Action: #reverb10 Day 13

Today’s promptWhen 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.

From Project Minimize

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.

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