Do you know how many pairs of jeans you own?
This is a decidedly first world sort of question to even need to ask. Personally, I would love to have some sort of smart phone app to track and rate my jeans, because I have completely lost the plot when it comes to knowing how many I have or which ones make my ass look just right for bass playing.
I remember my first pair of jeans – in fact, I still have them and wear them as cutoffs. They were UnionBay jeans, and I bought them in eighth grade.
I am not telling you that to make you feel fat, although that is frequently the reason I still wear that pair of jeans.
My point is that nice jeans – attractive, durable jeans – are not cheap. For much of my life, acquiring a new pair was a momentous occasion. In college I owned a finite number of them. Four, typically – two identical newer pairs that were more for dressing up, and two older pairs for bumming around.
Now there is the distinct chance that I may come home with four pairs of jeans from a single, manic shopping excursion.
This morning as I worked to stow an overflowing basket of laundry I tried to explain my jeans-shelving methodology to E, but it is the sort of process that warrants a flow chart for proper understanding and I did not have a PC with PowerPoint or Visio handy. My jeans are no longer a strictly finite affair. I have about as many jeans as a Gap display shelf with a svelte mannequin standing in front of it. I need a set of those clear sticky tags to label one pant leg of each with the relevant size and style information.
I am not telling you this to make you feel inadequate about your own personal jeans collection. No. My seemingly infinite jeans are an allegory for my 2011.
2011 was awesome. I loved it. It featured so much stuff that I barely remember it all. Stuff to do. Stuff to buy. Stuff to remember. Stuff to play music on or through. Lots of stuff.
Honestly, it was a bit overstimulating. Now that I have my own house to house my seemingly-infinite jeans, approaching-infinite music collection, my actually-as-infinite-as-possible X-Men comic books, and many other precious things I love to acquire, the mere act of directing my attention at a single group of them can sideline me not just for hours, but for days – and that doesn’t take into account the possibly-actually-infinite other things I could be doing with my life, like writing songs or spending time with friends I love.
That observation doesn’t equate to a neat resolution for 2012. Do I want less stuff? No. I love my stuff. Do I want to be less stimulated? Good god, who would ever aspire to that? I am incredibly proud of my overstuffed, overstimulated 2011. I played a show every month. I paid off a student loan. I got promoted. It was awesome.
I suppose with a new year stretched out invitingly before me I simply want to offer both myself and you, my dear reader, the simple moral of my 2011 fairytale – that getting everything you ever wanted or needed just means you’ll want something new afterwards.
Don’t make your whole life about wanting.
Do. Create. Give. Love.
And, if your ass looks great in the pair of jeans you wear while living, more power to you.