The Trouble with Wish Lists

Over the years I have cultivated a wish list. My thinking was it provided exactly what I wanted so family members wouldn’t have to guess. That sounded nice, but it really didn’t work that way. Only once did anyone purchase something from it.

Later, the wish list, particularly the Amazon wish list served as a waiting place. Famously, when I considered getting into smoking meats, I forced myself to wait a year to prevent from taking on another hobby without thoroughly thinking it through.

That was such a good decision that it molded my approach for the next 15 years. Whenever I want something, I begin adding items to the wish list. Then I wait. If it still sounds good in the future, I pull the trigger.

But what I realized recently is that that wish list is really just a list of future spending. I go through it every now and then and either buy the things or delete them.

And what are the things that end up on the list? Items that other web sites are getting me interested in. Reddit, the news, YouTube, Facebook all are commercials for what I end up buying.

Not good.

If I want to live simply, if I am enough right now, if I have all that I need then I don’t need to be building toward something new.

Just yesterday I had a moment at work where I recognized that summer is actually going to arrive this week. In the past, summer represented a time to take on something new. One summer it was studying statistics. Another learning Perl. Another working out. I began to think about this summer. No, there’s not gong to be anything new added to my agenda. I have already what I am going to do. Sure, there is a trip, but other than that, it’s chilling. No new things to pursue. No new things to buy. Just maintain the life I have forged for myself.

I deleted my Amazon wish list. That way I am not tempted to provide the company with my new debit card number. 😉

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