Rhapsody in Blue VI


I used to be the world’s worst — or most flagrant — impulse-buyer. Whenever I ‘saw’ something that appealed to my eyeballs (whether I needed it or not), into my cart it went. Sigh… live and learn.

A few decades (and several budgetary revelations) later, I recognized the error of my ways and eventually figured out that happiness wasn’t the result of the latest greatest gadget, handy-dandy doodad, or “shiny, sparkly, pretty, ooh ahhh” frill or froufrou — it’s the accumulation of meaningful moments… a compendium of conscious choices… and often, a mirror of what’s going on within.

The void isn’t filled with ‘stuff.’

There were times when my self-esteem was sooooo lacking I almost cried thinking about it — but I didn’t. Know why? Because what matters most is now. In the past, shopping and fill in the blank here ___________ were temporary fixes, and on those occasions when I took myself (and less reliable second parties) waaaaaay too seriously in an attempt to make up for my supposed lack — well, I was taking unsolicited advice to heart — and second-guessing myself.

When it comes down to what (and who) you ‘believe,’ please put yourself first in line! Take the Truth into consideration — you’ll know in your heart-of-hearts what it is — and don’t let anyone dissuade you or convince you otherwise!

Old Boy close up

A few mornings ago I was sitting on the deck when I happened to glance to my left. (FYI, I don’t think it was a coincidence.) There, perched on a tree at the edge of the bluff, was my lake buddy, Old Boy. He wasn’t doing anything special or spectacular, other than hanging out — like me. In that moment of soul-searing self-awareness, I realized that I was smiling. Broadly.

There wasn’t a single ‘worldly good’ in front of me, except for my new coffee mug (above) purchased for a buck off the clearance rack at the Dollar Store. (I still allow myself such frivolities occasionally, albeit within my budget.) It dawned on me for the thirteen-millionth time or so in the last five decades that this is what it’s all about — small graces and huge blessings!

Your worth is not equivalent to the contents of your shopping cart!

If I ‘valued’ myself by the size of my purchases these days, I’d be pretty small indeed. How easy it is to succumb to the more/bigger/better mindset (been there, done that)… prompted by heavily marketed ‘wants’ and anxiety-producing illusory ‘needs.’ Stop!

The next time you’re tempted to add ‘one more thing’ to your shopping cart (or life) — especially a ‘not-on-your-list’ item — take a moment to interrupt your reverie and ask yourself: “Does this add value to my life — or am I trying to create artificial value? Reality check — how much do you value yourself… truthfully?

If there’s any doubt as to the answer to that last question, proceed with haste to the nearest full-length mirror (forget about your place in line!) and take a good long look… then smile at your reflection. You’re worth soooooo much more than an ‘impulse buy.’ Get what you need — give yourself what you need on occasion (without guilt) — and get rid of the rest!

As if to affirm my present state of ‘older & wiser’ contentedness, Old Boy turned toward me with this ‘look’ and I couldn’t help but laugh!

Old Boy 5

See yourself through the eyes of a true friend.

Folks (and Great Blue Herons) who appreciate you — who value you, quirks and all, with their honest insights are worth more than shopping-carts-full of temporary fixes. Allow yourself those rare moments of grace and good humor — believe those sincere, supportive, heartfelt estimations of your worth (can we say discernment with a capital D?!), shore up your own ‘self-worth’ to match asap if need be, and, most of all, be as kind to yourself as you are to everybody else!

Our human frailties, the uniqueness of our weaknesses and how ‘fickle’ we tend to be (depending on the latest input and what we choose to ‘think’) — as well as what we think of ourselves — are entirely a matter of perspective.

Sometimes all it takes is a friend looking you straight in the eye to see the Truth.

Believe it!

It’s amazing to me (and a lil’ bit disconcerting) how quickly we complicate the simple things — the important things! — and how prone we are to believe the worst — especially of ourselves. Please take a non-critical look in another direction — if need be, through the eyes of a true friend — then decide to be your own best friend!

Enjoying unabashed honesty from trusted friends (including myself) after all these years,

~ Kim

© 2014 Kim Bultman and a little lunch

24 thoughts on “Rhapsody in Blue VI

  1. Lovely words, Kim, and all so true. I did do a lot of spending while in New York though! I was out of control. I’m going to have to reign in my spending for a long time to come to recover from those two weeks! xx

    • Charlie, there’s a difference between ‘recreational spending’ and ‘retail therapy.’ ;) Enjoy your souvenirs! xo You’ll get back on track and have some lovely reminders of your trip, too!

  2. Another terrific post Kim and your thoughts are those which I’m trying to instill in my daughter (a work in progress) however I do remember my very insecure 20’s and 30’s. Now that my husband is retiring & we’re thinking of downsizing in the future, I’ve already started getting rid of a lot of my “things”. Maybe they will seem valuable to whoever finds them in the “take it/leave it shed” at the dump but I’m finally realizing how much I’ve accumulated over the years.
    Now in my 60’s I’m also at a point where I’m downsizing relationships. I’d much rather share my time with true and honest friends than mere acquaintances to just fill time. I actually like keeping myself company and have plenty to do that I find more rewarding – yes, a lot of that time might be sitting on the back porch laughing at the crazy chipmunks & scratching my dog – but it make me smile.

    • Diane, I LOVED your thoughts on downsizing relationships! Hadn’t considered it from that perspective, but you’re so right. Time is precious, and what (or who) we choose to spend it on becomes more substantial. Thank you! Enjoy your back porch! ;)

  3. So very true how in this disposable society we fill in the holes (in our hearts/souls/minds/whatever) with stuff. I still do it occasionally, and usually with thrift store finds, but at least it’s now conscious! Glad your local heron gave you a good laugh! :)

  4. I have an impulsive buying streak and it kiiind of sucks but your post is definitely right – we have so much and we barely use half. You express yourself wonderfully as always :)

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Uru, your comment made me smile and smile. The trick is to enjoy each and every purchase until you reach that ‘it kiiind of sucks’ point. Half the fun of clearing it out is the prospect of going back for more. :) Each time you’ll come home with less, but you’ll still have a blast!

  5. Hi, folks! One of my most faithful, consistently commenting sweet friends, Shirley Tay, had trouble posting here. (Aaarrgghh!) Not sure what’s up with that, but here’s an excerpt from her FB message to me… “Tried in vain again to post my comments using both FB & Twitter to sign in :< I was smiling to myself when I read your first paragraph, Kimby. You do know I've a blackbelt in shopping, right?? Hahaha! Altho I'm much better now, impulse buying still lurks once in a while. It's really not easy to control that shopping habit & I salute you for that. I'm deeply inspired by your post, dear." You can find Shirley's website and wonderful insights here: http://www.luxuryhaven.co/ (And yes, she's my shopping muse…) ;) xo!

  6. Oh, Kim, thank you for this post b/c I’m one of those guilty ones of impulse buying and adding more and more…sometimes I just want to totally de-clutter, say ya’ll come get all this ‘stuff’ and simplify life…I needed this…now I’m going to spend some time in the next few days boxing up stuff and taking it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, whatever…time to let go, and I love Sue Ann’s comment, too! You know how to hit home girl…love you for that and much more! xox ~ally

    • Ally, see my reply to Queen Jeanne above. :) Also, when ‘stuff’ serves a purpose (photo shoots, props, or just for sheer enjoyment), there’s value in them at the time — it’s not just mindless buying. (No guilt!) When it’s served it’s purpose — out the door they go! The real treasures are the ‘stuff’ you would never, ever part with and hope to pass along to your children. :) xo

  7. This is a lovely post, Kim. I too have fallen into the impulse buy syndrome only to disgust myself later with how much stuff I have. It is mostly so useless. This is beautifully written and gives credence to what in life is really meaningful. Thank you for sharing your insights, thoughts and pics of Old Boy. As always, Good stuff. Jeanne

    • Jeanne, the fun part of honing down is that you have ‘gifts’ to give away and somebody somewhere will be tickled to get them. I, too, remember feeling that ‘disgust’ — now it’s more of an ‘oops!’, followed by a smile and a trip to the thrift store to ‘donate.’ There’s good in it all! ;)

  8. Lovely post, Kim. I used to be quite the gadget queen, too, particularly in regard to my kitchen. Now, I long for a more minimalist lifestyle so I will probably spend the rest of my days paring down all the items I’ve accumulated. One of my favorite books is the Power of Less by Leo Babauta. Whenever I find myself wanting to add something to my kitchen, my wardrobe, or my home, I revisit that book. The general principle goes something like this: “Identify the essential, eliminate the rest.” Thank you for describing how beautifully we can do just that leaving so much more room to be delighted by the beauty all around us.

    • Sue Ann, your thoughts are one of those delights! Thank you for making my world more beautiful by sharing your heart, and thanks for the book recommendation, too — loved that “identify the essential, eliminate the rest” principal.

  9. Dear Kim, I love this post and you are so correct… we have stopped buying ‘things’… taking joy instead in the fact that we are alive every day xox

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