Posts Tagged 'my sanity'

Want, need, get, have, love

About eight months ago, my ipod quit on me, outside warranty. At that time I was getting ready for a 4 month (frequently camping, back to basics) trip to Canada, so I decided against getting a new one right away, since it wasn’t going to do me much good. Instead, I picked up a cheap potable mp3CD-player, and asked my family and friends to fill up a CD with mp3s they like. I have a solar-powered battery charger, so I could pretty much always have music.

When I got back early November, I didn’t have the money to get a new one right away. It didn’t really matter, though, since I was almost too busy to listen to any music. But the last few weeks, I really started to miss my ipod. The compactness, the fact it can carry all my music, and I can play whatever I like and not be dragging around a pack of Cd’s. I am a fan of portable music libraries. So I got to the point of want.

But, being a student not wanting to go too much into debt, I have a system of buying, well, pretty much anything, based on need and want. Basically, it’s a short series of questions I ask myself whenever I pick anything up from a shelf. It goes like this:

  1. Do I want it?
  2. Do I need it?
  3. Do I need it today?

See? Simple. Only if all three questions are answered affirmatively, do I buy the ipod/pack of biscuits/cauliflower/pen/… Now, there are always times You want something and don’t need it, but still really want it, or suddenly find yourself going out to dinner with friends. I set aside some money for these things each month, and this works.

Now, back to the ipod. I was at Want. But an ipod is expensive, in my book at least. It’s about 3 months of  fun money, and I can’t miss out on social activities just because I want to be able to stick headphones on my ears and listen to music as I go about the mundane things in my day. So a long-term want it stayed, even though by now I wanted it bad.

But then I took off for the week and took my portable CD player with me. Two things stood out for me, that should have been obvious to me earlier, but I had been a bit stressed, and missed: Music, especially through earphones, makes me happy; and portable CD players are a hassle.

In short, what I realised was that the ipod is at this point in my life a necessity, because it really keeps my spirits up, and doing that has been a little hard over the last few months. It’s a Need.

Of course, I told myself I didn’t need it right away (money, money, money -it’s not like I don’t have enough to buy the thing, but I always like to save up and then make up my mind about what I spend it on). But then I had a really interesting class (on Philosophy in Psychiatric Treatment, an elective I’m taking), in which we explored our own motives for doing and not doing things, and how we sometimes harm ourselves by not creating the circumstances in which we can work to the very best of our abilities.

Hmm… I’ve been having a hard time staying positive and focused. Music makes me more productive. But I’m not listeningto any, because the CD player is too big to just stick in my pocket. That’s not exactly creating the best circumstances for yourself, is it? So I decided I Needed it Today.

There’s a big electronics store on the way from the medical school back to my house, and last Monday, immediately after said class ended, I went to the store and Got myself a new ipod.

So now I Have an ipod again. And you know what? I’ve had a great week. I’ve read more, felt more relaxed, slept better, and got more things done in generally.

Verdict: Good choice. I Love that I made it.

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