Posted by Tim Stobbs on November 25, 2011
I’m standing in what other would perhaps consider a palace. There is so much marble its almost ridiculous, indoor swimming park, ice rink, mini golf course and more shops that you can easily keep track of…aka West Edmonton Mall. Ironically I don’t consider the mall a palace, but rather a temple to the only god we all seem to worship some days: consumerism or perhaps the god of wants? I’m not sure which is a better name.
So according to typical beliefs I should be seriously enjoying myself, but in fact I’m not having much fun at all. Since I’m still on my challenge of not buying stuff, I can’t actually buy the vast majority of the stuff for sale in the mall (at least for myself). For a while I’m almost depressed by the idea, but then I recall I can still get some Christmas shopping done while I’m here and I can buy consumables. So I buy a coffee. Yet that was it for an entire day. I couldn’t find anything that I really wanted to give someone else.
Perhaps because of my recent luck of buying my wife’s birthday gift which was some classes and hand soap. I’m looking beyond the world of stuff for gifts, while I won’t always work out I’m at least trying and did manage to get another gift as a consumable for a friend (a very nice bottle of rum).
Then while I’m in my class for the day, my wife took the boys and did experiences for most of the day. They played mini-golf and hit up the asumement park. They were excited by their day of experience and if I would have to guess they enjoyed that much more than getting stuff the day before that. So perhaps my depression about not getting stuff was like many people on diets. I was focusing on what I couldn’t do, instead of what I could do.
Later this week I went back to the mall and trying it again with different eyes. I don’t need to get stuff for myself to be happy. I can get something for others and I’m trying to realize that there is life beyond stuff. Frankly as my kids already know…experience much better than stuff anyways. (By the way, I did finally buy something for myself before leaving the mall…a box of sample teas, but that was it.)