Who The Hell are The Joneses, and Why are We Trying to Keep Up with Them?

I don’t know who the Joneses are and why the hell so many feel compelled to keep up with them. For the sake of judgement whoever they are I am certain their commitment to status in life is exhausting, expensive and perfectly edited. But do they even exist? I decided recently it’s possible we’ve all made them up in our minds.

As an organizer I have immersed myself into the world of over consumption. I preach minimalism and letting go of the unnecessary as I breathe. At the heart of my business it is the song I sing loudly to all- collect the moments, not all the pretty little shiny things. I try to steer clear of throwing my opinion around as if I am the authority on living simple. For the record I am not. I own just as many gadgets as the next person, but I have finally found freedom in knowing none of that defines me.

Enter “The Joneses”.

Those pretty shiny things are a tricky tight rope to walk. They blur our vision, and take from our wallets, yet sometimes make us happy. If only for a moment. It’s like a quick fix. We get the brand new car, television, or iPhone and our distraction subsides.  Then maybe a year later while you’re heading out to grab the mail The Joneses talk about the newer version of that tv you have, and you begin to fixate yourself on the shiny things once again. So in essence- we are the Joneses. We’ve created the cycle of more to believe we need more. It’s a cycle that makes me sad.

The Joneses will always exist, but merely in our minds. In every neighborhood, Instagram post, Facebook status and 2 year old birthday party we think we found them in. Our mind can’t escape those superficial conversations. You know the ones without any real substance to them. They are about where you bought your cute top, what car you’ve recently upgraded to and how can so and so afford to vacation so much? Let’s flip that conversation. Discover the magic, freedom and happiness that lies in telling them to, well…fuck off. You don’t actually have to say “fuck off” to anyone’s face. You can change your response.

By standing in your power and making statements purely from a place that feels good for you, and knowing your true worth is enough to permanently delete The Joneses from your friend list- that is going to really set you free. Walk away, change the subject, talk about the damn weather. Ask people how they really are. Remove the masks of insecurity and see what you find. I’m willing to bet it’s a real person in there who secretly wants to sell half their belongings, downsize their life and run away to the woods.

All of us are infinite in our ability to enjoy life on our own terms

None of us are inadequate because we can’t afford this over that. None of us are not living our best life because we haven’t been able to buy ourselves a new purse, car or home. All of us are infinite in our ability to enjoy life on our own terms. The falsehood that exists in thinking we are less than due to what we do not own, or that what we own defines us is the biggest culprit to over consuming.

I praise the women who has worked hard to purchase those shoes, yet doesn’t let them define who she is. I give love to anyone who has worked hard to build the home of their dreams, but built it for themselves, not to fill a void. I also am in awe of anyone who is perfectly happy with riding a bike to work, and peeking in their closets you’d see plenty of hanging space. That empty space does not need to be filled with more. The more comes from the freedom of just being. Taking time to read a book, going for a long walk, or even hopping on a flight to the island of your dreams. That is where the magic lives. Those are the moments that sustain us. They’re not made of quick fixes, and fake convos.

Next time I see you at a party, or in the grocery store I promise you I will not ask where you work, where you live or what you’re driving. I will simply ask how you are, and I also may ask you to join me in telling The Joneses, in the most sincere way, to please fuck off.

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