Thursday, January 7, 2010

1 week in

It seems hard to believe it's only been a week of being a no-new-stuff kind of person. I've had some very positive friend feedback about the idea, and even some offers of free lunch from people who didn't read the 'ground rules' and think I'm not allowed to buy food! Perhaps I should just keep my mouth shut and let them treat?!

I will pass on the contact that started this whole idea. They are a couple in Alberta who decided to 'stop buying stuff' for one year, with a goal to 'downsize their lives and get off the consumption treadmill.' They also said they weren't judging others about their buying habits, it was more that they were examining their own and seeing if they could do it. 'We wanted to simplify our lives and break our buying habit and enjoy our family, and not be, "What else can we get?"' Their website is and having checked it out, I can see they seem to be very decent and relate-able people.

They accomplished their goal and I loved their take on having 'Been cured of keeping up with the Joneses.' I am definitely no saint, and not that political, but I can relate to feeling this growing unease with constantly being advertised to, and the chronic need to have the latest this or that. Not to mention the exhilarating rush of a dose of 'retail therapy'. But, where will it all end? There is no 'enough' and if the corporate way had it's way, we'd just keep spiraling up and up with more and more stuff and more and more debt. And I can hardly bear to think about the end game trash heap. And all the built-in obsolescence. My grandmother didn't have to replace her telephone every couple of years because it was so junkily made.

I sometimes think of those apocalyptic movies where earth is barren and out of water and then think about what happens when we run out of stuff-making-units to make new stuff? Maybe we should hang on to the stuff we have till it's well-used and re-use other people's stuff rather than always going with new, new, new.

So like some of the sensible people say, we all have enough, we've just forgotten what that means. We also should probably remember to spend less than we make, and realize that we actually have enough stuff, and having more will not make us happy (but will probably give us storage and clutter headaches).

Sorry, I got a little rant happy there! Hey, an exciting benefit to not buying anything new so far this year: I am able to jet off on an impromptu visit to Newfoundland to spend time with my grandparents, dad, stepmom, and various other family members for the weekend. I'm liking buying experiences.

!! Just found out about this website from someone who read my blog! It really applies to my state of mind. It's a cool little illustrative and animated video.

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