Sunday, February 21, 2010

Needs vs Wants

Hi there,
It's a lazy Sunday, and my wife is gone down for a nap, so I've got some time to roam around on my laptop with the space to myself.  I've been 'offline' for over 30 hours because I travelled back in time to Newmarket to visit an old school friend, who is living back there.  It was a fabulous visit, but makes me intensely grateful for my life in downtown Toronto.  She has 3 beautiful children, a loving husband, and zero units of sleep per night.  (well, zero is exaggerating, but you get the gist.)

Some of my reading and living lately has been helping me to work on what I need versus what I want.  (The Story of Stuff says that 6 months later we are only using 1% of the new stuff we bought that we 'wanted' so badly.)  It turns out that I don't need that much.  I still want a fair bit, but drawing my line in the sand is helping me to get a handle on it.  It's been kind of funny to take a step back and observe myself as I struggle with my shallower urges.   The hardest has probably been giving up the eating out for convenience.  And gazing with envy at my twin sister's new purchases (especially new leggings - the pair I have on needs some first aid as they're thinning at the seams and it is only February!).  Actually, if I can force myself to truly clean my closet and drawers, I may find a couple of pairs I'm sure must exist but have been buried in the rubble of clothing.

I still haven't bought anything new, and I've had a great degree of friendly and helpful outreach from friends and readers who are offering to lend me books like How to be Free (by Tom Hodgkinson) http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0241143217/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1, and Not Buying It! (by Judith Levine) http://www.google.ca/search?q=not+buying+it+judith+levine&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

I've also had offers to take me vintage clothing shopping, to lend me Olympic Mitts(!), and people telling me about resources like Swap, don't Shop http://swapdontshop.blogspot.com/(which I still have to check out), and the blog, consumption rebellion http://consumption-rebellion.blogspot.com/.  Not to mention friends who have joined in the fun of getting craftier and handier.  It's been so cool to do more entertaining in my home, to pare down my stuff, and slow down a bit.  I still have a goal of doing much more decluttering.  A constant need in a smallish condo (even without a lot of new things coming in). 

I'm still barely managing my Lent Vows (yesterday I got in a twenty minute speed walk to the Yorkdale subway -- almost all on a muddy, awkward slant with no sidewalk so I'm counting it as 30 minutes.)  But, the dinner at my friend's house was barely a 'pass', with me sitting down and tucking in at exactly 7pm.  It was delicious!  But I'm not sure how the Lent Fairy feels about me having my first bite at 7pm measuring up to my stated Vow of 'not eating after 7pm'.  Again, I haven't come up with appropriate Penances.  Since it IS Lent, maybe a few good, old fashioned 'Hail Marys' will serve?  I am a bit of a Catholic-o-phile, so my Catholic wife will probably get a kick out of it.  Or think I'm committing a major faux pas.  We'll find out. 

xo Tara

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Lent fairy? You have a long way to go, my beloved.