A couple of weeks ago I began working on "My Wish List" - a list of things that I want, even though I cannot necessarily afford or pay for them now. Originally I thought it was going to be a long, expensive list - as it has been in years past.
After making the list, I was shocked to see how short it was.
Outside of the one extravagant thing I want to do (train in Japan) the list was rather short and surprisingly pedestrian. It had a couple of big ticket items on it - a practice naginata and bees supplies - and a number of much smaller items: A sword stand. A hammer head and sheaf for training. Photovoltaics for charging batteries. A Kettle bell. A Sports Kilt. All in all (excluding the trip to Japan, of course) the list ran about $1500.
And that is all I really want.
Sure, I will always continue to buy books - but even in this area my purchases have become a great deal different than they used to be. I seldom buy new books at full price, preferring primarily used books or Amazon and their discount. And my range of books that I purchase have shrunk as well - history (there always will be history) and agricultural books, with an occasional sprinkling of science fiction. And hopefully if I am able to expand the Ichiryo Gusoku project, there will be tools and items to support that as well.
But beyond that, not a lot.
To be honest, that surprises me a great deal. I would have thought that there would be more on that list. But as I reflected on it, I realized that things that I desire really revolve around being of use to me or in activities I do. Things for the sake of things has largely passed. Things for the sake of appearance have also passed as well - although to be fair, this was never really a thing with me.
The things I really desire - freedom, independence from the system so far as I am able, the privilege to not hold a job I have to keep - are things that simply cannot be directly purchased with money, although money can be used to fund them. It is here that my true financial interest lies, not in the acquisition of more items that I will scarcely use - better a few things well used than a huge number of things that are only used occasionally or not at all.
I am perhaps not completely free of the tyranny of things - but I am slowly making my way there.