what i got.

30 12 2009

at one point, i almost wrote a post about everything i wanted but didn’t get for xmas. selfish much? sometimes i feel like americans (including and especially me) are so focused on what we want, and what we don’t have- that we don’t rightly see how much we do have. i’m not just talking about forgetting the newest model of whatever- and making do with what you’ve already got going (although that’s a good idea too), but by attacking  life each day knowing that we already have pretty much everything we need.

nothing to eat!
the concept of the “eat from the pantry challenge” is that most people already have more than enough food in their cupboards to get by, and in many ways, that weekly (daily for some) trip to the grocery store is nothing but a bad habit. the goal is to be creative and find ways to use what’s already on your shelves to get yourself through the month.  i love this idea! sometimes i like to fantasize about what would happen if there was a disaster of some sort and i was housebound for a while. the truth is that i could probably eat pretty well (weird, but well), even though i am often heard complaining about how we have no food in the house. i’m only willing to tackle one food-related challenge at a time, but i will definitely be trying this out at some point in the near future (although i’m not sure if my meager pantry could hold me for a full month).

nothing to wear!
i’m a bit of a clothes-whore… and at times have been guilty of getting caught up in the mall-vortex and spending way to much money on something that i “have to have right now! “, only to find out that i don’t love it as much once i’ve worn it a few times… the truth is that i’ve dearly loved garments that cost me $1, and i’ve loved garments that cost me $100 (or more *shame*). proving thus, that it’s not about the money (it never is, so why don’t i learn?). the folks at wardrobe refashion know this better than i do, and have all committed to a mall-free period (2-6 months) of thrifting, scavenging, reworking, sewing, knitting, and generally making of beautiful new wardrobes without actually buying anything new. the beauty of this group is that the money-saving is peripheral. what you’re really getting is a reason/inspiration for art/craft/sewing/knitting projects, and the solidarity of a place to talk (or brag) about them.

nothing to use!
lifehacker is a brilliant website for a number of reasons, but they really drove it home this xmas with their article about the “most popular repurposing tricks of 2009“. not only do they show you how to make cookies in the waffle iron (best news ever!), but they also cure tonail fungus, manage your computer cords, and clean your toilet- all with things you have around the house.

shopping is fun for sure, but sometimes we just need to pause for a moment, put the credit card away, and get a little creative. i hope that for me, learning the difference between need and want, could be the difference between debt-full and debt-free.

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3 responses

6 01 2010
riotflower

Great post and thanks for the links!
I too have to remind myself to pause and appreciate what I do have, although I am getting better at it.
Earlier in the year I quickly left a shared home and left many things behind. At first, I focused on the things that I no longer had access to…and a few weeks after I moved and had sufficient food, clothing and shelter, I began to find pleasure in what I no longer had.At that point, I remebered things that I “have…nope, had” and realised that I was not missing them at all.
This refocused my energies on not only realising that we don’t need most of what we collect, but also to appreciate the tiny special treasures like friends, family, health or photos.

6 01 2010
bessmarvin

thank you and you’re very welcome! it’s amazing how much “stuff” isn’t what you miss when your life takes a serious new turn. 2008 will forever be the year i burnt my life to the ground. left my husband. broke up with my best friend. started a new job and a whole new life with almost nothing. and you know, even though it was really really hard- (and it took me a long time to save up for a new couch- and i still don’t have a toaster…), it was the best thing i ever did. sometimes leaving it all behind can be absolutely liberating. i cheer you and you’re survival!

6 01 2010
riotflower

Sounds like our lives have taken similar paths, only 2009 was the year of change for me.
I too, toast Your Survival!

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