The unwishlist for my 31st birthday

This was supposed to be short and sweet end-of-the-year post. The idea was born listening to the Spark Joy podcast episode with Tara Button from Buy Me Once in June 2018. We can discuss my reservations about this… but it inspired me to make this ambitious list of unwishes… and then several things happened. It starts like this:


Being aware of what I don’t need is a cute and mindful practice, so here you have my approximate unwishlist of what I don’t want for this Holiday season, my 31st birthday and probably never:

A child
A pet
A car
A scooter
A microwave oven
A dishwasher
A new bicycle*
A new phone*
A new laptop*
A new camera*
Camera upgrades and accessories
Books I didn’t ask for (here you have part of my wishlist, wink-wink!)
Make-up or beauty products
White underwear
Party outfits, gowns
A designer anything (shoes, handbags, watches, jewelery)
Handbags, watches or jewelery in general

* I have one now and would prefer it to last forever instead of upgrading. And when I will replace, it will be something similar.


What’s in your unwishlist for 2019?


As you can imagine, that was when the Shadow struck… As of late March 2019, these are the revisions that life (and me!) has introduced in this list:

(a) We have agreed with my parents that their graduation gift will be a new MacBook Pro. Yes, I’m 31 years old and still want expensive and (for my new self-employed self) tax-deductible gifts from my parents. My current laptop (13-inch, mid 2011 MacBook Air) hasn’t died yet and is still going very much OK, but I like the idea of having a more powerful one. Boom, unwishlist!

(b) My own recklessness got me to a 210€ objective replacement for my camera. I did not use the occasion to upgrade but stayed with the kit objective. Also, the autofocus had already died on that objective making my life quite complicated. Lesson learnt? Buying things once work for certain objects and certain people.

(c) I now have three pairs of pants, all hand-me-downs, of course, but still… Here goes another ‘I don’t think I’ll ever x again’.

(d) Heh, and I’ve got a piece of non-black underwear. It’s not white but ‘silver peony‘, gorgeous, looks much better than black under many of my tops, and makes me feel very grown-up. F*you, no-no list!

(e) I was given a beautiful and already beloved piece of adornment that is not jewelery yet but almost… No, I didn’t ‘need’ it.

(f) And I’m considering going back to wearing a wristwatch. Again, nothing expensive or fancy… the real life vintage that C wore as a child. So I’m looking for a trusted watchmaker in Barcelona, my interactions to date have been pretty disappointing.


Although the initial idea was a different one, the actual lesson learnt here is the one of constant flux and allowing for change. I am aware of my purity inclinations (see the I’m-not-perfect-enough posts here, here, and here) and the (literally) cheap thrill of taking the ascetic high gound of I-don’t-need-or-want-your-stupid-consumerist-shit. And that is why documenting both sides – the minimalist devoid of superficial desires and the real life introducing some moderation – was important for me. Just a kind reminder for the next time I’ll be feeling holier-than-thou.

Do you have an unwishlist? And have you experienced the ‘I only blinked once and life had already corrected this’ around your moral high grounds of (non)consumption or (not)owning?

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