Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thinkin' - 'bout stuff...

I don't know if I'm going to make any actual resolutions for 2014, but I've been processing how I relate to material things more this past year than I think I ever have. And change is in the air.

I know I always feel as Christmas approaches, and definitely the week or so following, a disappointment that I've allowed myself to get sucked into the buying of so much that, in the end, really only amounts to more "stuff" - even as we've seriously curbed the whole shopping and gift-giving scene over the past few years. Without a conscious effort to not bring more stuff into one's life, it seems the accumulation of it is inevitable in this materialistic culture we live in.  Or is it?

Once in a rare while we've gone on spending "fasts" and not purchased anything but necessities for a few weeks or a month, but usually the incentive is being more responsible with finances, as opposed to the stuff, itself.   This time around, it's not out of financial consideration that I'm considering challenging myself to a spending "fast", but rather I'm once again considering a personal spending fast because of this sense of unease I have over how much stuff we have.

Truth be told, except for groceries I've actually already been practicing a bit of a spending fast since Christmas. When the urge strikes, I've been telling myself that I don't need to, say... go see what's marked down after Christmas. 'Cuz you know...if it's there and cheap enough I'm gonna wanna buy it and bring it home. Whether or not I need it - or maybe even want it. What's up with that?!?

So the challenge is already on. To put a serious curb to the shopping. To stop bringing home more stuff. The house is in drastic need of a diet.

The house actually needs a purging, but that's a process. A fast, while a process, doesn't require that I actually do anything. The action is not doing something.

I've yet to decide how formal to be about this. Whether to just dabble in some kind of minimalism regarding shopping or to actually try an experiment for a period of time with goals and rules?

I'm not sure which would be more successful for me. Or maybe just more interesting. We'll see, but this is what's been on my mind recently that comes closest to making any kind of resolution and it's certainly a direction I want to move toward: less stuff.

I don't know that minimalism, itself, is particularly attractive to me. Making minimalism itself a goal seems a bit antithetical - like striving for rest, or clamoring for peace. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about, but it strikes me a little funny. What I do know is I'd certainly like to grow freer in how I think and act in regards to material possessions. That seems simple enough. As a goal, it's pretty minimal.

So as the clock approaches midnight, I don't have any resolutions, per se. But I'm doing some serious thinkin' - 'bout stuff.
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