Thursday, February 19, 2004  


{begin random thoughts} I've been mulling this over for the last few days- how American society, in some ways, preprograms us to be dissatisfied with the present, and to always be desirous of "something" that we don't have, but think we should have, or just want. For example, I was reading an article about how a growing percentage of people lock themselves into extremely extended car loans, and then buy a new car before they have paid off the old one- and usually end up owing MORE on the old car than it is worth, so they therefore have to finance both the new car, and the balance on the old car. The people they interviewed who were in this situation spoke of "wanting a new car" every few years. On some level, I understand- after all, things that used to be considered for the "wealthy" are now seen by most as "normal," and ad campaigns urge us to "buy now, pay later"- we 'deserve' the finest things in life, regardless of whether we can actually afford them!

I find myself struggling with this pressure- I am satisfied with my life in terms of my material possessions and comfort, but there always seems to be something else I 'need' to buy. So far, I have done a very good job of living within (and slightly below) my means, but I have to make a conscious effort to say "no" to the almost overwhelming consumer culture. One of my main goals this year is to be content with what I have, and to consequently save money by refraining from whipping out the credit card. In general, though, I think we're all conditioned to be DISsatisfied with our current lives, and to always chase happiness in the malls... why should you drive an old car when you can have a new one for only $200/month (of course, you'll be paying thousands in interest, but you can have it right now!) Wouldn't your life be perfect if you had a bigger TV? Cable has become a $50+/month 'necessity'- so much so that I have had friends who, despite trying to save money, hadn't even thought of cancelling their service, and protested that they couldn't give it up!

I'm not really sure that there is a point to all of this- just a hope that we can, in our own small ways, fight back against the growing tide of commercialism and consumerism... and teach ourselves to find happiness in what we have- not what we want.

In knitting news, Sage is almost a sweater - I'll hopefully finish it by next week. Left to do:
  1. finish knitting neckline
  2. trim sleeve cuffs in white - picot cast off?
  3. add another inch or so of stockinette to waistline
  4. waistline edging - seed stitch
  5. edge neckline- rollneck in white? green?
  6. graft underarms
  7. tidy up ends
Doesn't seem TOO insurmountable... we'll see how I do!

ecce signum
"here is the proof (behold the sign!)"


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