When schlepping more stuff into the house the other day, a brilliant idea hit me:
How about a family project in which we try to acquire nothing new for one month. (Okay, except for food and wine.)
I ran it by a few family members; the idea elicited eye-rolling, if that.
Fine, I figured. Simplicity is not so simple. We can keep crowding ourselves in our cluttered habitat. And such challenges will only help me with my Zen training, right? Anyway, spring has sprung, so a guy can finally ditch the house and dig the outdoors.
Little did I know that bloggers and books are rampant about the relentless pursuit of living with less. Some of it is recession and spend/save related, though the political and spiritual motivations may carry more weight.
One couple subsisted with a food budget of a dollar a day, blogged about it, and made many dollars on the book deal they landed fast after the near-fast ended.
A San Fran artist has given up autos—even riding in anyone else’s—and has 15 months under his belt. Of course he, too, has a blog to share his saga.
And up in Seattle, a diehard fashionista has sworn off buying new duds (other than underwear) for a year. And has lived to tell the tale.
Of course, TIME magazine recently brought all these projects into the old-school media mainstream with a feature.
Wish we had a bigger house, but then we’d just fill that one with more stuff too. Meantime, the last week alone brought (bought?) a ton of new baseball equipment for The Boy. Dance uniforms (3) and American Girl gear for The Girl. And several springy garments (albeit secondhand) for the wife. (NOTHING left the house, save trash.)
As for me? Nothing new! That’s some level of success, right? After all, we learn over and over that we can only control our own actions. And when it comes to stuff-coveting, self-control isn’t easy.
Much of America is blessed with so, so much. The question is: When do blessings become burdens?