Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Living the Dream?

There are many blogs on the Internet where the 'blogger' appears to be 'living THE dream' whereas I have been 'living IN A dream'  for more years than I dare to count.  For too long I have tried to convince myself that if I was surrounded with images of the lifestyle I aspire to it would somehow come true.  In fact it has had the opposite effect.  After years of keeping so many back issues of magazines taunting me of what could have been, today I decided to liberate them to the recycling bin.

I have spent literally hundreds of pounds over the last few decades on County Living Magazine, Martha Stewart and a whole plethora of craft and needlework magazines.  I feel as though I have wasted so much time and energy on them yet at the time they were a quick and relatively cheap fix to fulfil a need.

I think I am an addict of sorts but thankfully my addiction is only magazine related.  I bought my last magazine of 2012 yesterday, the Christmas issue of 'The Simple Things'. I am not going to buy any magazines in 2013.  In retrospect they have left me feeling empty and dissatisfied with 'my lot' in life.

After the magazine cull I am feeling slightly bereft as though I am parting with my dreams.  Now that my paper perfect life has been designated to the bin, maybe I can get on with my real life?


  1. Do you know what I decided not to renew my Country Living subscription, that was back in October I decided that when the renewal letter arrived on the doormat! The only magazine we both enjoy is actually.......wait for it........the Radio Times! I will continue to try and purchase vintage Needllewoman magazines though but just lately I have been outbid at the last minute! I not only read them but I use them too!
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  2. You are right of course the magazines all show a lifestyle which I doubt any one actually lives. It's all airbrushed and beautiful but maybe they have just shifted the piles of junk out of the frame?! I think it is a shame that we don't feel we can live our lives as we are and feel we should strive to have a certain style of home. When I think of some of my friends whose friendship I value whose welcomes are always warm their homes are often not perfect. There are crumbs under the table and dust on the shelves but they have time to sit over a cup of tea and "be there" for me. It's fun to have a look at magazines sometimes but don't ever feel you can or should try to emulate them. I remember one CL cover which showed a chicken perching on the back of a chair in the kitchen when anyone who has ever kept chickens knows that the hen would surely do a "plopping" on the cushion any minute!! It's all fake that kind of life!!!

  3. They have got so expensive too. I have a subscription to Country Homes and Interiors magazine and these days I find the next one has arrived before I've finished reading the one before. I find it hard to let go of it though. I did stop my subscription to Molly makes however as I found less and less in it that interested me. I have taken out a new sub for a new crochet magazine which starts in the new year but it was £5 for the first three issues, I'll see what it's like before I continue with it!
    V xxx

  4. OMG, I'm hyperventilating at the sight of your magazines in the bin. I'm a fellow mag addict and the sheer weight of paper in our house is getting to me. But I don't think I can go cold turkey. Last year, I subscribed to Living digitally, which was an awful lot cheaper and wierdly, doesn't make me feel as inadequate as the paper version.

    I also seem to have moved from tearing out pages, to Pinning instead. Doing it digitally makes me feel more creative (though it is just as much of a time suck). I hope your experiment for 2013 goes well.

  5. I haven't bought glossy magazines for ages, just the occasional Staffordshire or Derbyshire Life if there has been an article about somewhere or something I was interested in. I tried 'Landscape' for a month or two but I'm not sure I will continue to buy every issue. I think magazines do sometimes make us dissatisfied with our homes and lives. I've decided that as long as me and the house are clean and tidy that is all that matters. In real life nothing is ever perfect and thank goodness for that:)

  6. The glossies have their place, but we all have our own ideas about how we want to live, and we usually have to make do with a lot less in terms of budget!

    Don't part with the dream, just look at it in a different way. The magazines are just a starting point, there are many ways to achieve the look you want that don't necessarily involve spending a lot of money. It's not all or nothing.

  7. Good for you Simone.

    I'm not a magazine person, they're just too expensive and sometimes have too much advertising and very little content. The only one I buy on occasion is the Good To Know Recipes but I think I'll stop even that one as its price has gone up quite a lot and I can find the recipes online for free anyway.

    Crafts magazines are the worst value for money I think, again there's a lot of advertising and the projects are usually not that good or original.

  8. The only magazines I bought this year are two christmas ones, though I do keep most of mine and read them every so often, maybe you should have kept a few or scrap booked favourite pictures? xx

  9. I used to have a subscription to CL a couple of years ago, but I found it funny but a bit odd for the Italian lifestyle :)

  10. I agree Simone, I buy far too many magazines, flick through them then put them in piles all around the house. I am not sure I can stop so well done you and good luck! Xxx

  11. You're certainly not the only one guilty of hoarding 'lifestyle' magazines. I buy Country Living too and dream ..... I'd have to win the lottery though in order to fulfil the dreams!!

    Julia:0) x

  12. You can read magazines at the library and that way you don't pay for them and they don't clutter your house! Problem solved! Or else, take them to a Doctor's office or hospital waiting room when you finish.

  13. Hmmm...food for thought, Simone. The funny thing for me, though, is that when my husband travels to Hong Kong, I love it when he brings me home a British Country Living magazine!!
    I do have a couple of stacks of magazines and get tired of the "dream life" they portray. I'm all for cutting down on them also!! xx
    p.s. Still on the "slow walk" as Christmas closes in. See what good things you inspire! x

  14. I saw this post and I sympathise with your feelings and I just felt I had to say my bit!
    Although I confess I am a bit of an addict when it comes to magazines due to the fact that I used to work with many of them as part of my job, but I can tell you that for each of those glossy pictures there is an army of people setting the scene to take just one shot - even those 'real peoples homes' are carefully staged and manicured with stylist on hand to give just the look of the moment. They deal in creating 'stories' and are the way that manufacturers are able to advertise their new products - they want you to buy into a lifestyle to promote sales and it is wonderful what photography can do! Don't be sucked into the 'fakeness' of magazines, no-one really lives these idyllic lives that they like to portray, not even the people who work for the magazines. I have known editors, models, stylists and photographers and guess what they can often lead the most ordinary and unglamorous lives. I think the downside of reading other peoples blogs can also have the same effect as magazines - it can make us feel dissatisfied believing that everyone out there is enjoying some kind of idyllic lifestyle and I have the feeling that this is also not the case. In the same way as magazines we can 'stage' the photography that we show. My advice for what it is worth is use magazines and blogs only for ideas but live your own life it is far more real and interesting. You are a very genuine person, this always comes across in your posts and this is the reason I and many others keep following your blog - you give us inspiration. Have a great 2013 Viv x


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