Material Goods = Happiness?

Fate intervened yesterday and kept me from purchasing a sofa for the porch with my credit card.  After fate kept me from making that mistake I realized I was equating a Material Good to an ideal life/happiness.

Since 2005, when I purchased my home, I have wanted a comfy conversational set or sofa for my tiny three season room.  Every year I spend time looking at outdoor furniture, testing for comfort, watching the sales, and then walk away.  Outdoor furniture sets cost over $500 for anything comfortable and mildly attractive.  Yesterday, I went to Sears and found a sofa for the porch, 40% off for $346.  I decided to order it online and hurried home to make my purchase and found they were out of stock at every Sears store within a 50 mile radius.

I still don’t have any furniture to sit on in that room.  It drives me bonkers that I can’t utilize the porch the way I see it in my imagination.  I have some camp chairs that I keep on the deck and sometimes bring into the porch, but they are not that comfortable and I don’t last long sitting in them reading. Which, truth be told, is all I’d probably do is lay/sit on the sofa and read.  But in my imagination that sofa means so much more;

I imagine sitting on my enclosed porch with a significant other in the evenings and mornings, reading and sipping coffee.  I imagine intimate gatherings of friends on the porch with wine and beer and laughter.  Somehow, in my mind, if I buy that couch those things will magically happen.  This is not the first time this type of thinking has spurred me to spend money I didn’t have.  I am the owner of a lovely sectional that seats seven.  Guess how many times I’ve had seven people over at once?  Zero!

Instead, I should be focusing on making those imagined events a reality because “if you buy it…..they will not come”.

Do other people think; if they have the material things in place, then the imagined lifestyle, wonderful moments, relationships will follow?

Even if I bought that sofa (which I still want and if I save and pay cash I can buy), all it means is I have a place to sit in the mornings and evenings on my own.  The sofa might get used often or it might just end up being one more thing I sell in a couple of years that “I had to have” that I never use.

After all, none of that imagined lifestyle, those gatherings, or a relationship come included with the price of the couch.   I have to make that happen on my own.

One response to “Material Goods = Happiness?

  • Young Mogul

    I believe most people equate material things with happiness or providing a better/more interesting life. Then, after the newness of the item wears off and the purchaser sees that it has not contributed to his happiness, he moves on to the next purchase; hoping it will provide the happiness he is in search of. For most people, it never occurs to them that happiness comes from within. This thinking, or lack thereof, probably accounts for most of the debt in this country.

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