We’re about to embark upon the most harried shopping days of the year, and the question then becomes, why? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good gift, and I truly love giving them – mainly because I am usually really good at it! I did fail my sister recently, but she’s also known for being rather hard to please. Alas, brush the dust off and roll on.
Wouldn’t we be better off if we spent less money and time at the mall or on our computers and invested that same amount of time in each other? Having worked in retail, I saw the amount of money spent and the worn out and weary faces, the anger of not being able to find “Tickle Me Elmo” or a “Furby”. Items that are now probably either in the landfill or the second hand store. But did they really make a difference in the other persons life?
Recently, the pendulum swung between the two extremes, more and less. The less came as I was speaking with an elderly friend who had just moved, and the direction of conversation migrated towards minimalism. She sounded absolutely tuckered out and emotionally exhausted after “simply” moving across town. She was downsizing from a two-bedroom apartment to a single room. She mentioned how much we seem to accumulate without realizing it over the course of time, and truly, I could not agree more. I have never been one to jump on the “green” bandwagon, but of late, I have been thinking more and more, “Wow, there is A LOT of junk in the world! SO much STUFF… I am not exempt from this world of want and junk… but I kinda want to be!
As I was wandering through Barnes and Nobel later in the day, the idea of consumerism slapped me (hard) in the face as the pendulum swung to the other side. I looked at more books than I could read in a lifetime; especially when one considers 1. How slow a reader I am and 2. Just before I started writing this, I was reading a book I bought some time ago and with it, got about 3 pages into it before I decided I HAD to write! (Writing is like breathing for me…) I know I need to read in order to become a better writer, but that’s more like eating – something I can take or leave until I get desperate!
Here is where it gets interesting, I am single and therefore my income can go for whatever, I deem “necessary”. With this being said, today, I could have bought the book I was reading; the notebook I coveted and a Thanksgiving card for a friend, just because. But then where would I be, besides about $45 dollars lighter and have more clutter to deal with?
As I was chatting with my friend, all I could think about was how the poor woman sounded as though she needed a hug after moving her life and belongings. Her “things” could not and would not provide any true comfort. In fact, they were causing her distress, to the point of tears, as she could not remember where various items were in the upheaval from the move.
Of late, I am finding the more stuff I have, the more I want to run away from it! Therefore, I think I am going to start by organizing my clothes into sections, one for sleepwear, one to give away, and then dress and casual clothes. I am thinking, I might even write each piece down per season, and then see what I actually wear and how many times, throughout the season. That way, the items which were not chosen to be worn, can be re-homed and hopefully put to good and practical use. If nothing else, it would be an excellent exercise in inventory management – a.k.a. resume fodder; I’m a writer, I can make it work!
In the end, I think we should all hug more little old ladies, build stronger relationships with those we know and those we would like to know and spend less time shopping for more clutter!