Today’s prompt: When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)
My main action right now is Project Minimize. Today’s goal: Reduce the number of shoes in my closet by 1/2.
Here’s a peek at some of the shoes that have to go.
There’s nothing in particular wrong with these shoes. They’ve just been in the back of my closet where I couldn’t even see them to consider wearing them since the Clinton Administration. Some may have been there since the days of George Sr. If any date back to Reagan, I don’t want to admit it, but I won’t swear on anyone’s holy book that they don’t.
They have to go. I need that closet space for the clutter I’m collecting now. It is, however, my aspiration to collect less. I hope one day to see patches of clear floor in my closet.
I watched No Impact Man and 11th Hour this week.
I don’t think I can ever become No Impact Woman, mainly because I’m going to keep using toilet paper until the last tree is down. There’s a lot of space for making a difference between doing everything and doing nothing, though.
I’m very concerned about out-of-control consumerism. My own as well as the collective hyper-consumerism of the world we live in. It is dangerously bad for the environment and dangerously bad for the economy. I like to refer to shopping as stimulating the economy, but maxed out credit doesn’t help anyone’s economy. We got away with it for a time, but then we hit the inevitable crash.
Hyper-consumerism has also created the Banana Republic economy in which most of the wealth is controlled by only a few while abject poverty becomes the order of the day for the masses. We might as well be back on the feudal estates. We are the serfs.
Quite simply, I don’t want to give my money to the wealthiest people by buying a bunch of stuff I don’t need. I want to be more deliberate about my spending. I want to channel what I can to local farmers and local artisans. I want to buy from small businesses.
But mostly, I want to prioritize my life by spending less altogether. I’ve felt pressured by the recession. I haven’t had any raises to help me keep up with the cost of living. I’ve taken on extra work instead. I’ve taken on more than I can handle, and I feel like that in itself is an exercise in futility.
If I just spent less, I could work less.
I want to spend less so as to do more of other things: give more, save more, pay down more debt, devote more time to experiences as opposed to things.
So if I don’t plan to buy any new shoes, why am I getting rid of half the shoes I already own? Because I don’t want to be surrounded by so much stuff or by the idea that I need so much stuff. I want to simplify my surroundings and simplify my preferences.
To achieve that, I have set a few goals for 2011:
1. Drop expenses I don’t need. HBO has to go.
2. Pay off credit cards. I don’t owe extreme amounts, but I don’t want to owe anything. Interest sucks.
3. Get rid of half the stuff in my house.
4. Don’t drag a bunch of new stuff in.
Once I’ve put my house and my finances on a diet, and once I’ve shifted my consumer mindset into something simpler and more manageable, maybe then I will free myself up to work less and devote more time to…well…life. Maybe I’ll also reduce my impact on the environment along the way.
We’ll see. I intended for this to be more of a Social Activism post, and it turned out to be more of an All About Me post. That’s not really what I want, but you have to secure your own oxygen mask before you are able help others with theirs. Anyone who travels through this world knows that.