Life Simplified

17 02 2008

It all started by cleaning out a couple of closets… selling a few things on Ebay… taking a few more to Goodwill… recycling a few others.  Now it’s about making life easier.

Consumption for the sake of having stuff is so wasteful… How many “Pretties” does a person really need? “Pretties” are things you can’t play with, you can’t do anything with… they don’t evoke memories better than photos and certainly take up more space.

I like “Pretties” but, how much do I need? And, really do I need to own that book or is borrowing it from the Library just as good?

I’m not a stereotypical tree hugger. I wear make-up and don’t like gypsy skirts. I’m not going to chain myself to anything.  But, the idea of a simpler life, consuming conscientiously and really just being a good steward of the earth is becoming more important to me.  I want J to learn that it’s not all about “stuff”.

One of my nephews is horribly spoiled. He has everything.  Plastic seeps out of his pores. He is an ugly child– I don’t mean physically I mean his demeanor: Give me all your attention, all your money, all my whims. None of the cousins like playing with him… he picks fights and makes false accusations (although, if J really did slug him last summer I’m sure he deserved it!) J will not be like him. J will grow up respecting his environment, appreciating what he has and taking care of himself, his possessions and his world.

We, Americans have too much. We live in a consumer culture and we are wasteful. Consuming consciously does improve life– from hauling stuff in to the house when grocery shopping; one trip from the car is so much nicer in the rain! To the chore of dusting– moving three items is better than moving ten…

Question consumption. Do you need it? Will you still want it next week? Next month? Do I have to buy it new or is a hand me down or yard sale/eBay buy just as good?

My mother– who is a child of the great depression– pointed out that reducing consumption reduces sales and therefore jobs.  I guess my nephew’s parents will have to make up for my reduction in consumption…

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2 responses

17 02 2008
amberfireinus

I so agree with you. I hate waste. I hate having stuff just to have it. If I dont use it, it gets donated or removed from my ownership. Why get bogged down with things? It does what exactly?

How sad to collect things your whole life only to have your children or worse strangers come in after you have passed and go through your treasures and toss them around like garbage because they have no value to them. Better to be organized and keep what is truly important and leave less for others to deal with.

When my grandfather died it took 10 of us two weeks to clean out the family home… I’d hate for my son to have to deal with all my stuff! I hadn’t thought about my reduction in stuff benefiting him when I’m gone– Thanks for adding to my list of good reasons for doing this! “You can’t take it with you” so, you’re right– if it isn’t important, why keep it?

17 02 2008
awalkabout

Yes! You go, sister! I’m on the same kick this year– I joined Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/) and do all my first-round shopping at Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
(except books. I love books. It’s the writer in me.)
My grown kids each spend $200 per kid for holidays…we spend $50. Actually, it’s been the autism that has helped in this department–so often these guys are not into the hottest new thing that they must have each year. They want a train. Or accessories for the doll. They’re not acquisitive, and I’m tickled pink.

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