Consumption for a product, what motivates folks to reach for something off the shelf, online to be shipped to their doorstep?
In Maine, or anywhere a person is parked. Resting, sitting on their haunches. As the slightly tilted blue and green revolving marble spins.
The perceived or real need to have to have it.
Gotta go to the bathroom squirming like right now to abandon all sense of responsibility or consequence. Just take the ahhhh plunge to purchase. Whether you can actually afford it or not. Strangling the urge to wait because it would be cheaper to do a little shopping. Toying with the options for a better deal. Using better impulse control to separate want from actual need.
Some who were dirt poor for material goods growing up might argue those stormy, brooding days are over.
Long gone when they leave the sparseness of the household nest. That someone without their consent made them feel ashamed over. And let’s double clutch. Shift gears. Stimulate the economy.
Driven to work three jobs, marry for money, go into a life of crime, etc. Obsessed with catching up for lost time collecting stuff. The latest and greatest to gain attention and live in the public spotlight. They somehow felt inferior not having but wished they did growing up without the new, shiny, highly polished. Consumption is the self medication to fill a dark hole that is bottomless.
More stuff passed please.
But not for personal enjoyment like a kid by a glistening Maine pine or fir tree covered in sparkling tiny lights, shimmering tinsel and garland. No no, the real fun of owning the latest and greatest possession is outside where others can know you have it.
Don’t keep it a secret. In the dark. Show it off to everybody and anybody. So others wished, filled with envy, started uncontrollable drooling over lucky you. Whoa, that’s not how things roll in small rural Maine.
In small town Maine sometimes the bare essentials are more than enough. Knowing you have squirreled away money to keep your property taxes current. The next winter fuel account in the black payed ahead. Fully funded first is the target of the household spending. Not to impress or la dee da with the hoity toity. But taking care of what is real, important, practical.
Luxuries are the extras in life that make it more fulfilling, more rewarding, more comfortable, more enjoyable.
As a person’s income rises, it is argued the needs change in how wide, often, easily the wallet or purse pries open. Luxury is Latin for extras in life. Maybe it is four dollars simple designer coffee or a French light and flaky pastry pleasure. A hired cleaning lady or lawn service.
When my Dad asked my Mom which engagement diamond she liked best as the two bent over, peered in the ring display. Before he sailed across the puddle to serve Uncle Sam in the WW2 European war effort. Under the bright lights of a Woodstock New Brunswick jeweler’s case, her answer was a question. How much can we afford? Considering other expenses needed tending too. Keeping it all in perspective.
No red flag demanding response from Mom.
Sputtering “Buster, you better make a three carat honking, blinding to look at rock to call attention to me or forget it”.
Maybe spending in rural Maine seems square to some. Or that we are depriving ourselves. But it goes back to life on the Maine farm when you have food, firewood, shelter. Worked hard, made the best of the weather and markets. Survived on the love of a large family working together to stay on that patch of dirt.
Not much disposable cash income made it easier to forget about resisting the urge to overspend too.
But basic needs met. And the shift in focus of lamenting what you did not have. By simply taking better care of what you did. Excited about finally getting the bad half of the barn roof replaced. Purchasing a new to you pre-owned piece of Maine farm equipment. To improve the crop yield or ease of planting, cultivating, harvesting it.
Or adding to the herd of critters. With income from the investment plowed back into reducing, removing debt. With the end all goal always in the front of your brain, out front where you could see it and not to forget. To one day living free and clear of a mortgage. Or the burden of revolving monthly expenses. Which frees you up from worry.
Gratitude is riches.
Stuff is not the temporary reward. Family, community, relationships are. All worked for, respected, preserved. Knowing fully that those institutions, the best things in life are not store bought and in tight supply, limited brands to keep the price up. But free, constant, all around us. Everywhere you look in pure, unfiltered all natural rural Maine.
Come sample the fresh air, blue skies, sunshine making natural diamonds on the crystal clean water. And the best part, the down to Earth hard working friendly people that dot the small Maine communities anxious to meet you.