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August 14, 2012



Right, and your last sentence evinces something key: the addiction and the love of watches may be entwined but they aren't the same thing.

This has inspired me to write something about this on one of my blogs, but I will say that as I've observed the cycle of addiction--desire, fulfillment, emptiness, and desire again, endlessly, again and again--I've also noticed a parallel process which has to do with seeing those watches I do have as if for the first time (think TS Eliot's famous quote).

Over the last couple months I've bought well over a dozen watches which culminated in a handful of expensive (for me) watches in rapid succession over the course of a couple weeks. I kept receiving them in the mail and looking for the next package, like a child opening a present and looking for the next before it is fully out of the wrapper. Yet after the hangover of receiving the last one (for now!), I turned around, so to speak, and looked at the watches I had with fresh eyes and really began to enjoy them.

In other words, the parallel process occurs after emptiness and when desire isn't immediately fulfilled again; when I paused and stopped feeling the desire and instead looked at what I already had.

This doesn't mean I don't desire more watches--or even that I desire to be desireless of watches--but that this desire, which is only pathological in extreme, can be tempered with a deeper sense of appreciation for what one does already have.


Well said. Read Letters from a Stoic, the call for an austere life written from a man who loved luxury. Wow.


There's nothing wrong with toys-- as long as you know they're toys.

Brent Fremming

A good book to read is Stephanie Mills's Epicurean Simplicity. Mills had some brief notoriety in the 1969 that "the most moral thing to do with their lives would be to have no children"... Mills eschews the idea of collecting "stuff" but writes about buying cross-country skis to navigate her Northern MI property, and how some purchases are inevitably going to have some level of impact on the environment.

I think the real challenge is to be mindful of our purchases. I don't know that 50 watches means much if we only wear 1 or 2.

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