nothing new

I can't remember when or how I stumbled upon Inked in Colour, but I was hooked on her blog from the moment I found it. Her life, especially at the time when she was living in Indonesia, was so very different from mine. Yet we had many things in common. Breastfeeding, bedsharing, travel loving, conscientious living Mamas.

When she started her "Nothing New for 52" project at the beginning of the year, I was intrigued. (I get her posts by email, and have a folder full of them saved!) The more I read about it, the more I was drawn towards something greater then intrigue. There became an almost constant voice in the back of my head telling me that I need to do this too.

In my quest for more authenticity in my life I have repeatedly realized that I have gotten bogged down in the materialism that is so present in our society nowadays. To be blunt, I have too much stuff and it is cluttering my space and cluttering my mind. How can I embrace what is ME when the things that are most important to me are buried in a sea of junk. So I've been attempting to declutter. To slowly but surely cull the unnecessary so that I can embrace the important.

But there is another side to that. All the donating, and otherwise getting rid of, does not one lick of good if it is not combine with a decision to stop the inflow as well. Everyone knows the "three Rs" of being environmentally conscious: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Well, the last is probably the most well known and embraced, but it is also the last resort. They are in order of importance... the biggest impact you can have is by first drastically reducing your consumption, then by reusing what you do buy, and only finally by recycling what can no longer be reused.

I'm not as ambitious as her for my initial go around, but I want to do this. So for April and May, I pledge "nothing new." That is my goal. 2 months, no new purchases. No clothes, books, songs, etc.

Now lets break that down a little, because obviously I can't go two months without buying anything. So here are my rules.

Food: I will obviously be buying food. But I'm going to stick to grocery store shopping. So no eating out lunches, or stopping for a little bag of snacks. I have some money on my Starbucks card, but once that is gone, its gone and I won't add more. (My one exception: my coworkers and I treat each other for our birthdays.)

Hygiene: Shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Things that keep me healthy and clean, I will buy as needed. Perfume or special scented lotions, or other nice but not necessary things, I will be skipping.

Birthdays: I will try to make people gifts if I can, or if not try to treat them to an activity vs. buying them "stuff." But in the end, I will get birthday gifts as needed.

Yoga: I will buy new yoga class cards as needed, but no new yoga gear. 

I guess those are the main points. If something gets used up, I will try to find a way to repurpose it. If something breaks, I will try to fix it. If it can't be fixed, I will only replace it if it is a absolute necessity. I won't buy things because I think they will make me happier. I won't buy things because I think "Oh Gwen would just love this...." even though she has MORE then enough and doesn't need yet another thing. If it is something truly unique, I'll tag it for Christmas shopping.

Our culture has become so driven by possessions, and we are constantly bombarded with images of what we "should" have, what our things say about us as a person. The media tries to set your worth by the value of the items you buy. I don't imagine this will be an easy 2 months. But damn I am so ready to try this!

Anyone care to join me? 

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