Once upon a time, there was a man named Justin Case. He was 36 and lived in a 3500 sq ft. home with his wife and 2 children. He had a first and a second, and a 2 car garage. He fit 1 car and it’s $450 payment inside the garage and the other sat in the driveway with it’s $450 payment, to make room for more stuff in the garage.
He had more stuff than time. He had to work 60 hours a week to keep up with all of his payments.
He wanted to live more simply, but Justin Case, he couldn’t. He worked hard and thought he deserved nice things and lots of things. Justin Case, he bought extras of everything. He was always worried that he didn’t have enough.
Justin Case, he rarely gave to charities, even if really cared about their cause, because he might need the money some day. Justin Case, the poor guy, he couldn’t give up his credit cards. He might need them for emergencies, points or a rental car. Cash would never be enough.
On some level he knew better, but Justin Case did nothing about it. Better safe than sorry he thought. Better to have too much than too little.
And then his friend came along, Justin Time. He told him his story of simplicity, and that with all that he sold and gave away, he still had enough. He didn’t even have to tell him how happy he was, but he did. Justin Case, he didn’t notice.
While Justin Case is a fictional character with a fictional story, he could be any of us. I used to hold on to so much, just in case. I understand that we have to be smart about how we live our lives, and careful about protecting our futures, but we’ve lived in excess for so long that it becomes hard to recognize what enough really is. The only way to see it is to start letting go. With each layer that you discard, you’ll reveal a little bit more about how living with less really does give you more.
Just in case has become a popular answer to “why do you need that?”. When you take time to finish the “just in case” sentence, you might find that it’s not a very good excuse.
Here are a few of my just in case examples…
- I might need 8 coffee cups just in case I throw a coffee party next week.
- I might need 4 extra sets of sheets just in case I lose two sets and one set doesn’t match.
- I might need an extra purse just in case the bottom falls out of mine.
- I need to bring extra shirts when I travel, just in case I spill on each one, every day, and there is no water to wash them.
- I better hold onto that gold I was going to sell, just in case the price of gold goes up.
- I need store credit cards just in case I can earn points and buy something I don’t need, so I can get something I don’t want for free.
- I better keep my highschool jeans, just in case I lose 20 pounds.
Sound familiar? Maybe I’m being a little silly with my answers above, but usually, I bought something or did something just in case, but could never articulate just in case of what. What was I so worried about? Without “just in case”, I became more confident in my choices. I’ve learned that I don’t need a back up plan for every decision.
I will face the results of my actions with grace and curiosity instead of anxiety and uncertainty.
We can’t change our habits until we recognize our behavior. Please share your favorite “just in case” purchase or action in the comment section.