Thursday, January 31, 2008

gaining momentum?

I read this article about buying less in The Age this morning - it gave me hope. We are not alone!

I have found that putting off buying things is a pretty good tactic - rather than purchasing something when I see it - I wait. And usually find that I forget about it or that it doesn't seem that important after a few days. I find it interesting that I still have to think about this so much - it is taking a long time for changed behaviour to become ingrained. It's beginning to look like a life's work...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

another small triumph

I have just cracked something I have never managed before - not buying anything in a Duty Free shop! Well, to be more correct, I did buy a couple of bottles of alcohol for the people we were staying with on the way in to NZ, but on the way back - nada.

No alcohol, no perfume, no lipstick, no nothing. I had an epiphany that went 'I don't need to buy this now because this stuff will always be here.' (And I did have a bit of a flashback to the five or so full bottles of perfume I gave away a couple of months ago because I didn't wear it ...)

If I decide I really want something I can get it. But I don't need it now. And odds are I may never need or want it ...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Enough already!

I have enough!

I have enough in my life.

I have enough consumer goods: clothes, shoes, cosmetics, handbags, furniture, kitchen items, household linens, books, DVDs, CDs, toys, electronic and electrical goods.

My family has a car, a house, many other so-called 'necessities' besides.

I am a product of my generation, and was taught by my schooling, my peers, my parents and my mass media that to consume is good. That to have is to be. That the more I can have, buy, purchase, use, throw away, and own, the more worthy a person I will be.

I have been taught from even before I could speak that although our society pays lip-service to the idea that human value is measured in such traits as honesty, integrity, fairness, faith, kindness and temperance, in reality people are valued not by these virtues but by how many dollars they earn and own, and how many resources they use and lay waste to.

I have been taught that in our society, a person's value is as a consumer first, then as a human being second. The Seven Heavenly Virtues fall way behind.

But I have had enough. I have enough.

For the last three years, I have been practicing frugality. I have been undertaking the No More Stuff challenge, I have read and am practicing the techniques I learned in the brilliant book Your Money Or Your Life, and I have made my decision.

I do not want to be a consumer. I want to be a human being, and my humanity includes the following roles: wife, mother, citizen, sister, lover, friend, environmentalist, caretaker of the world, volunteer, writer, thinker, gardener, homemaker, matriarch.

I looked up 'consume' in the dictionary. Its definitions included 'to do away with completely,' 'to squander' and 'to waste or burn away'.

It is time that we renounced our demotion to 'consumers' and reclaimed our status as individual human beings. I here and now reclaim mine.

I see the future offering distinct and different paths. One is the path of the consumer, where we will burn and waste away the entire earth for ephemeral fashions, cheap air flights, SUVs, and hamburgers.

The other is the path of the human being, placing community, friendship, diversity, honesty, temperance, and charity above chain-store cheapness, McMansions, and the latest iPod.

We have a choice. We always did. All we have to do is open our eyes to see it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

more dog stuff

Am happy to report that the new dog is going well - though I am mighty vexed that he is in love with the Object of My Affections and I have been relegated to the role of handmaiden, walker and feeder. Hmm - not quite what I had in mind.

Anyway, here he is.

And here is the link to the PetRescue site that we got him from. I really like this site because most of the animals are in foster care so you actually find out quite a bit about them before you take them on - risk minimalisation.

However, the point of all this is that the beautiful Beau is what can only be described as a picky eater - which results in disagreeable dog leftovers. Meat, dried food (which he will only eat after it has been soaked!) - it is all very nasty. The worms can't/won't eat it. Our very small garden is not large enough to bury it in and it stinks in the rubbish. What you might call an unanticipated outcome.

My only hope is that as we will be getting another greyhound (he doesn't like to be left alone and needs a friend!) maybe that will result in less leftover food. The things you don't expect ...