Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another entry of Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude always marks the occasion, which for today is for having a trait in my life now that I never used to have, one where I appreciate and hold onto things until they finally break, rather than always looking to acquire those “shiny new things” in life.

In all honesty, I’m actually amazed I’ve become this way in life. I truly do hold onto things now for as long as they will keep on working for me. My cell phone, computer, headphones, tv, necklaces, clothing, my car, you name it, each are considered so old by now that no one would question a decision to upgrade any of them.

My iPhone is from late 2015. My laptop is from early 2014 and my desktop is from 2016. My headphones are a 2017 pair from Bose. My television is a 55” Sony from 2014.  Most of my clothes and jewelry are many years old by now as well. And my vehicle is a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

People who’ve known me for many years can’t believe how long I hold onto things now. Because the person they remember is the one who was always getting the latest technological advancements on a constant basis. I once was that guy who would stand in line for hours for the latest iPhone. I was also that guy who sported a new wardrobe all the time. I was even that guy who kept trading out one car after another, always finding a reason to justify why I needed a new vehicle.

Believe me when I say the ego will always find a way to justify getting those shiny new things in life, even when the things they’re replacing are still working well enough. My present iPhone is the greatest example of that. My cell phone is almost considered obsolete by now, at least according to Apple standards. They plan on supporting it for one final year beginning with this month. Yet, it still works just fine for me. It makes calls. It sends and receives text messages. And it surfs the web perfectly fine. Sure, there are many cell phones that are blazingly faster these days with plenty of new features that often beckon my ego. I have friends who seem to fall for that sort of thing almost every year or every other year, constantly sporting the latest in mobile advancements. But I’m ok having my bulky and ancient cell phone from 2015 because it represents the new me, as the old me is someone I didn’t much like at all. The old me had to constantly have those new things all the time, because it was a status symbol, an ego booster, and a way to make myself feel better. But when you go down that path of consistently getting those new things, it becomes a never-ending cycle that leaves you always wanting more and never fully fulfills you from within.

There’s something to be said to hold onto older things that are still working but may just be a little slower and less technologically advanced. And there’s something to be said to even be wearing clothing that isn’t the latest fashion trend either. What is it? It’s that I know what is on the outside of me isn’t what matters. What does matter is the heart within me, the one that cares about people, and not things. The one that wants to be generous and kind, rather than selfish and always consumed with having those shiny new things.

My motto today is to keep holding onto things until they break, and if they can’t be fixed for an affordable amount, then it’s finally time to upgrade. When I recently thought it might finally be time to do that very thing with my iPhone 6s Plus because the charging port wasn’t working right anymore, I opted to take it to a shop called “UBREAKIFIX” in Perrysburg just to see what the problem was. Come to find out a piece of mulch from my gardens had lodged its way into the port itself, preventing it from charging correctly. Go figure. $30 later, my phone was back to working just fine, at least according to an ego-less standard.

So, I’m grateful to not be consumed anymore with having those shiny new things. And I’m grateful to not be coveting physical things like I once did. When I see my friends or anyone doing just that nowadays, I’m reminded they are simply a mirror of the person I once was, which always causes me to reflect on being grateful for being more concerned today for what’s on the inside of me, rather than what’s on the outside…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson