I’m just going to say it: I like the things I don’t have more than the things I do have.
Let me explain, even though you might know where I’m going with this.
About a month ago, my 2008 MacBook Pro turned on for the last time. Was it an old machine? Yes. But it was also the answer I commonly gave to the question,
“What is your most valuable and cherished possession?”
Thus, it was a very sad day.
In college, my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) once drove me two hours so that I could research my first Mac purchase in an Apple Store with a prescheduled one-to-one appointment. That date still goes down as one my favorite dates we’ve ever shared! No, I am not even joking.
All that to say, probably like you, I really like tech stuff. And yes, that means I have a place in my heart Apple products. On some days, you can find me window shopping in the Apple Store, accessing websites and apps that I already own. Or at other times, I will search for a bargain in the limited and often disappointing clearance section on the Apple website.
But as I type this post out on my wife’s 2007 White MacBook (which we found on eBay) running OSX 10.6.8 in an old version of Chrome – I realize that my attitude towards the gear I do and don’t have has been a pretty big distraction in my creative process.
In his post, The Gear Game, Brian Cates candidly talks about his struggle in this area and mentions the voices he too often hears in his own head.
“Can I really have too many prime lenses?” “Maybe today will provide an accessory solution to operating the Zoom while holding a boom.” “If Philip Bloom says ‘buy it,’ then it must be gospel.” “Today is the day I switch to Nikon.” “Surely somebody makes a 10-foot tripod slider.” “If I don’t own Zeiss glass, then no one will take me seriously.”
Now, of course the newest line of MacBook Air’s are superior when it comes to technical specs to the machines I use on a daily basis. However, my attitude of desire quickly transforms into one of entitlement which indicates a lack of gratitude.
Was it sad that my computer died? Yes.
Was it that big of a deal? Not really.
Do I have stuff that works? Yes.
In the scope of eternity is the inconvenience of an older and slower computer really anything to be talking about?
I guess not.
May we stop allowing our tools to define us and let our work speak for itself.
That’s the pledge I am making this Christmas season, whose with me?