It is a Sunday afternoon as I write this blog post, and I want to share something personal, something I don’t tell anyone.
It is something that troubles often, but I have never taken the time to write about it, to explore my feelings, to think it through.
The thing that is bothering me is, is it bad for me to indulge myself? Is it wrong to buy something that I really want?
If you have read this blog long enough, you will see glimpses of the demons that are waging battle in my head.
It is almost impossible not to be bombarded with ads or reviews for the latest desirable tech gadgets.
Sometimes when I see the latest Android phone or a useful iPhone application, I am really tempted to get one.
The Android phones are looking really good right now, especially with the Froyo upgrade.
Then I tell myself that I can’t really afford an iPhone, or that the money I save is for the future. The iPad temptation just makes it worse.
Why I’m Unhappy
And that is my problem. I save my money for the future, but in the short term I am unhappy.
I look around me and everyone has an iPhone, even those who have no idea how to use it to its best potential.
When my daughter misbehaves, she sends me into bouts of sadness and depression.
I’m saving all my money for her future, and this is how she treats me?
I am constantly asking myself if it is worth it?
The Downward Spiral
In those moments of sadness, it doesn’t seem to be worth the effort and sacrifice.
I’ll tell myself that I only have one life to live, so why not enjoy it with something to make me happy?
After all, it’s not that I don’t have the money. It’s just that I don’t want to spend the money. Why be so stingy with myself?
So I’ll go to YouTube and various websites to read the latest phone reviews. I’ll start scouting around for the best deals.
Then I start to feel guilty.
Guilty that I am spending my future away. Guilty of self indulgence while I advice others on my blog not to do the same.
Guilty of spending money on myself while I ask those around me to give up luxuries (e.g. life without Astro). Guilty that I am not planning responsibly for my family.
And this guilt is painful. I just bury the pain, looking forward to a better future with the money I save.
I tell myself not to look at these things, to focus on the bigger goals in life. And it works, for a while.
And then something happens, and I question if it is all worth it again…
I don’t know if any of you experience this, but I actually hurt whenever I see an iPhone ad on TV or on a billboard.
It feels like a knife stabs my heart and twisting it around.
It hurts because I see something I will never be able to have.
Making things worse, Apple will probably announce the next iPhone model today. (Update: iPhone 4 released!)
There are only two ways to go from here.
I could just go ahead with the purchase to make myself happy. But the question I ask myself is, will there be another new ‘thing’ I desire after this?
The second path is to break free from consumerism. Break free from the desires planted by popular culture and advertising. Be grateful with what I have instead of wanting more.
My brain tells me to choose the second path, but my heart alternates between the two choices.
As I complete this post, it dawns on me that the problem has nothing to do with buying a new phone for myself.
Even getting a new phone for free would not solve the problem.
There’s a deeper dissatisfaction or discontentment that I cannot pinpoint.
Maybe my priorities are out of alignment. Maybe I’m too selfish. Maybe I’m too inconsiderate. Maybe I’m just thinking too much.
I don’t know.