I recently finished reading Cait Flanders' book "A Year of Less".
I think I knew of Cait from The Slow Home Podcast....or somewhere...that's the trouble with the internets, more of a wormhole than a rabbit hole these days. Or at least, that's how it feels in the broad category of 'simple/slow living' circles.
Anyway, her book had rather a profound impact. I'm not sure it if it's just that I'm in a particular head-space, or maybe it's because I've done the requisite 'work' to put me in a place where her message landed in fertile ground; or perhaps it's because the message came clothed in memoir, rather than a simple How-To....but whatever the reason, it got my Thinker spinning.
I think most people would agree that this planet is taxed far beyond capacity, and that we, as humans, are contributing to the burden of excess. To say nothing of the additional, far-reaching problems associated with both production and disposal of Stuff. The culture of consumerism is rampant and unthinking. It's so deeply ingrained in the Western psyche as to be invisible.
You want Something, you buy it. You need Something (or you think you do), you buy it. Your Something breaks/wears out/is out of date, you get a new Something....etc. etc. etc.
But yeah, I'm preaching to the choir again.
So, in the spirit of Cait's book (and her message), I'm having myself a little think about the ways I could do better....because that's always my aim. I'll never achieve perfection (which sounds kind of dull and lifeless anyway), but I'm pretty sure I can always go one better than what I'm already doing. I'm not a shopper, per se -- but I do have my weaknesses and have been prone to embarking upon sessions of retail-therapy in the past.
One of the things that really appealed to me about the challenge that Cait set for herself in her year of not-buying, though, is that she made up a set of rules surrounding what she would allow herself to buy...for instance, gifts for other people, certain items that she knew she would need to replace (a phone, a sweatshirt) etc. I think that makes the whole thing infinitely more accessible - and therefore sustainable - as well as allowing for a gradual shift into non-consumerism, if that's a more palatable approach.
Personally, I've learned that if I approach things in the spirit of experimentalism, my inner-rebel is far less likely to dig her toes in. :)
She also placed an emphasis on sorting through the Stuff you already own....and executing a purge of Kondo-like proportions.
I'm starting my own personal not-buying experiment....set to officially begin in August, although I've already started a book-buying ban...because books, I fear, are my Achilles heel and easy-access, instant gratification book-pushers - I'm looking at you, BookBub - have made me their bitch.
BUT...so far, so good.
I don't even open the BookBub emails anymore. *smug*
(Cait would undoubtedly tell me to unsubscribe from their mailing list. To which I would reply, "baby steps, Cait, baby steps."
First order of business, then.....sort and purge.
From there, a set of shopping rules and from there....a year of not-buying.
Hello, my name is Melanie and I'm a bookaholic. It's been seventeen days since my last book purchase....