It took months and months before I was sure about my decision.
My old boots were wearing down pretty significantly and I knew the time was close. I considered a few different brands and styles, but as soon as I became familiar with one particular pair of boots, the competition faded from my mind.
I am rather frugal about the clothes I buy. Over the past few years, I’ve become more interested in owning less things that last longer rather than buying lots of things that wear out quickly. Cheaply made sweaters that stretch or tear after a couple seasons didn’t create a quality wardrobe. Shoes didn’t need to become a cycle of buy, wear, wear out, and toss in a landfill. When it comes to eating, a larger amount of food is cheaper but pay a little more for less quantity and get higher quality.
After 2 years absolutely tore up my old boots, wearing holes in the soles and scuffing down the fake leather exterior, I grew increasingly excited about the quality hand-made, Minnesota-crafted Red Wing Heritage Iron Rangers, a style that’s been worn over 100 years by farmers and miners in the Northland’s Iron Range. The thought of wearing something handmade in my home state made them all the more appealing.
I could have gotten another pair of trendy boots that would have worn out in another couple years, but I wanted something that could last.
Life is full of trade-offs:
We can choose a quick fix or we can search for a long-term solution. (tweet that)
It took a while to break in the sturdy leather boots and cork sole. My feet were pretty uncomfortable for weeks, actually. But it seemed fitting that a little temporary discomfort was required to get to a better experience eventually.
Collections Of Convenience
Maybe you’ve realized something about your life, how you tend to go for what’s convenient or easy at the time. Saying yes to more stuff is easier than saying no to the wrong stuff. Yet before we realize it, we’ve amassed belongings, beliefs, and habits that don’t do us any good. Having more seems comfortable for a while, but having what’s best is the most useful to us long term.
The things we collect—whether possessions stuffed in our closets, beliefs that we’re only as valuable as our performance, or habits that keep us chasing pleasure without fulfillment—become more like burdens than treasures. We can’t carry everything through life without the sheer weight of it all sapping our strength.
We can only carry so much.
I’m not saying we all must buy only high-quality, super-expensive cars, houses, wardrobes, and we must get rid of anything inexpensive. And I’m not saying we should never own anything at all. Maybe we could stand to release a few of those things and ideas and behaviors, like shedding heavy winter clothes in the heat of summer. We simply don’t need all that anymore. There is freedom beyond the weight we’ve carried. The decision to say “no more” rests in our hands.
Don’t Live For More; Live For Better
“A special kind of simplicity happens when you leave behind all things unnecessary, and even some necessary ones. There is no noise, no chaotic motion—just silence. All of a sudden feelings start to rise to the surface you didn’t even know you had. You start to think thoughts you didn’t realize you were capable of thinking. There’s an incredible clarity of mind that comes to you when you leave everything comfortable behind.” – Allison Vesterfelt
The point of life isn’t to gain the most things or to get rid of the most things. Life is about experiencing great moments and great things, seeing that God is the one providing everything we need and more. And in the end, it’s not really about the things as much as it’s about the people with whom we’re connected. [More on that another time.]
What’s one thing you’ve learned to let go and one better thing you’ve picked up—whether a product, a belief, or a habit?