Buy the Small Thing

Today’s reflection is not particularly profound, but as an underbuyer, it’s something I need to remind myself of often, thus I will memorialize it here on the blog:

Buy the small Thing. Sometimes the small thing makes a huge difference.

Buy the Small Thing >> Life In Limbo

Current favourite case in point: taking baths. I have a shallow bathtub, just like the one we had in the kids’ bathroom growing up. And when I lived abroad, I didn’t have any bathtub at all. (Just for fun, here’s my Korean apartment tour!)

All this is to say, I never really took baths. Last winter, when I was (probably complaining about the) cold and dealing with some anxiety, I started taking baths by candlelight with all my technology powered down and far away, and it helped a lot. The only problem was, the bathtub was still pretty shallow, meaning I wouldn’t be fully submerged and thus: cold. No bueno!

Then I found out about this blessed invention called an overflow drain cover! That was less than 12 bucks! Hallelujah!

Did I buy it? No, I did not.

I put off buying it for months and months, sure that I could do without it. I used a – wait for it – large ziploc bag, pressed up against the drain instead. Not a lie! I am really that ridiculous. (Answer: It actually works better than you might think, but not as well as the thing that was invented to specifically solve this problem.)

I thought to myself: Why do I need it? What if it doesn’t work? Can’t I just make do as-is? 

No, no I could not!

I have now taken several very full, very warm, very relaxing baths, meaning that this tiny piece of plastic has paid for itself already. I am kicking myself for putting off my happiness when I could have had months of such vastly superior baths. In fact, I’m about to go have a bath right now.

Is there something you’re not buying because it seems too small to matter? Or because it’ll let you do something that doesn’t seem urgent? Or because it’s something that will “only” help you with your personal self-care? I’m not advocating for mindless consumerism here, but if you know it’ll make a big difference in your life: Buy the thing! 

PS. If you have a recommendation for a small thing that makes your life better, spill the beans in the comments!! ???

PPS. I got this as a gift, but would recommend to anyone: a lighter with a long barrel. Less than $5, and never again will I burn myself trying to light candles.

2 thoughts on “Buy the Small Thing”

  1. This is something I also need to be reminded of a lot. The small thing that popped into my mind is a mechanical pencil. Always ready to use, no sharpener needed, no starting off with thin handwriting and ending up with smudgy thick sentences.
    The long barrel lighter seems useful. But -internal dialogue- is it *that* useful? Can’t I just pay attention when I use one of the four classic BIC lighters I have? Yes I am an underbuyer as well and I am (kinda?) joking (or am I? I don’t even know myself lol).

    1. Hahaha! Your internal dialogue sounds a lot like mine! Since I am as frugal as you seem to be, I would probably use all four of the regular lighters up first, but THEN spend the $5 on a long-barrel one. Trust me it’s worth it. Oh! And I love my mechanical pencil and have owned it for literally years. Worth it.

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