a 4-month experiment in living lightly
YES to what if we already know enough!!!!!!! I'm an information glutton. I love knowing about things and learning about things in a theoretical sense, but I'm not good at putting that into practice - it feels easier and safer just to keep learning! Definitely going to journal this month on this topic...
I love this so very much. I really want to get to where you are in terms of investigating, exploring, excavating perspectives and experiments on what is enough and what does it mean to live on that. I know I have a lot of money mindset shifts to make before I can even begin this process, but watching you do it is incredibly inspiring and reminds me that I will be able to do this someday, too.
Amen to this. Love how well-defined the parameters of your shopping band is. <3
I am an over consumer in so many categories and am one of those people who needs to hear the real experiences of real people one million times.
You are inspiring me to reevaluate my own spending (helped by a series of very expensive life curveballs that has put a huge dent in my savings). What is enough and what is necessary? What are the things my money allows me to do that has the most impact on my life and the world (in a good way!)?
I also suffer from thoughts that my life’s purpose is to just watch it all burn down and can get lost in those feelings. Sometimes it makes me think - I don’t care - whatever - but this is probably not the healthiest thought patterns. While I can’t change the whole world, I can do things to make at least my little corner of it better.
Look forward to your experience.
I can't wait to follow this journey! I'm currently paying off consumer debt and thinking SO much about enoughness. What it means. What it looks like. You truly are my Katniss fighting consumerism hehe <3
Woof. All of the learning, none of the implementing...a song and dance I’m intimately familiar with. 😂 Appreciate you taking us along with you on this adventure, you’ve given me a lot to think about this summer. I’m in the “noticing” phase of my own exploration and have more than a few opportunities to better align my spending and consumption habits with my values. Super grateful for you!
I have definitely thought about this kind of living as learning a new skill that we'll need during collapse/whatever comes next. The skills to live lightly; to be unattached to material things; to repair items; to be grateful for what is present and what we do have; to not have immediate access to purchase whatever we want and get it within 24 hours; and to be resourceful generally. I think this will be an invaluable skill, one most of us aren't considering right now, and it's one I hope to practice in my own ways too, so thank you for more material on this!
Funny story - I decided to not give $ to Amazon and buy the exciting T-shirt’s my husband asked for his birthday from another business. Well - even though the mailing address is correct - the tshirts are 300 miles away and I had to cancel it. Never had that problem with Amazon 🤦🏻♀️
I am actually more intrigued by what you normally buy after reading your parameters. I grew up in a very fix it, wear clothes with holes in, don’t buy anything unnecessary family and now earn more than I knew was possible and yet I find it really hard to spend anything on non-necessities. With the ever present environmental concerns now at the forefront of my mind, I can convince myself to not buy almost anything. But I wonder if and how I’d be better off spending more.
Per usual, a really intriguing Monday missive. I also am impressed with how much thought you've put into your parameters. You will no doubt squeeze maximal juice outta this no-spending orange. :) Very generous of you to share your process and it certainly is making me think. One thing that crossed my mind is my spending freezes and cut-backs have been, looking back, self punishment. Versus what you are doing which is being curious and expansive. Yeah, maybe it makes sense to cut back for practical reasons, but I love how you are deep diving the heck out of it, making it just as epoch of a journey as an eight hundred mile through hike!
I am one of those readers who wants a million angles on this!
This had me thinking all yesterday about my consumption as it relates to social media breaks (another topic I'll always want to read about.) It feels obvious that I'll want to buy less stuff if I consume less ad-driven content, but will I also feel lighter/clearer-headed? Is it not just information overload from instagram, but a consumption hamster wheel that makes it feel so bad? What are mental benefits of not shopping (as opposed to not scrolling?)
This is so relatable! As some have pointed out below, so much of this is entangled with social media intake -- yet another thing I have to keep revisiting my relationship with. Also, in the past 2-3 years, my body has changed a bunch, and so in a sense I feel "justified" in buying more clothes that fit my current body better, but if I'm honest with myself the influence of Instagram is telling me to buy way more than I need.
All that said, I've taken up mending my favorite clothes over the past few years over buying new ones when appropriate, and it's something I enjoy doing, and feel like I improve at the more I do it. Happy to be a somewhat local (MA-based) resource for you if that's something you'd like guidance on!
"would calmly take the scissors apart" - the calmly part! Because that's the impressive part, is he's not furiously sharpening them lol.
"In all seriousness though, I have been struggling to find the words to discuss this with the necessary nuance, particularly because I am not an expert in anything collapse related. But if regular people are not talking about this imperfectly, will anything ever change?" WOOF
Love getting the gritty details!! Thank you for sharing. Curious how your experience will influence my thinking and changes I’d like to make.
Also, someone prob already mentioned this - but there is an in between step of “sharpen scissors yourself” and “new scissors”. You can usually get scissors sharpened by a knife sharpening person. We used to have a guy every few weeks at the local grocery co-op. Finding people who have the skills we need and paying them is another useful way to make the economy/community go round. And then also buying used at the thrift store and repairing them. Ex: I will pay my SIL to hem my daughter’s skirt, instead of learning to sew
Also, so much about this for me is appreciating what I have! Re:scissors - I’m pretty sure we have 5 different pairs in our house rn! I have tons of candles, sweaters, knives, musical instruments, paper products (notebooks, pens, cards, etc), books unread or read a long time ago, streaming services, Nintendo games, board games, etc etc. online courses! Asking myself “do I already own something like this?” had been SO helpful when curbing my shopping bc yknow what? I prob do!