With the holidays right around the corner, I find myself in a sticky situation when it comes to the goals I’ve laid out for this blog. There are certainly many books that I’d like for Christmas, but is that the same as buying them myself? If I’m given a gift card to a bookseller, isn’t that almost like cheating? I’m still getting new material and just adding to ‘The Sickness.’ Now, most people who know me will automatically think of getting me books or gift cards for books… and of course I’m not going to tell them not to… But I’m going to do my best to remain true to what I’ve set out for myself: Read the books I have before buying new ones.
Normally I can fill a wish list a mile long with titles I can’t wait to get my hands on, but after a few months of not going into book stores or ordering books online, I realize I’m doing better. It’s sort of like when I decided to give up soda for a few months. I found myself drinking more water and juice, and I didn’t really miss it… that is, until I had one as a ‘treat’ one day. Now, years later, I definitely consume soda on a more frequent basis. This is another habit I intend to kick.
But this all brings me to something I think is a bit more important. When I strip away all of the wanting and yearning for new books or video games or the latest what-have-you, I find that there’s nothing really that I want, and certainly nothing that I need. I find myself more inclined to give than to receive. The feeling I get from knowing I’ve brought a bit of joy to someone’s life brings me more fulfillment than opening a dozen new books.
Usually, whatever I don’t get for Christmas, I get for my birthday which is about a week after. This was frustrating in the past, because this also went hand-in-hand with the “this is your Christmas-plus-birthday present!” Honestly, I don’t care if I get anything this year. In trying to practice living without the constant consumerist feeling, I’ve realized what is more important. What I want is happiness, and that’s not something that can be fulfilled with ‘stuff.’ (For that matter: It’s also not something that can really be given.) It’s something that comes from knowing that I have somehow touched the lives of the people around me, that I have made some sort of impact or left some sort of impression.
That’s all I want for Christmas.