Currently Reading

Just a quick one today.

I thought I’d share with you what I’m currently reading.

Currently Reading…

  • George Orwell’s 1984 – A classic, and one that I have always wanted to read. For some reason I thought it was a long essay and never realised it was a work of fiction. I’m loving it but haven’t managed to power through at my usual rate due to uni reading taking over my life these last few weeks.
  • ‘Us’ by David Nicholls – I am about halfway through this one but haven’t picked it up in a while. I haven’t really been gripped by the storyline and don’t feel a great sense of urgency to get back to it. It’s one that’s quite easy reading so I don’t feel too anxious to be waiting a while before I pick up where I left off. It’s more of a romantic type novel which isn’t really my thing anyway though so it may just be a bad fit, everyone I know that had read this loved it.
  • ‘Look Who’s Back’ by Timur Vermes – I probably made it about a third of the way through this one before I lost interest. The premise of the book is – potentially risky – that Hitler is somehow transported through time and lands in the modern age of social media and a female leader and becomes a YouTube sensation. It’s supposed to be funny, I haven’t really given it a fair chance but so far I think the comedic value has potentially been lost when translated from German. I’d say the plot immediately puts some people off but I wanted to give it a shot as it has some great reviews.
  • ‘Chav’s’ by Owen Jones – This was really interesting – though again still only halfway through. I think the great thing about this book (for me especially) is that you can dip in and out and read chapters here and there. It’s obviously left wing, but I think everyone could read this and enjoy the debate it raises. It definitely provokes strong feelings, I think you have to approach it with a critical eye and be prepared to challenge your own beliefs but also don’t be afraid to disagree with the book either.
  • ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins – I started reading this and then told myself off and made myself put it down and get on with uni work. I really want to read it though!! As a believer in a God, but a sceptic in terms of formal religion/religious texts, I think it’s important to be open to other’s opinions on the matter and you can’t get many more opinionated atheists than Dawkins! Really looking forward to this one, but it’s second in line to 1984.

Anything I should add to the ever growing list?

Material Jealousy

So recently two friends of mine decided to buy a house, I was happy for them and excited to have one of my best friends join me in the home ownership gang. They searched for a few months and finally settled on their dream home. They made the offer and it was accepted. It’s all going through right now.

And I’m happy. I truly am. But there was a niggle. A little niggle that I kept pushing aside until it started to frustrate me and I was beginning to wonder if they could sense that there was something blocking my happiness for them.

So I thought about that niggle. And that niggle was jealousy. Very upsetting when you realise that you can’t be truly happy for your best friend due to jealousy, I was very angry with myself. So I sat on that jealousy for a while and let it reveal itself.

Here are my reasons for being jealous:

  • The house they were buying cost more than mine did
  • The house they were buying was bigger than mine is
  • The house they were buying is in a ‘nicer’ area than mine is

Ultimately that was it. Those were the three reasons, but ultimately they all boil down to one thing. Status.

The status that is determined by society that success equates to bigger, better and more expensive.

My forays thus far into minimalism have forced me to take a long hard look at those three reasons, and I’m finally in a place where I can now say that I am no longer jealous. I have worked on it and fronted into it and I’m through the other side.

Let’s go:

Cost

I was jealous that their house cost more than mine did because I thought people would naturally assume that it meant that I couldn’t afford to live in a house that cost that much.  Let’s be real – I couldn’t have afforded their house when we first bought three years ago, but we could now. If we wanted to, which ultimately we don’t. We’re currently set to pay off our mortgage before I turn 40, we pay a good chunk more than we could do out of choice – but not so much that it breaks the bank. We’re in a good place financially and we can afford to renovate, redecorate and enjoy ourselves. So why did them buying a more expensive house make me anxious to prove my financial status by proving I could buy bigger too?! Baffling.

Size

Their new house has an extra bedroom, an extra bathroom and bigger gardens. Do we need another bedroom? Nope. And we probably never will if I’m being honest, we already have a spare bedroom that I only use for study space, we have plenty of outdoor space that we rarely use and two reception rooms plus kitchen, there is never a time when all the rooms in our home are in use or a time when we are fighting for use of a room. Why do I need more space? Ultimately it boils down to what I think, other people think of me, through having more space. Again, baffling. I don’t need more space, and I don’t want it – I’m trying to declutter people!

Location

Their new house is in a nicer location than mine. By who’s standards? Not sure – the council’s? Local reputation? It’s just the way it is, it’s known for being a nice location. So, what’s wrong with my location? Actually, nothing. We have lovely neighbours, we’ve never been robbed or vandalised, our cars have never been damaged, we always have a parking space, we aren’t overlooked and we are literally ten yards away from open green spaces which is perfect for doggy ownership and just feeling downright zen gazing into the distance in the morning with a cup of hot tea. So again, it was what other people might think, maybe, if they ever thought about it, which they probably don’t. But you know. Baffling.

That insight into my mind isn’t pretty. Jealousy ain’t pretty. But I think it’s fairly representative of society as a whole. It’s the kind of thought processes that see people plastering social media with mountains of gifts for the baby’s first birthday, or sharing photos of their brand new cars. It’s the thinking that causes so many families to fall into debt over Christmas. It’s the type of thinking that see’s people living payday to payday or constantly in their overdraft. And it’s the type of thinking that means we’re constantly aspiring to work harder and longer in order to save up for the move to the bigger, nicer, more expensive house sacrificing quality time at home with the people that make life count.

And I realised that my little home is pretty perfect and just getting better the more we love it and gift it our time and attention.

Minimalism is taking over my heart ❤

Oh – and house buying pals – if you ever read this I am over the moon for you both and wishing you so much happiness in your home. I will make it up to you for the jealousy which you did not know about but I’m fairly certain you sensed xxxxxxxx

Have you ever experienced a case of material jealousy? Even though it’s completely irrational when you actually dig into it?