What to Buy: Book Review, Goodbye, Things.

As I continue in my journey as a minimalist, Ive noticed that my criteria for choosing things has become clearer, and as a result, I spend less time wondering whether or not to buy something. The qualities I look for in the things I buy are (1) the item has a minimalist type of shape, and is easy to clean; (2) its color isn’t too loud; (3) I’ll be able to use it for a long time; (4) it has a simple structure; (5) it’s lightweight and compact; and (6) it has multiple uses. - From the book Goodbye, Things.


Quality time, not quality objects, leads to happiness

This guy fucks with it.

He talks about seeing people rushing about and notes that they never look happy. I agree. They might feel a rush at getting on the train on time, but that is that adrenaline rush. Happiness is not bumps of adrenaline constantly throughout the day.

Happiness is peace and joy in motion.

I bought a blazer. Again. It was on sale. $500 or $600 and it was on sale for $200 or $300. What a deal. The first one I wore a few times and I looked great, but this quote slaps:

Psychologist Tim Kasser stresses that the enrichment of time will lead directly to happiness, while the enrichment of material objects will not.

Honestly, he talks about watching ducks. It resonates with the Epicurean philosophy book I'm reading right now about old age. And it also makes sense when comparing hunter gatherer, agricultural, renaissance, and current societies.

Time, relationships with people.

When I finish my simple cleaning tasks in my new apartment and take a stroll around the neighborhood, I realize there isn’t anything more that I need or want. I go to the park and watch the ducks in the pond as they fluff their feathers. I see how relaxed they look—when all they’re doing is fluffing their feathers. They aren’t filled with tension trying to become something else. They aren’t frantically attempting to build their careers, and they aren’t sucking up to the other ducks. All they seem to be doing is enjoying the water, fluffing their feathers, and living their lives. When it comes right down to it, isn’t that all we really need in our lives, too?

I mean right here, this passage blows up all the ideas of competitiveness and careerism. When you really take it to heart.

I was competitive and careerist before. I went to the top, twice, and it was a fun ride for sure. But the past 10 years I have been figuring out what is lasting, real, sufficient and necessary.

Efficiency comes to mind.

People have been happy and safe for thousands of years. Some have figured it out. We, ostensibly, have the greatest amount of resources and technology right now, but skills and focus are lacking.

Not focus in terms of ability to focus.But understanding what to focus on.

when you start to understand story and the role it has played in human development, myth, and society. I mean a $2000 lamp starts to become understandable.