This post was originally written in January, 2015. Image: Terry Hanson weaving on a Mirrix Loom.
Early last year I read an article in The Atlantic called, “The Science of Why You Should Spend Your Money on Experiences, Not Things.”
The article reinforced a belief I’ve held since after college when I found myself broke and living abroad. Whenever I had extra money, I’d spend it on experiences. Buying new clothes or electronics seemed imprudent when I had a whole country begging to be explored. For the first time in my life, I pretty much stopped buying “things”. And I never missed them.
While since then my shoe-buying habit has come back with a vengeance, I still subscribe to this same philosophy.
The Atlantic article (based on a study by Dr. Thomas Gilovich and others) pointed out a few good reasons why spending money on experiences is better than spending it on things.
-Happiness stemming from an experience vs. buying a thing will be at about the same level at first, but as time goes on, experiences are found to be more satisfying than purchases.
-Experiences can help people connect with others.
-People are less likely to compare their experiences negatively to others’ experiences.
-Experiences become a part of you, while things to do not.
Now you may be asking, “Hey, you sell looms, why are you telling people not to buy things?”
Hear me out.
While, yes, a Mirrix Loom IS a “thing”. But it’s ALSO an experience, and one that keeps on giving.
Think of it this way: Each project you make is its own experience. It’s kind of like hiking a mountain. It takes preparation, and maybe sometimes it’s difficult, but you end with a sense of satisfaction. You climbed that mountain. You wove that piece. You have a memory of the experience AND a handmade “thing”. The weaving experience is something that becomes a part of you.
A few months ago my grandmother died. It was not unexpected, but still quite devastating. A few days after, I was home alone and in desperate need of a distraction. I took out a loom (and had my husband make me a martini… my grandmothers cocktail of choice) and started weaving. I didn’t have a plan or a goal, but weaving that piece was such amazing therapy. Weaving it was the first time I felt joy since her death. Now not all weaving experiences are particularly noteworthy, and sometimes a weaving experience is a complete disaster, but I’d be willing to bet that for most of you, weaving really does bring happiness.
What weaving experience that you’ve had sticks out in your mind? Tell us in the comments!