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  • Writer's pictureBryan Jun

legos and air fresheners

As life improves (both in time, money, and ultimately mindset), I believe you should give yourself the luxury of expanding your list of "legos" and "air fresheners" to give yourself a break and improve your lifestyle.

For easy understanding of these personalized metaphors, see definitions below; feel free to replace them with your own equivalents

Legos: things I don't need but would keep buying if I had unlimited money

I used to love Legos as a kid, in fact it was the only "toy" I remotely played with. Was never a gamer growing up nor did I really stay at home much as I was always out hanging out with friends, but the one stationary action I took was buying and building legos. So much so I had a dedicated lego room at one point in my life.

I don't recall the last time I gave myself the luxury of buying legos was actually never - in recent reflection I realized my lego collecting ended as a child and I never bought myself legos (or even a close equivalent) after I started making money.

Ironically the lego epiphany wasn't prompted by a personal purchase either, it was a gift from my girlfriend that made me realize not only did I treat myself to anything since earning a buck, but I lived with a weird sense of guilt that prevented me from buying anything beyond the necessity for myself.

Being able to buy yourself legos is important because it allows you to measure the level of money and time and you're allowing yourself beyond the needs of life. It's breathing room. Of course, material addiction and in some ways worship is unhealthy. However, I'm recognizing the complete opposite from the life I have been living isn't too beneficial either and a dose of consumerism allows you to participate in the capitalistic world not just in effort but also in result. We all need a carrot after daily life with the stick and as long as it's not harmful nor too costly, I think it's quite important to let yourself know it's okay to get yourself something, even if it doesn't serve a productive goal or make your life more efficient. Obsession in ROI driven consumerism makes you a cog in the machine instead of a beneficiary of the world we participate in. It's crucial to make the participation trophy at least something you like looking at.

I find legos to best represent this as it:

  1. Brings back a core element of life that now feels like a luxury

  2. Serves no inherent productive purpose

  3. Is at the price level where it doesn't break the bank but is significant enough

  4. Comes along with the cost of "time" that also serves as a reminder of how far I've come in the luxuries I'm able to enjoy

Air Fresheners: things that improve life incrementally

Key word here is incrementally and not improve, in the sense that the improvement truly is not that drastic but the incremental nature of the item is significant.

I'm quite sensitive to smell but I recently recognized I've never made an effort to enhance the smell of the place I spend the most time in as opposed to eliminate any odors. That's a switch we need to keep getting comfortable updating as life improves, the ability to push forward improvements as opposed to relying solely on prevention.

I bought and set up air fresheners across all my living spaces recently and it's such an incremental life changer. Perhaps an oxymoron as something improving one aspect of your life incrementally can't change your entire life, but the daily or even hourly practice of stepping into your room and bathroom with not a neutral smell but a pleasant one stacks.

In some ways I had a bigger mental blocker for air fresheners than legos and had trouble buying into what actually makes life better (don't think legos serves this purpose, at least not with a nice whiff). I can't explain why I was unable to make this jump and there's aspects of my life that I still grasp onto the neutral foregoing the pleasant - i.e. not getting myself AirPods after I put my old ones in the washer - and it's something I need to practice more.

The conclusion you should be hitting here isn't to go spend your paycheck towards legos and air fresheners - note that these purchases were truly milestones for me and outside of food and rent, I truly don't spend a single dollar towards anything else. I (with a bit of exaggeration and clouded memory) made my first over $50 clothing purchase recently at the forced push of my mom and girlfriend.

However, if you've made some improvements in your time x money equation, but more importantly are ready to reward yourself the luxury of a well deserved fresh fragrance filled set building session, I think you deserve to spend a little. Or more.

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