What Good is More When You Can’t Enjoy (or Optimize) What You Have?

Try This Line with Telemarketers

Clearly telemarketers haven’t been trained for my response when they tell me they can increase my business. I tell them I don’t want more business. Their surprise indicates to me that they don’t hear that often, if at all. For me, it was an ephiphany to realize it was no line – it’s true.

Clooney’s Enjoyment Epiphany

George Clooney won my heart (or re-won it) when he talked about an epiphany seeing a joyful worker in Italy inspired in him. The laborer obviously enjoys what little he has. Clooney set out to enjoy what he has.

For Clooney, that meant purchasing an expensive villa in Italy. And that could be interpreted as Clooney enjoying what Clooney has: money. Clooney loves his villa, so perhaps that was just the right path for him. But generally I think of enjoying what I have as an alternative to buying more. It’s a mantra I use to pull myself back from new purchases as well as launches and commitments that might threaten my ability to enjoy what I have.

Finding the Balance

Contraction balances expansion. Consolidation balances increase. Optimization takes what you have and puts it to best use. Or gets rid of it if it doesn’t serve your well-being.

Bob and I had already spoken to a contractor about building new shelves in our pantry when we discovered that after sorting what we actually use and sharing what we don’t, we don’t need any more shelves.

Redefining Pleasure

I’m still working with this mantra. I love shopping the 75% off rack at my local boutique. But what good are more clothes when I already have more clothes I love than I could ever wear?

I’m replacing an unwanted habit – buying clothes I won’t wear – with another: enjoying the ones I have. The result is I increasingly have the pleasure of a closet that flows. The author of “The Clothing Chronicles” calls it “shopping your own closet.” I redirect the impulse to score a deal on a new outfit to seeing what I have in my own closet that I forgot about or haven’t learned how to wear. That joy is not associated with a pinch of regret. 

A May Day, International Workers’ Day, Side of That Story

The Bangladesh tragedy puts a whole other perspective on the clothing quandry. Someone may have risked their life and been paid all of ten cents to create the blouse that I bought that clutters instead of enhancing my life. If someone creates something that ends up in my closet, I, at the very least, want to be able to enjoy it. 

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