Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Year of Less

At the beginning of October, I read one of those books that for better or worse, sticks in your brain. Makes you think about your life, life in general, and how you want to make changes for the better.

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders

This book, paired with a bunch of things that were happening in my life, helped me decide that I will be participating in a "Year of Less", starting about 2 weeks ago.

So far I'm doing pretty good! Ha!

We as a (western, global north, developed) society consume WAY TOO MUCH STUFF. This is a huge contributor to the climate crisis, and our shitty lives under capitalism. Honestly. So many people have written so many smart things about this, I don't know what I could possibly add.

Cait Flanders gave herself some "rules" to follow over the course of her year, to guide her on what she could and couldn't purchase. I have decided to do the same, and use her categories.

These are things I am allowed to buy, like toiletries (only when I run out), and groceries (only when I have a plan for them).

These are things I am NOT allowed to buy. This is the long list.

  • Dishes
  • Food storage containers
  • Hair accessories
  • Notebooks
  • Craft supplies
  • Photo albums
  • Things at a craft sale
  • No new subscriptions
  • Indoor plants
  • Picture frames

Approved Shopping
These are items that might be covered in the "banned" items, but are specific things I know I am going to need over the next year, OR things that improve my life and don't add to my mental burden of "too much stuff".
  • Home improvement items from our Projects List
  • Fitted sheet (1)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking boots
  • Stamps
  • Photos
  • Travel

One of the first actions Ms Flanders takes is to go through everything in her house and take an inventory, and then start giving away any belongings that didn't fit or make sense in her life any more. This helped her see all the things she did have, helping her not buy some of those items in the future. But it also showed her that so many items she just "had to have" at one point in her life, weren't actually being used in her life anymore. I think we have all experienced that feeling.

I haven't done this exercise yet, partly because I still have so many boxes unpacked from our recent move. "Minimalism" is a movement that just doesn't resonate with me anymore, but I know I have too much stuff that I don't need or want. And I know that I need to live with less stuff in order to best live in our tiny new home. I plan on making time in November and over the December break to give myself a fresh start in 2020.

I am also looking ahead to doing some 30-day challenges as part of this. That is, 30 days of eliminating a thing or a behaviour that doesn't serve me, and can push me forward in my other goals. Like no social media, no plastic, no dairy, no candy, no eating out, etc. It feels as though in taking all of these small steps, I am so close to realizing this huge potential in me and my life. Life on this earth is only going to get harder over the next years and decades. I need to do my part to prepare and to mitigate those changes for me, my family and my community.

Here goes!

There are only 3 months left in this year. How are you going to spend this time to get you where you want to be?


1 comment:

  1. NO PLANTS???
    I've heard a lot of good things about this book, good luck with it. Remember, any progress, no matter how small is still progress. ♥


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