Lately, I've been thinking a lot about needs vs. wants. The reason? A MILLION holiday catalogs are arriving at the house each day, and I can't help but flip through them. They are great for gift ideas, but inevitably, I also find things for myself to desire and admire. The other reason I have needs and wants on my mind is because, as Thanksgiving approaches, I've been stopping and thinking about all that I have to be grateful for. It's freeing to realize that you already have everything that you truly need. I'm enjoying throwing away the catalogs, ignoring the promises of great deals sent to my email inbox daily, and appreciating what I already have rather than filling an online shopping cart. During this time of year, it gives me more joy to buy gifts for others and to have money to spend on the things that really matter to me (fitness classes, holiday cards to mail out, a nice Thanksgiving meal, being able to contribute to a favorite charity, etc), so I'm being more mindful of separating out the wants that aren't as meaningful to me and ignoring them.
The holidays can be stressful. We all want to create those perfect holiday memories. We all struggle to balance work and life at this time of year. We are all trying to stay healthy in the face of many social gatherings with tons of delicious and tempting foods. For many, retail therapy is a stress reliever. However, it's totally liberating to realize that most wants are honestly just fleeting and temporary. So, before I replaced my coat that is still fine, spent hundreds on beautiful looking holiday decor, or drove myself mad searching for a piece of furniture that we're really just fine without, I considered the spirit of the season and saved myself the trouble and the money.
Instead, I'm focusing on enjoying the little indulgences: a movie on Netflix, a cup of hot tea, a cat in my lap, a good book I've been meaning to read. This time of year is special, and it's going too fast as it is; as I actively practice thankfulness, I find myself happier.
We hope all of your needs and wants are met this holiday season and that you take time to appreciate what you have and the little things that truly make the season special. Happy Thanks-giving.