Mesorah (Jewish stuff)

Making Do and Being Happy

It’s that time of year to do shopping. Lots and lots of shopping. I hear about it on the radio, I see the ads online, I listen to my friends and family as they rush toward zero hour. It makes me think about being satisfied with the possessions we have. I’m not just saying this because we have zero extra funds for gifts (which didn’t prevent my husband from buying me roses and a beautiful bracelet for our anniversary – not that I’m complaining), but because there’s really a lot of extraneous stuff which tries to pass for “necessary.”

For instance, I really “need” wireless internet, that way I can have the computer downstairs with me in the kitchen if I want to listen to a shiur online, or look up a recipe, or a cooking technique, or listen to music (our CD player is super-finicky, and doesn’t always cooperate). My life isn’t complete without this!! So, I’ve come to the conclusion that yes, my life is complete without this. It would be mighty convenient, but just that. Convenient. Which is different than necessary.

I’ve been seeing this illustrated at the Judaica store where I work. There are glass cups you can buy, and oil and floating wicks. All of this totals around $18.00, and you’re set for Chanukah. There are also ready-made packages, containing roughly the same items, which are very “convenient,” but cost at least $34.99. This led me to postulate that convenience is really expensive.

So now I’m attempting to ask myself that question before I impulse-buy. Necessary or Convenient? It helps that we only have one car and I’m not using it most of the time, and when I use it, I don’t have much time to impulse-shop (unless it involves food). That’s one way to cut down on the temptation. But soon we’ll have the question: Second car – necessary or convenient? Really, the answer is: not a choice, since we’re so broke! But once the baby comes, G-d willing, and I’ll need the car for a doctor’s appointment, etc., and I’ll have to take my husband to work at 6:30 a.m. in order to have the car to take the baby to the doctor…I guess it’s still going to fall within the category of convenient. Nuts.

If anyone knows a place where we could get a free car, I would be much obliged!

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6 thoughts on “Making Do and Being Happy

  1. Blake and I share a car. It usually works, but it is certainly an inconvenience. But, only having one car payment and one insurance payment is a really nice deal. Lisa

  2. forget about a car. I love your kitchen. Is that your kitchen? I NEED a kitchen like that. Or is that just for convenience? Nope. I live in my kitchen. It is my nerve center, after my brain.this whole discussion is such a personal one. How many times have you met people who must have a vacation, even though they cannot afford one? Do they really need it, or do they desperately want it, fantasize about it, obsess over it, and not know how to say no to themselves??wish I could give you great advice. two cars are often a necessity in the suburbs. Prepared chanuka lights? uhuh. takes a few minutes to set up. messy, yes. worth $18? not to me. there you have it! it depends on the person!how was that for a ramble that led nowhere??!!

  3. It *was* my kitchen, before we moved to Cleveland. I miss it. Kitchens are definitely necessity, not convenience. Granite counters in a kitchen, well, that’s another story. But again, it’s a personal thing!

  4. It’s very individual. Something can be a necessity for one and a convenience for someone else. But it’s always good to ask youreself before you buy something or tell yourself how desperately you need it, is this something I really NEED or do I just WANT it?

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