Sunday, January 11, 2015


Thanks again to Facebook I read "What Really Happens When We Give Kids Everything They Want" (You may say I spend too much time on FB, which is probably true, but I've always loved reading magazines and human interest stories, so I think its a technological version.) 

I don't feel like my kids are too spoiled. In comparison of the world yes, we are over-consuming Americans, but as far as american standards my children spend far more time whining they didn't get what they wanted then with smiling with consumer driven faces. That is actually one of the foremost reasons I want to spend time abroad, I want perspective. Actually I feel like have plenty of perspective there is so many cultural norms in the US that makes me sick to my stomach. Many of which I participate in, for example Christmas. But I'm not good at fighting off our over consumption. I want to teach myself that stuff doesn't matter.

 Anyway, this is the point of the post. The above mentioned article gets into the affluenza virus. Have you ever heard of affluenza? Wikipedia tells us, Affluenzaa portmanteau of affluence and influenza, is a term used by critics of consumerism. The book Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic defines it as "a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more." Full disclosure on my pride I have no debt other than my house.
In the  article she references another article that shares this,

Diagnosing Affluenza

To conquer the affluenza virus, though, one must first recognize it within himself and ask why and from where it comes. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you frequently buy things you do not really need?
  • When shopping, are you unable to control how much you spend?
  • Do you envy the lifestyles of the rich and famous?
  • Do you feel bad when your neighbors have things you do not?
  • Do you measure yourself by what others have?
  • Do you ever use shopping as a means of escape?
  • Do you use your possessions to impress others?
  • Do you compare your possessions with what your peers have? If so, do you experience a feeling of superiority that yours are better?
  • Do you speak often about the things you want?
  • Do you find yourself complaining about the things you want but cannot afford?
  • Do you think of spending your money more often than saving it?
  • Do you often think your life would be more complete if you had more money and possessions?
If you find yourself answering yes to any of the above, you may well be infected!
I'm embarrassed to admit I said yes to more than 10 of those! Honestly I don't know why I'm sharing that detail of myself on my blog with all of you people I don't know! I just found out there are 120 of you! Ok, I know plenty of you, which might make it all more embarrassing.
I want to shrink these questions down, and tape them to my credit card or wallet. Maybe print them on the back of my shopping list each week.
Yikes I have issues.
I'm slowly slowly working on them. One step forward, five steps back. For years I use to get a rush to walk out of a store holding shopping bags, oh it was a wonderful feeling. Then that was replaced with guilt that I over stepped my budget, and the resulting shame and anger. I experienced that for a few years. Now depending on what I bought and how much money I spent I occasionally get that guilt again. If I stay home I'm fine, I can go months without shopping, but I walk into a store and all of a sudden I'm reminded of everything I never knew I wanted! Although it all depends on the store, I live in a small town with a grand total of three chain stores, walmart, kohls and home depot. Oh wait we have TWO walgreens, and two grocery stores. That's what I love about where I live, there is no shopping near and it definitely changes the lifestyle of the town. In my opinion for the good. Sometimes when I need a break from all my babies at home I go wander in Kohls, especially when I get a $10 off coupon. Many Many days, I struggle at spending even those $10. I can't find anything I would want to clutter my home with. I buy my kids far too many clothes at back to school time, so I never need those, their toys are overpriced and the same as walmart and I have the wrong body type for most of the clothes at kohls. Anyway I definitely need to reevaluate my relationship to money and those around me. Why do I use stuff and money to compensate for my feelings of inadequacy? Why do I feel so inadequate? Is it me, or is it society?

Bizarrely enough a year or so ago I checked out the book Affluenza, I couldn't get into it. I wanted to, I want to cure my disease but it bored me.

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