Thursday, 6 December 2012

Late-night realisation!

It's 1:05 here in the night/morning, and I have realised something! Yes, my brain does work this late at night (when it is supposed to be fast asleep, whoops!!)

When me and my brother were little, my mum used to comment on an invisible being called Mr or Mrs I-Want. Mainly, she talked about it when once of us (mostly my brother, the most materialistic person I know!) started saying "Mum, I want this", "Mum, I want that". Not "May I have...", "I would like...", but demanding "I want...". My brother is not a polite person. Actually, come to think of it, I probably never got told off for Mrs I-Want coming to the surface of my Id (Freud!), because I find it VERY difficult to ask people for things like objects and money, even on my birthday and Christmas. Seriously, ask me what I want  for Christmas from you, and I will squirm in my seat and not look you in the eye, and mutter that, quite possibly, it would be nice to have X. Oh, those awkward phone calls asking my mother for money at uni when I was close to the hellish end of my overdraft.

But that doesn't stop Mrs I-Want from materialising inside my head. Currently, I WANT a plum personal Osterley. No, let me change that- every fibre of my Id is saying I neeeeed a plum personal Osterley!!! Fortunately, Ego and Superego are helping to reign Id in, and I haven't bought one, or (awkwardly) asked for one for Christmas... YET!

Anyway, this brings me to the point of this blog post!

Last week I won Filofax's twitter Win Wednesday competition! The prize was an Osterley!... in Orange!!!

Orange, like the orangest of oranges!!!

It's gorgeous!!! It's certainly not a colour I would have picked myself- I'm not an orange person- but it's absolutely gorgeous!!!
It has some fantastic features (which I will tell you about another time), but this competition prize has just shown me how amazing the Osterley is... and has made me want the plum Osterley even more!!!

But the practical side of my brain is stopping me from buying the plum Osterley! I don't have the money, I don't need another Filofax... blah blah blah! Mrs I-Want is saying to me "But you could have the plum for Autumn/Winter and the orange for Spring/Summer!! Look at the beautiful colour of the plum, and the pretty pink stitching!! Wouldn't this amazing filofax be EVEN better in a colour you actually LIKE!!"

But... Imy said something to me the other day, while I was professing my love for her plum Osterley and saying I really wanted one of my own- she said "But don't you already have an Osterley?"

Yes. I do.

And why isn't that good enough?? OK, it's not a colour I would have chosen, and it's not very Christmassy or Wintery, but it's a binder tonnes of people would love to own, and I got it for FREE!! Why am I wanting another one? Why isn't this sufficient? Is it just the colour? Or is it Mrs I-Want?

But, strangely, the more I use it, the more I am falling in love with this binder! I am forgetting that it is bright orange, and starting to fall in love with its... personality?? (if Filofaxes can have a personality!!) I think that it is such a strange colour that in 5 years time it will be so unusual that it will be a classic filofax that people crave and wish they had bought when they were released. Like those bright red strange leathered Winchesters, of which you can find rare and drool-worthy photos on the internet!
Would I love a plum Osterley as much? Maybe if I had got one before this one, or if the competition prize had been the plum, then totally! But I feel that if I get a plum, it might not seem as... special as this one! It would be my perfect filofax... for a few weeks, until I got bored of it! Oh, fickle brain!!

So I have been thinking about my thought processes and logic behind all this. How can I love a filofax that I didn't really like more than a filofax that I (or Mrs I-Want) really really wanted? I have been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory, so don't mind me while I try to put this into a semi-scientific formula!

When I want something I really really want 100%, I can't stop thinking about it (like an iphone, which I wanted for years), and substitutes or alternatives won't suffice (like that cheapo Nokia I bought instead), I HAVE to have the thing I have been wanting for ages, or nothing at all. And it's all good when I get it.
But, when I get (as an impulse purchase, as a present or competition prize etc) something that I haven't been thinking about too much and I haven't been obsessing about (like my orange Osterley), and it works perfectly, I strangely find myself loving it all the more.

After a while, I don't love the thing I have been obsessing about so much when it works perfectly, because I always expected it to work perfectly, so when it does, it isn't a surprise or special to me. 
But, when something that I didn't expect to be perfect for me does work perfectly, I love it even more, possibly even more than the thing I actually really really wanted!

Case-in-point: my A5 red Domino filofax. This was one of the early filofaxes I bought. I bought this particular one because it was my first A5, which I needed for uni, but it was cheap and I didn't want to spend tonnes on a leather A5 (even though I really wanted the A5 Kendal), because this size might not work for me. Actually, Rufus (my A5 red Domino's name!) worked great for me! 

So everything's good, right?
No. For some reason, after a while with one of these not-obsessed-about binders, I find myself disliking them. There's nothing wrong with them, they just aren't... right. Cue part 2 of my realisation:

I suddenly realise that it isn't what I always wanted (e.g. a really nice leather A5, instead of a cheap Domino), it isn't my ideal thing I have dreamed about, and even if it's perfect for me, I start resenting it, and wish I had the perfect thing that I (retrospectively) realise I should have got instead/in the first place!

I start not liking Rufus. No Rufus, it's not you, it's me!!! It's not anything thing he's done, or anything about him- he works great- the perfect size, light weight, great rings, etc etc- it's about what he isn't. He just ISN'T that gorgeous leather filofax I have been looking at online. He isn't... perfect... even when he is working perfectly for me!

So how do I stop this? How do I prevent myself from becoming this way with my gorgeous orange Osterley? It isn't want I truly wanted, the plum one (through no fault of its own!)... I could still start resenting it! How do I secure my love for Orangesterley (gosh, it needs a better name than this!!)?

Well, here's a (long) mantra I have made for myself!

If something is working perfectly for me,


I shouldn't have to change it just because it's not the ideal I imagined!

So, I can't let myself get to the point where I start resenting my filofax!! I must stop it before it starts!!

Actually, this is all a good life lesson. Nothing's perfect. But I can't suddenly abandon things just because they aren't what I wanted them to be. I can't dump a potentially great future husband because he leaves the toilet seat up or something (although, eww!!). Suck it up, live with it, and see the positives!! And don't let my thought process become negative!!


  1. Kate,
    Great post. To be honest, I much much much prefer your orange Osterley to the plum versions I've seen. I suppose this is partially because I'm simply not a purple person, but also because the orange is just so vivid and gorgeous!

    I only had one Filofax I really didn't like, it was my ochre Malden. I got it, I used it for weeks, I tried and tried to like it, and just realized it was just wrong. Not sure why, but it was. And when I swapped back into my red Domino and decided to sell the Malden, I knew it was absolutely the right thing to do.

    My favorite filofaxes are those ones which have been used exclusively by their owners for years and years. Now that I own a filofax that I really love, I'm considering selling off all my other ones.

  2. Even if a man (or planner) is perfect in every other way, if there's no chemistry, it's just not going to happen. ;-)

    At the risk of enabling and stirring up ms. I want, I have to say that I hemmed and hawed over the plum osterley compact for months before buying it. I loved the way it looked and because I wanted color, I opted for the plum. I'm not usually a purple person (I like the color okay but it's not one that I often choose), but the color is one of the things I love most about the binder -- it provides a deep, rich color without being too pink (because I don't like pink at all). The binder itself is gorgeous, both in texture and functionality -- great pockets!

    I am the type to switch up binders for the season, but I love my osterley so much that I stayed with it for several months past my usual season change date. I forced myself to move out for the winter so that she can reappear come spring.

    So while your orange is gorgeous, if you're really pining for the plum, I say go for it! (But that's just me.). ;-)

  3. I can relate! Well, to the fickleness that is. The orange Osterley happens to be my favorite at the moment, so I do envy you. I think it's fun and vibrant and still serious enough to take with you to a business meeting. I hope to see more photos of yours!

  4. findinghope/Maria6 December 2012 at 12:14

    Thanks for this post Kate, it really helped me with my own filofax struggles. Lately I didn't have a clue what I wanted. My lavender piazza personal got a tiny dent/scratch some time ago and this was really bugging me as I can be too much of a perfectionist. So I switched into a purple Domino. I have also been eyeing the ochre Malden for a long time, I always thought it would eventually be my "perfect" filofax. Now I realised that my "perfect" filofax is actually the one I already have, the one that feels like home: the lavender piazza.I just moved my stuff back in and I instantly knew this was right. The Malden may look lovely and all but do I actually want to "live" in it permanently? No!! Because I have already found this home even if it's not what I expected and has some imperfections like the scratch it's perfect for ME
    so thanks for making me see it that way :)

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  6. I think you should get what you really want. You can always sell the orange Osterley later ;) I actually wanted a pocket orange Osterley, but when I went to buy it they were sold out. Since I wanted an Osterley NOW (you know how that is when you get obsessed with something), I got the plum color instead. Seeing the color in person I absolutely fell in love with it, and am glad they were out of the orange! In fact, I've ordered the personal Osterley in plum and am impatiently waiting for it to get here.

  7. Kate - I think you are trying to justify the situation too much because you feel that you *should* love the Orange - just sell the Orange and buy the Plum and Voila you will be happy and have a binder you love. Whilst I don't subscribe to the view that we should have everything we want - I also think that if it is within easy reach and not hurting anyone else - why not? Life is too short to make do with second best. Once you fall out of love with something - sell it to someone else who will be in love with it and get pleasure from it, and you can have what you love and treasure. We don't have to love something forever (a mistake I made when I was younger), but when we do it is magical.

  8. I think this is such a timely post as I was going to write about this too! I'm pretty fickle when it comes to filofaxes (compared with other belongings) & have found that the more I try to convince myself that I need to keep one, the more I go off it. Concentrating on the positives is great, but I've found in the past I've stayed with things (mostly situations rather than belongings) when it would have been better to move on.

    Does the Ascot help with all this?? (I recently swapped my Ascot with Kate's crimson Malden)