A Challenge to Make the Most of Consumerist Urges

Photo by Tevei Renvoyé.

August 22, 2019

Could it be? My first double blog post? Well, it would appear to be so! Who would have thought that blogging momentum was a thing? I guess one can pick up momentum in all sorts of things!

Occasionally throughout my life, and perhaps more so recently, I’ve been struck by quite strong desires to buy a certain product. I’m not talking just a brief, one-moment urges—those usually don’t affect me too much—but rather, a fairly unhealthy-feeling longing for whatever it is.

I probably shouldn’t try to self-diagnose myself psychologically, but I would guess the feeling stems from a sort of hopelessness incurred by a youth where I didn’t exactly have much in the way of spending money: If I wanted something, I would ask for it, and the executive decision, as well as the actual money, wouldn’t directly be mine. However, since I never really asked for anything unreasonable, and never asked too often, I usually got what I wanted. However, if I didn’t, getting the thing I wanted was pretty much ‘hopeless’.

Nowadays, however, what I spend money on is my responsibility entirely. I guess that’s sort of a rising theme in these blog posts: lots of responsibility can be pretty scary at times. Back to that feeling of hopelessness: hopelessness is too strong of a word, and something closer to crippling indecision would be more accurate.

I guess my train of thought rolls along something like this: “I want this thing, but I don’t have the money for it, so I can’t get it. And there’s nothing I can do about it. Oh, the hopelessness of the situation!” It sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it? Yet somehow, I occasionally end up feeling like this.

It’s not quite the same, since I now have the funds to actually buy the item I wanted, but at the same time, the responsibility I feel to save my money makes those funds not really mine to spend, in a way. Hence, the “Crippling Indecision”. I might teeter on the precipice of buying something or not buying something for weeks, or even months sometimes. I suppose the want for the product isn’t a burning urge, but more of a constant nagging, which is a lot easier to not give into in the short term, but can cause issues in the long term.

I find it a little scary that such a feeling can be induced by something that’s just a product I don’t actually need. It’s consumerism at its worst, or perhaps finest, depending on one’s perspective. I think I’ll need a little more reflection to arrive at a hypothesis for why I personally feel this way, but for now, I’ve resolved to attempt to channel those feelings into something more productive.

Here is my challenge to myself. I can buy the product I want after I write twenty (yes, a whole twenty) new music pieces. These pieces can be for any instrument, or just a completely digital rendition, and uploaded to my SoundCloud. Once that’s done, I will go ahead and buy the thing I want.

This will be an exercise in redirecting what would be an unhealthy want into something good for me. I haven’t exactly written much music in the past year, since starting at the University of Waterloo. I now have something to look forward to, and an incentive to write music. At the same time, I know that I will eventually get what I would like to buy; just later, and as a well-earned reward for real hard work. My mind is calm once more, no longer battling desires daily.

We’ll see how this turns out, and I’ll write an update blog later. My appreciations for your reading, dear reader!

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