The Forever Battle to Be Satisfied With What We Have

We live in a 1906 craftsman-style home within walking distance of work, the library, the farmers market and our thriving downtown. The neighbors on our block are awesome; we even have block parties. Our house has four bedrooms and beautiful wood trim and features throughout. The space is laid out well and lives bigger than its 1,700 square feet of living space. I can clean it top to bottom in a few hours on Saturday morning.

Sounds great, right?

But our house has its old house problems: chipped and peeling 1970s kitchen cupboards, a dilapidated downstairs bathroom, a non-functional garage, ugly fir trees that drop pitch and needles all over our car, the fence, the basement . . .

Did I mention we got a great deal on this house?

We bought this fixer-upper house at the bottom of the market and have already had some work done on it. The market here is hot and we'd make a pretty penny if we sold the house. We might even be able to buy a better house, one with less needed repairs and a bit more space for spreading out (and maybe an office!).

Maybe we could get a house with a VIEW! Get my nature-loving, space-loving, vista-loving self into the country and out of town!

More. Bigger. Better. These desires are so hard to resist.

Our house is fine. It's a lovely home. We're incredibly blessed in having it. Our family can grow and we'd still have room. So why this restlessness?

I find the battle to be satisfied to be a forever battle. I'm a doer, a go-getter, and am always looking to the next thing. I like changing stuff up. I like technological gadgetry and wish I could have and afford the newest iPhone. I like thinking through systems and work flows. I'm always redoing my websites. I'm always tempted to take on more projects than I can handle.

Stuff does not make me happy. Doing, doing, doing does not make me happy. I know this. So why the continued temptation?

I know I'm not alone. Wanting more, bigger, and better is a human problem and a particularly American one. It explains our national debt, our runaway credit culture, our exploitation of the underprivileged, the expansion the state and its bully pulpit and crony capitalism, our suburban sprawl, and our lack of self-control in many areas of life other than the material.

This is one reason I'm grateful my husband and I took the Dave Ramsey course a few years ago - it's given us tools for taking care of our family while fighting the urge to buy more crap.

The desire for more, bigger, better can't be answered by crap. More, bigger, better is something only found in God. Seeking it in anything else only leads to the disintegration of self and society.

Small is beautiful. It's hard fighting the consumerist tide, but it's worth it.