What exactly is the fun stuff? Candy quickly looses its appeal and so now it could be a hot car, or it could be a closet full of clothes, or it could be newest shiniest toy on the market or it could be all of it at once and then when that gets old it could be all of that again and then some.
Why is it we want the things we want? How are we influenced in the things that we buy. Do you want a leather coat this fall because all the girls are getting them? because you saw a famous actress looking stunning in one? because you have a secret fantasy about looking like a 1930's spy? because you live in a very windy area and you know this will keep you warmest while waiting for the bus?
Fun stuff is a bit different from person to person. There is nothing wrong with any of these reasons for wanting a leather coat as long as you acknowledge those reason's for wanting your leather coat. (But that doesn't mean that you should go out and buy the leather coat if you have a closet full of wool coats and a bank account that is almost empty).
Once we acknowledge what is influencing the choices in our life we can decide if we want to follow those influences or not. If they don't enhance the life we want to live why bother with them? Do you know what makes you happy? Could you sit down in an afternoon and write out 100 things that you like? (black and white romantic movies, jazz music, black cherry ice cream, traveling to ancient cities). Could you write out 100 things that you like that don't have anything to do with money? (walking through a forest during a light rain, practicing the piano, waking up before the alarm clock goes off, having the person you love rub your back), could you write out a list of 100 things you like to work at (baking deserts, putting files in order, polishing silver, washing the car) Do you really know who you are? Or are you trying to buy a personality.
It's when you wander through a shopping mall looking for something to grab your interest, you're restless and have the urge to buy something, that you are really trying to fill a void. Buying a rugged camping jacket will make you look like a real outdoorsy type so maybe you'll start hiking, the kitchen gadget store has some really cute cookie cutters that if you get might inspire you to learn to bake and hats are on sale at the department store - you might have some place you could wear them. They are nothing that you need or even wanted before you saw them but they offer you the opportunity to be something that you are not at this moment. Of all the items people buy to convince themselves of who they are perhaps there is nothing more image laden than a car, especially a sports car, because as everyone knows buying a sports car instantly makes you James (or Jane) Bond.
We have a huge influence in our lives through media, what we see on television, movies and all the advertising we see through out our day. We also have the influences of our family and friends and what they consider important. Many of us have homes over stuffed with things that we thought at the time would make us happy or things that we thought we should own. If you don't know who you are then randomly buying things will not make you happy. The things that you are buying might be getting in the way of you being happy.
So start on your three lists, write out 100 things that you like, 100 things you like that don't have anything to do with money and 100 things that you like to work at. This last list might be the most important of all. Work can be very pleasurable, and for some work is not work at all but relaxation. Blow drying your daughters hair or giving your mother a manicure both would be work but both might be work you find pleasure in. If you love to garden you can change your life with a beautiful garden and a vegetable patch, if it turns out that you love to cook you can improve your health and the health of all the people in your family by making healthy meals. It might take some time for you to write out the lists, maybe even a few months but it will also make you think about the person you are and the person that you thought you were. Everyone's list is individual, while some might love the idea of lying on a warm beach for an afternoon, to others that would have no interest as they would love to hike a mountain. You are not trying to fit a mold of what you think you should like, you are trying to discover what you genuinely like.
Leave your lists out where you can easily see them and add to them. When you're restless instead of mindlessly watching TV check your lists, this might be the perfect time to learn a new guitar piece or start reading the classics or do a pencil sketch of your husband.
This list is not set in stone either, over the years things will add on and drop off because life changes, a happy single person could not realize how much they will enjoy giving their new born baby a bath, your love of running might change to a love of yoga, some items might just fall out of favour but you will be left with their happy memories.
And who knows, might turn out that jujubes and sour candies are right at the top of your list once again, just like when you were a kid.
Photography and Content
Copyright Ingrid Talpak 2009