Being at home somewhere typically implies that you have at least some things that are familiar, that you can call yours, around you – but also, that those same things become so mundane, they aren’t really noticed much anymore.
It’s just a fact of life, and part of the “faulty connections” we make about happiness, that we get used to new things quickly, adapt and never notice what we have, thinking it’s just normal.
I’m writing about such psychological mechanisms, and yet also wrote about good things that are new, not about the old…
As I’m back in Austria, back with stuff that has collected over the last years, back into running, and trying out some new equipment, it’s made me notice a few things like that, particularly my CW-X stuff.
Looking at it simply from the perspective of what it is… it’s one company and brand of running clothes. Tights, mainly. Not your average ones, though, because they are made from pretty high-tech materials and in such a way as to work like a taping of your joints (or as the marketing material states, like an exo-skeleton).
If talk of an exo-skeleton (and tights) makes you feel a tad uncomfortable – well, yes, it is decidedly technical sports clothing, nothing to wear for everyday pursuits.
Thus, looking at it from the perspective of minimalism as an aesthetic and approach to life, it’s a bit strange.
There is a very nearly minimal amount of material in them, but they are too technical to be considered minimalist. Maybe.
It also took some getting used to that kind of clothing. I do know some people who wouldn’t want to be caught wearing such tight clothing, being reminded all too much of latex and leather. I’m pretty sure it was me running past that caused a little car collision once (driver got distracted staring at my backside…).
I’m not sure it counts as minimalism when you have equipment for a very specific purpose.
Certainly, looking at it from the perspective of minimalism as simply owning few things, running would appear to be my personal downfall.
Mere numbers: I have 7 pairs of CW-X running tights alone (which cannot be used for anything else, except as thermal underwear for snowboarding or such).
Running tops can typically be taken for everyday use, too – at least, to a point. Still, there’d be 18 items for sports alone if I just counted tights and tops. Add training technology, accessories, shoes, and it feels like there’s a 100 Thing Challenge just for Sports in the making for me.
Looking at prices, it’s hardly simple living, either. $60 to $200 per pair moves into the realm of luxury…
Funny thing, though: It all makes sense, even from the perspective of simply better living:
Considering value rather than price, it makes sense. I’ve had most of these tights and even some of the tops for nearly 10 years. Even being expensive, given how long they’ve been in use, they provide quite some “bang for the buck.”
There’s nothing fashionable (or not) about these things. So, there’s no way they could “have to be replaced” because they fell out of fashion – and that’s totally not what it’s all about, anyways.
Besides, there is a small hole in one pair, the labels are fading – but that’s all the wear and tear even on the oldest of those pieces.
So, these pieces of equipment – to get right back to the beginning – have been fading into the background of awareness. I got used to them, don’t think much about them anymore – but they continue to function just as they should.
They are good things exactly because of that, the value and the adaptation – the simple getting used – to having them that happens even while they continually help adapt to the exertion and/in whatever situation.
About this other form of adaptation – not the subconscious process by which new and shiny toys turn into mundane objects of little value, but that of having few things, but things that work perfectly for the situations they are needed in – there’ll be quite a bit more to say…