Monday, April 09, 2007

Stuff and the Urge to Nest

A friend and co-blogger Sapphire Dakini sent me a link to an article today about a woman who is selling almost all of her possessions on eBay. The article got me to thinking about stuff -- why we think we need it and what that thinking means.

It's especially timely for me because I've spent the last week moaning about how - despite my recent (albeit paltry) raise - I am STILL broke. Yes, I keep telling myself the Universe always provides and I know that if I concentrate on the scarcity of money that I will have just that - scarcity of money. But I'm finding it hard to keep this correctly in perspective.

It's also especially timely for me because despite this fixation - ok, obsession - about money, all I really want in the world right now is a new couch.

I've had the couch I've got now for almost 10 years. It's comfortable but it's ugly. It's faded, stained, sunbleached and lumpy. The cushions refuse to be plumped. Even the slipcover I've gotten for it is ratty and tatty. The couch lived with me in Belmont, made the move to NH, and was my HQ in Northampton, since I had no room for a table, armchair, or any other furniture.

Now, I could easily go out and buy myself a new couch. It wouldn't put me that far behind in the credit card department and it would definitely make me happy.

But why?

Wouldn't I be happier being less insecure about stability? Wouldn't getting my basic needs covered and cared for be the wiser decision? Shouldn't the immaterial, the ethereal, be more fulfilling than the physical? And even though I recognize this, why am I still so damn tempted to give in to the baser desire? (Yes, I am still talking about a couch....)

I don't have answers for these contradictions. And for now anyway it's a moot point, since I've got no time to go couch shopping. But I do find it interesting that right now - at this particular point in my life - I'm feeling the need to surround myself with STUFF.