#058 ✰ Noticing, for a happier life
Aware and grateful • SoaO: Quentin's urban custom bike
Hey there 👋 I’m Mathilde. We are Objet. We explore the intersection of consumerism, myth, satisfaction, desire, taste, joy, meaning and pride. Not specifically in that order. To brag at your next dinner, Objet is the french word for 'object' and should be pronounced 'OB-JEH'.
I hope you’re having a good day. If you’re new here, welcome !
New format for this newsletter. Here’s what we are going to cover:
Our mission 👉 Wait, what are they onto again?
This week 👉 Noticing, for a happier life
Soul of an Objet 👉 Quentin’s bespoke bike
What’s up on the app 👉 Auto-suggestion of the category + sub-cat. of an object
Cool reads 👉 Cause you know, it’s always cool to read cool stuff
Our mission is to help people thrive at not regretting their purchases anymore, to be at peace with their surroundings. We are here to bring back friction and empowerment at a time they almost disappeared.
The whole relationship with our objects is rotten: from hijacked desires, to suspicious recommendations, from insipid binge-buying to disposable ‘stuff’ and get-rid-off paralysis.
We want to bring back joy and pride. And liberate you from all the noise.
We aim at becoming the OS - operating system - between us human beings and our objects. Think Revolut for your objects.
This week | Noticing, For a Happier Life
When I was a kid, times off (weekends, holidays,..) often felt like a tornado was hitting us. Not in a bad way. What mattered was movement. Slowness and inaction were unsaid, despicable behaviors. I can’t recall a time when we were just doing nothing or encouraged to choose laziness.
Then I met Kev’s family. With them, holidays and weekends were fundamentally different. It was common to wake up late, head to a café nearby and spend half a day sipping a diabolo while reading a magazine, or just looking at people passing by, noticing the unnoticed. What a waste of time - I first thought.
Today, one of my favorite activity during a weekend is going to the café and sip. Let my thoughts wander and live the moment. Noticing a familiar sound or voice, a beam of light, an act of kindness, a particular fragrance. Don’t get me wrong, I love making plans and I still have a tough relationship with idleness, but I have learnt there is wisdom in it, too. Maybe it is just a matter of balance, like so many things in life?
“Okay, what’s here right now that I’ve never noticed before?”
As you read these words, I am inviting you to pay attention to the unnoticed objects around you: either because you are using them so often that you don’t even see them anymore, or because they are part of the decor yet only a new person entering your space will remind you about them. What are they? Or asputs it:
Identify the Weirdest Thing in the Room, and Ask About It
Whether you are in someone’s home, office, or business, determine which is the most inexplicable and unlikely object you can see. Then ask, “So what’s the story with that?” Chances are, a memorable tale will follow.
From where I sit here and now, I am noticing my beloved grandma’s large tea cup , a salt container, that cactus I used to cherish and must repot sooner than later to know if it has passed away, a coffee-table kitchen book I have been wanting to read for years, a framed wedding picture, and a couple of wooden crates that served as containers during our multiple moves as well as shelves once we were settled.
Noticing makes me aware and grateful. Instead of browsing -and craving for- things I don’t have yet, I am choosing the exercise of contemplating the existing. And it’s quite cool.
Soul of an Objet | Quentin Saby
Entrepreneur & cultural builder Quentin shares the backstory of his Urban Custom Bike.
Tell us, what's the backstory of this object?
When I arrived in Lisbon, even though it’s called “the city of 7 hills”, it was a no brainer I’d get a bike. I wanted a fully custom and second-hand bike, and some friends suggested a shop called Rcicla. The owner recycles spare parts, and can basically compose the bike of your dream. Or the bike of your budget. The concept? You tell him the type of frame, color, gear transmission, handlebar, tires you wish. Anything really. The more you tell, the better. Vitor, this master of fixies, can actually assemble whatever you want. But he prefers customers to come visit. He can get more inspiration, speaking with the person. So I went there, and met Vitor. I wanted a sleek bike, with a few gears to climb in the narrow streets, a straight handlebar and a grey frame. I was thrilled when I discovered the bike 2 weeks later! After a few months, I even decided to upgrade it, and changed the seat. Look at this lovely yellow one! Also new pedals and new wheels, with green tires. Good buddy. Cosy, fast and colorful. Still many kilometers to go.
Is there any other type of things you truly like to dig into?
I like uniqueness and customization. Interior design, vintage clothes. I wouldn’t say I dig into specific stuff. I’m not a collector. To be honest, I hate shopping, especially chain stores. However, if I’m wandering in the street, I love old-school boutiques with passionate and inventive merchants. Just out of curiosity.
What's the next purchase you're currently contemplating?
Let me think. I don’t know! I am quite impulsive when I have an idea of purchase. And I make a fixture of it. So I don’t have a plan, I benchmark and take a decision within a week. Actually at the moment I’m selling a lot, to “do more with less”. I might buy a road bike actually. But it’s not for now. Damn, I’m tempted!
👀 Did you know? Once you onboard on the app, you can respond to and engage with guest contributors like Quentin Saby in one click.
What’s up in the app
🌸🛼 Type the name of your object 👉 we’ll suggest the appropriate category. This is literally our first experiment / execution of an AI-based use-case. No more wondering where about to sort this or that object.
📰 Mindful Materialism, reminding us that:
The oddest things can have the best stories — and the most meaning.
📰 Mirror mirror, tell me, what should I like in 2023? Here are Pinterest’s predictions on our tastes and looks. Hope you like short bangs.
📰 Noticing, to attain enlightenment. A beautiful piece by:
That virtuous spiral is this: Notice -> Play -> Create. Notice -> Play -> Create.
It’s so simple that children know how to do it intuitively, at least until we teach them how to grow up.
📰 If noticing is one key to a happy life, cultivating meaningful relationships could be just as important:
What we’ve found is that investing in your relationships with other people is the thing that will make you happiest and keeps you healthiest.
📰 About our intimate relationship with money, status and objects: The Art and Science of Spending Money:
How people invest their money tends to be hidden from view. But how they spend is far more visible, so what it shows about who you are can be even more insightful.
It’s just a recognition that no one is as impressed with your stuff as much as you are. Or even that no one is thinking about you as much as you are. They’re busy thinking about themselves!
People generally aspire to be respected and admired by others, and using money to buy fancy things may bring less of it than you imagine. If respect and admiration are your goal, be careful how you seek it. Humility, kindness, and empathy will bring you more respect than horsepower ever will.
The thing to recognize is that spending money “on yourself” is often done with the intent of influencing what other people think.
That should spark three questions: Whose opinion are you trying to influence, why, and are those people even paying attention?
(…) And let’s wrap up this newsletter with the JOKE OF THE DAY 🙊:
Two hikers who come across a grizzly bear in the woods. One starts to run, and the other yells, “Are you crazy, you can’t outrun a bear!” The runner replies: “I don’t have to be faster than the bear. I only have to be faster than you.”
If you got all the way here and have been seeking a better way to experience shopping & enjoy your possessions, alongside enthusiastic, not-so-serious souls, try Objet:
… and subscribe to our newsletter to receive new posts 🛼
Til next time,