. Don’t get your identity from make believe trophies. Be wise whether it be with money, toys or things – They are tools to add value to others.