I’ve recently being reading about Stoicism, and one of the particular tenets that struck me deeply was the maxim of, and I’m paraphrasing here, “it’s already broken.” As in, think of your material possessions as if they are already broken and imperfect. That way, when those items do inevitably decay and get damaged, you wound’t be so fraught over it as people, me definitely included, tend to do.
The tendency to overprotect and maintain perfection was especially acute back when I bought my Subaru Impreza WRX STI. I treated that thing better than myself: the front-end got an insanely expensive paint-protection film done, and the entire car got a permanent coat of synthetic wax (also not cheap). Every new nick and chip was scrutinized and agonized over, while fresh bird-droppings on the paint were dealt with swiftly to the point of obsession. A tiny scratch suddenly appears? Better break out that scrubbing compound!
In hindsight, such pursuit of perfection never bought me joy or comfort; if anything I was in a constant state of paranoia, And this extends to things beyond simply the car - think of all the money spent on protection-covers and sleeves that were purchased for my precious consumer electronic devices (though I’ll never understand why people put glass covers on their smartphone that already comes with scratch-proof glass).
I’ve let the proverbial things to own me, instead of the other way around. For sure it’s been a constant struggle to change that paradigm, but slowly I think I endeavor to rid myself of obsessive over keeping things perfect (though not necessarily to the point of neglect). Imaging items as already broken makes an excellent affirmation.