When it came time to install lighting in our new home, I knew that I wanted something vintage-inspired for the backhouse. Something that was cool and easy. Something that you wouldn’t even notice, but you’d still get the sense of hey, I want to hang-out in here. Enter Schoolhouse Electric. Out of Portland, Oregon, everything that Schoolhouse was making at the time fit into the aesthetic I was looking for.
Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
Now, a few years later, they’ve expanded their brand into art, furniture and design. It’s a perfect storm for the posh hipster.
In the 1950’s something called ‘Planned Obolescence’ was built into the American economy. It’s no coincidence that this happened at the same time as the advertising boom we’ve all come to love via Mad Men. Planned Obolescence “is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.” And if you still don’t understand what I’m talking about, take a look at your Apple iPhone. Just what model do you have?
Planned Obolescence also applies to fashion, automobiles, appliances, technology obviously and just about everything you can think of. It’s a trap that leave us wanting more-more newer-newer as old products give way to something “better.” But is it better? Is that new $2000 coat really any warmer than the one you already have? Does the new dishwasher really make your dishes any cleaner?
I know so many people in debt because of this consumer trap.
So watch out for those feelings of needing to keep up with everybody around you. Maybe it’s cooler to just say no.
This is the year I’m slowing down. I don’t have to do it all. I don’t have to berate and chastise myself for not being the President of Google. I don’t know how to play the saxophone and I will never cure cancer. So instead of trying to do it all – be everything to all people – run around trying to hustle 75 seconds from a minute, I ask myself, how can I be okay with where I am? With who I am?
I am an explorer. I am a writer. I am a teacher. I am a friend. I am a daughter and a wife. I am fearless. I do not look like Kate Moss and I am not part of the “it” crowd whatever that is. But I am part of the “my” crowd. My life, my footprint, my happiness, my existence, my meaning.
This year I strive to accept and find joy with where I am. To see the glass half full. To be nice to myself inside my head. And to embrace a sense of confidence and peace in being a blip in time.
I urge you to do the same. Wherever you are – stop. Breathe. Be mindful of this exact moment. And remind yourself that life is not a race, not a fight, not a competition. It’s you and me and him and her all on a journey together. And you my friend, are doing awesome!