The Wish-Not List
It’s a little hilarious and embarrassing to look at wish lists from a decade ago.
While writing my wish list yesterday, I looked through my published wish lists from 2005 to 2009. At the time, I was age 21-25, and from the lists, you can see how I was at that age of acquisition, when I had removed schoolgirl things in my life and was gathering new stuff and experiences for working-person-hood. I had begun to be able to afford to buy things for myself, and I did buy things for myself (most of them from bargain stores, I think) and collected a great variety of things from the many things that interested me.
It was a time of acquisition and trying out the things I liked.
Now, ten years after my first wish list post, is the time of minimalization and focusing on the things I actually need.
I’d already written about how I’d just gone through a huge lifestyle change and how I started preparing for it a whole year in advance. Part of it involved merging all my possessions from multiple places–my office cubicle, my apartment, and my room in our house–so on Christmas I gave a significant amount of my stuff away. After that, I’d continued paring, pruning, and purging stuff. Or at least, I’m trying to. But, as it turns out, I still have a lot to wade through.
In my wish list post for this year, I wrote about the things I need. This, now, is my anti-wish list: the things of which I have way too many, things that I’m trying to use up, use more, or give away.
Notebooks and notepads.
I love notebooks, especially unruled ones. I use notebooks. Except, that is, when they’re entirely too pretty to taint them with my scribbles. After many years, I’ve finally changed this way of thinking, but when people found out about my love for notebooks, they gave me a lot, so until now I still have a LOT of notebooks to use. (I’m also trying to be eco-friendly, so I don’t use paper unless it’s necessary.)
Pens and pencils.
You know how sometimes you thought you lost a pen, so you buy a new one, and then you find the missing pen(s), so you end up with a lot of slightly used pens? Story of my life. Applies to pencils, too. PLUS, like what happened with notebooks, there was a time when several people gave me quality, branded pens, so I’m now just buying refills for those. (And taking care not to lose them.)
Bookmarks, keychains, candleholders, lanyards, button pins, trinket bowls. I only have one set of keys, I don’t even use candles, I don’t wear IDs anymore, and I have three trinket bowls that go with my room–three in one room is too much.
There was a time when I owned a few because I had one in the office, one in my apartment, and one in our house. I was and still am fascinated with Starbucks tumblers because they’re so well-designed. But when you see me examining one, Starbucks or otherwise, remind me that I shouldn’t buy it. Because how many tumblers does one person need, really? Just one. (The same goes for coffee mugs.)
I have pashminas, silk scarves, lightweight summer scarves and warm scarves for cold weather. I have them in many colors and styles, and some of them have many colors, and some of them can be worn in many styles. They’re great for my travels, but additional ones won’t be great for my closet space. (I’m still trying to downsize my collection.)
There was a time when I put statement t-shirts on my wish lists, and now I have too many of them. Oops? On top of that, I also have nice souvenir shirts, and music movie reference shirts that I just cannot let go of right now. I’ve managed to bring down the size of my t-shirt collection with some small success, and I’ll be trying to NOT add to it yet again.
I currently own five hooded sweatshirts. Two for really cold weather, two for cold Philippine weather, and one for slightly cooler tropic weather (if I don’t wear a shirt under it). Plus I have another one coming that will end my hoodie buying complusion once and for all (because it’s so expensive, but it is awesome). It makes no sense for someone living in a tropical country to own so many hoodies, especially since I also own a rain coat, and a very nice trench coat.
Cologne, body wash, and lotion.
I know that these are some of the easiest gift ideas, which is probably why I have a lot. I don’t need new ones for the next…five years or so. (Some are still sealed!)
There was a time when I always painted my nails, so even though I bought a bottle every couple of weeks, it was still MUCH cheaper than having my nails done. I don’t paint my nails frequently now, though, and I still have many bottles to use up.
If I receive (or buy) anything that falls under these categories in the next few months, I’ll apprecitate the thought, and then either (1) give it forward to someone else, or (2) keep it and discard/give away one of the things that it’ll replace. (This is a huge note to myself.)