Over the past couple of years, I have found it easier to manage just one resolution at a time. Nevertheless, having only one is no guarantee of having it come to pass within the year. Still, reading War and Peace and building a website may have taken it little longer than intended, but their eventual accomplishment makes me confident that I’ll be able to tackle this year’s challenge. For a challenge, it will be.
I will not buy anything.
Oh, of course, I will spend money on food and shampoo and wine. I will shop for gifts and art supplies. I will go to craft shows. I will support local businesses and makers.
I will try to resist buying books and art, just for this year. It will be difficult, especially as these are industries I want very much to support. But as I still have about 15 unread books at my fingertips and artworks waiting to be displayed, perhaps it is time to get my house in order before inviting anything else in. What about magazines? I have a weakness for shiny covers, or, even better, those that are rich and matte. Again, best to deal with the at least a dozen or so unread and the scores of collections that linger. What of those? If I buy music, and I so rarely do, it will remain in the cloud.
What about travel? I shop when I roam the streets of far away. The things of far away keep far away with me when I am no longer there. I let them define me. So what will happen? I don’t know. At the very least, I will be more mindful.
When I am not far away, the moratorium will be on clothes and shoes and such like. No whims for the home. No gadgets for the kitchen. No impulse buys, no sales, no bright ideas. I will fight the dangers of Ikea even though I did plan on buying a light there to match the one we have before it is discontinued.
I will try to refrain from getting excited about new ideas that involve new investments. It is not as though, after all, I don’t already have enough going on on every burner and up every sleeve. This mindfulness will help keep me from further distraction. I hope.
I will wear out what I have. I will shop my closets and the contents of my house. I will use what I’ve put aside for “good”. I may have to replace essentials like bras or black tights that I can darn no more. I meant to stock up before December ended. Never mind. It makes the challenge more interesting.
Absolutely no more bags of any kind. The last item I bought for myself was on November 17. It was a silver tote bag and I agonized over it for a few days. It was what led me to this resolution. The decision helped me to rationalize my purchase. I am very good at selling to myself.
Upon much reflection over the past six weeks, I've come to the realization that I am often very careful about what I buy. I am by no means a mad shopping machine. I need to fall in love. The problem is that I fall in love quite often. With people and places and pictures and narratives and feelings and ideas and, yes, things. I need to learn to fall in love with simplicity.
In my defence, I come by my consumerist tendencies quite legitimately. After over twenty years of working with fashion, art and design, it is time to curate my collections more precisely. To possess less, but more thoroughly.
Can I do it? I think so. I hope so.
Nota: The silver tote is, indeed, very practical.