Recently I have been contemplating these:
For your consideration: cherry red velvet Dr. Marten 8-eye lace-up boots. I know: there's really no reason to have Dr. Marten's nowadays, except: velvet. And I saw this one picture where Alexander Wang was wearing velvet Dr. Marten's, and I thought: killer. (In this velvet-boot wearing fantasy, I am a slightly built Asian man, obviously.)
Awhile before the velvet boots, I was contemplating this:
This is a Pamela Love sword ring. It is badass, it cannot be denied.
What these two talismanic items have in common is that they inspire in me a belief that they will change my life. Or motivate a change in my life. A belief that I would be more awesome with this stuff. (One more thing they share in common: they cost more money than I am currently willing to pay to indulge in magical thinking like this.)
What really needs to change in my life is the belief that stuff like this will change my life. Maybe. But sometimes a talisman works, right? New basketball shoes symbolize a new season and the joy of playing ball, or so I'm told. A new haircut symbolizes a new start. New shoes . . . don't even get me started.
Today in Target while buying my college daughter a couple of last things before she goes back to college, I tried on a new pair of shoes. They were pretty gorgeous. Magenta suede (faux), very tall, absurd for everyday life. I believed in myself, for a moment, walking around in them. And then I put them back, because come on--super tall shoes? magenta? Although I may go back to get them, I can't guarantee that I won't.
When college daughter goes home, I will put my energies into my new initiatives, aka my resolutions. (I believe I may have energy to burn when she leaves, because of the sadness.) I read an article about resolutions in the Times on Sunday. To my surprise, it said that resolvers actually are more likely to make a change than non-resolvers, even with the same goal, motivation, and means. That said, the likelihood of a real change is still pretty dismal. Read it for yourself. One other thing it said is you can't resolve more than one difficult thing at a time, because you actually have a finite amount of willpower. That's right. It's not endless. So, if you're trying to stop shopping, you can't also try to lose weight. (Seriously, this idea kind of comforts me.)
I'm pretty sure, though, that I would have more willpower if I had that badass ring.