Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I found a group called Compact. They started in the San Fransisco. It's members wanted to fight our nation's out of control dedication to consumerism. They vowed to not purchase anything new for a year. There was no limit on what they could purchase used, get free or barter to obtain.

I have been living a very frugal life for years. I was already getting most of the items I purchased, used. That was part of my problem. I would find great deals! High quality, name brand items for pennies on the dollar were filling up my house. I didn't "need" any of the items. I enjoyed the hunt as much as the purchase itself. I rarely got through a day without stopping at a thrift store to get that adrenalin rush that came with finding something great for a very cheap price. I took a lot of pride in being able to dress my family in great clothing, that nobody would ever suspect came from Goodwill. The thrill of the hunt greatly increased the pleasure and value of any given item. It was exciting to shop!

I began to realize that I was trying fill a void that could never truly be filled with stuff. The more stuff I had, the harder it was to keep it cleaned up and organized. So many experts say, you can't organize clutter! The more cluttered your life becomes, the harder it is to be happy. A cartoon in the New Yorker depicted a woman standing at a department store counter. She asked the sales clerk, "What would you suggest to fill the dark, empty spaces in my soul." This puts so clearly, what so many of us do not understand about ourselves.

Retailers and manufacturers know this all to well. They bank on our need to fill the void. However, more stuff will never make the difference in your life. Instead, I am trying to develop more friendships, spend more time with family and volunteer. I am also trying to begin some healthy habits to replace my shopping/hunting habit. I vow to make more time for exercise, healthy eating, journaling, and learning.

Join me! Put down your purse and take a walk!

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