Podcast 11 – Listing Wishfully
December 8, 2006
I finally got my act together the other day and re-compiled my wish list for the holidays. I‚Äôve been doing this for more than 30 years, so it wasn‚Äôt a new endeavor, but it took more effort this time.
And it‚Äôs precisely this effort that concerns me. Instead of being rabid to compose a string of expensive, extravagant and interesting items on a list that is posted for all the world to see ‚Äì by the way, you can find it at jeffcutler.com/wishlist (the wishlist part is all one word) ‚Äì instead of this rabidity, I was pretty nonchalant this year. And that frightens me.
My modus operandi is one that is best described as Jeff to the world. Not in a inwardly focused style, but in a ‚Äòthe holidays are so taxing on everyone‚Äôs nerves that you should be able to smile‚Äô way.
So I frequently try to be as creative in my list making as I am in my advertising brainstorming, my blog entries and my emails to long-lost friends. I sometimes put things like circus tickets, licorice laces and even home renovations to the tune of $260,000 on the list. But I think I‚Äôve either grown up or lost the enthusiasm for things.
Don‚Äôt think this is all crazy talk, I still have some fun stuff there, but most things on the list are more slanted toward gift cards and practical items than in years past.
Maybe it‚Äôs a new era ‚Äì or the semblance of a period that we all approach as we get older ‚Äì but I‚Äôm not sure I‚Äôm too fond of the list apathy that has gripped my soul.
I want to want. The urge to bask in excess is something I miss, and thankfully it‚Äôs something I can‚Äôt grasp hold of by purchasing gadgets from Brookstone, sushi from Porter Square or bike parts from SpeedGoat.com. Well, maybe the sushi would make me smile a little.
But what comes next? The inexorable trip to being altruistic? A path that has me standing in soup kitchens with a ladle? Or divesting myself of all 280 of my baseball caps to kids who need them more than I.
In retrospect I think this sense of wonder is a safety valve to my sanity and it gives me hope that I‚Äôm not that far gone from the present-hoarder of days gone by.
Similar to those smart people you know who don‚Äôt focus on their brains and are slightly insecure in their brilliance, I think that I‚Äôm safe from gift burnout.
You see, by leaning toward the irrational and talking hypothetically about no presents, I‚Äôve awoken a greedy little monster inside me. And this monster is already gurgling and whimpering about gift cards, home and travel electronics and a lengthy list of fun things to sate its appetite.
Phew, that was close! Wishion accomplished!