Friday, February 26, 2010

materialism? guilty

The wind was fierce last night, so bad that we allowed Lance to sleep down in our room because we knew it would be waking him up and we just wanted a good night sleep. Part of me also was scared a large branch of a tree might fall on the house. Anyways, I digress.  It was so windy it was difficult to sleep so I had time to think in the early hours of this morning.  All this thinking opened my eyes to my materialism and how I am guilty for falling for it hook line and sinker.
Before middle school I was carefree and did not care about labels or brands or anything trendy.  I entered middle school still carefree until one day someone made fun of my outfit, the outfit I thought was cool, looking back I question my judgment, but doesn't everyone who lived in the late 80's and early 90's question their fashion?  Something changed then, my eyes were opened to brands and trends and I became paranoid about having the right everything.  At the time Tretorns, the shoes, were really popular and I wanted a pair, but unfortunately my feet were too narrow for them, I was so bummed.  I also became desperate for a pair of Guess? jeans because they too were in fashion, my mom finally got me a pair, and you know what I did feel good for awhile, but honestly I did not like them.  By the end of my freshman year of high school I was tired of chasing trends and trying to keep up.  I was once again carefree and didn't conform to the trends and fads and whatever, unfortunately I lost some friends in the process, but whether they were real friends is debatable.  I was definitely not in the "popular" crowd like I had tried to be in during middle school, but I was heck of a lot happier and content.  I remained carefree and a non-conformist in college.  I had self-worth and a high self-esteem.  I graduated from college, started working, teaching high school and still was comfortable in my own skin.  Then I had Lance and something changed.
The change happened after Lance not before.  I suddenly felt that I needed to have the best baby gear and I was disappointed that I didn't.  Somewhere I made a connection between having the best and being the best mother, but the catch is, we don't have a lot of money, so I never get the "best"and thus I felt less of a person.  I know that it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it is my reality.  Something changed in me, I lost some self-esteem, I lost some self-worth.  I became envious of people, especially people who are not wealthy, who have the nice stuff: the expensive jogging strollers (mine from the second hand store or craigslist and not the "in" brand), or expensive baby carriers in pretty fabrics, or Britax car seats, or toddler chairs (Stokke Tripp Trapp), sippy cups (BPA free), pregnancy pillows (I had a enormous body pillow),  and the list goes on and on.  Then it hit me this morning while I was lying in bed listening to the window blow.  In ten years, none of that matters.  My children will not care or probably even know what brand their car seat was or what kind of high chair they sat in.  In ten years, all of this stuff that I feel so inadequate because I don't have will be worthless and won't matter.  It isn't going to make my children any better children.  Having the "right" brand of stroller isn't going to make walks better.  None of it matters.
Then I started thinking of things in more general terms.  The wind stopper fleece that I have wanted from the outdoor store or Merrell boots, in ten years won't matter.  My wind stopper fleece from Target may not say "Mountain Hardware" on it and might not look as cool, but if it does its job so who cares.  All of this stuff can't go to heaven with me, heck it may not even be around in 10 years so why do I care?
And then it really hit me.  One day I am going to stand before God and He is going to ask me what I did with what He gave me.  If I spent His money on temporary stuff for me to make me feel better that would be pretty darn embarrassing especially since feeling good about what you have only lasts until the next trend comes out.  I want to spend money on things that last longer than ten years, stuff that brings people together, edifies them, helps them, heals them, anything but make them feel the way sometimes, that I am missing something and I am not good enough.  So I realized that something changed in me and my self-worth is in stuff and my focus is what I don't have.  It is silly I know and I see truth right now, but in a few weeks I can easily fall back into the trap of materialism.  So materialism is my idol, my weakness.  and that is my confession


Molly said...

I remember a LOT of us in lynchburg suddenly getting this brand madness over tretorns...what a way to make us 10-12 year olds feel horribly inadequate, all over $45 tennis shoes that had no arch support. I remember from then on, if you weren't carrying your stupid gym clothes in a GAP or Limited shopping bag at Linkhorne, you were. not. cool. at. all. Reason#1 why I am totally in favor of school uniforms. Now I've become the anti-branding person...if someone compliments me on something, I'm the one who goes "DUDE I BOUGHT IT FOR TEN DOLLARS AT TARGET." I think I get more on people's nerves that way than if I got everything at Neiman Marcus, which I never even knew about til college. Feel free to hang onto all that "non-branded" baby stuff, I'll totally buy it from you one day when I have kids...even if I were filthy rich, I'd be all about some generic stuff. After all, I'm fairly certain that I didn't end up crying to a shrink over the fact that my mom made me wear boys' clothes and didn't use a bugaboo stroller. I personally think that anyone who spends $900 on a stroller needs to be committed. But hey, that's me.

Sarah said...

Oh my! I totally forgot about the gym clothes in Gap, Limited, or Benetton bag! Oh the silly things we do in middle and high school.


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