consuming less, appreciating more

“It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else,  that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” Bertrand Russell

The buy nothing new challenge is coming to an end and I found that opting out of buying new things has grooved with me quite well. I enjoy being thrifty, finding alternative ways to get what I need and buying used whenever necessary. Used items have more character and let’s face it, they don’t make ‘em like they used to.

Take time to enjoy the little things in life

I’ve always enjoyed the simple things in life, motivated to find pleasure in things that don’t cost money. Growing up in the country may have contributed to this, having to use my imagination to find pleasure in what was available to me. I’ve encouraged friends to start thinking the same way. I’m spending more time with the ones I love doing things that don’t cost money, finding myself less distracted and enjoying their company that much more. Also, my bank account is looking better than it ever has.

Had I not taken on this challenge I likely would have made a few superfluous and impulsive purchases of clothes, electronics and lord knows what else. But I didn’t, and I am still a happy dude. We are conditioned to believe that buying and giving new things will bring us happiness, but I don’t think it does.

I have given homemade gifts that were much more meaningful than the typical Hallmark card and trinket. At one point I wanted to buy a cute little toy for my niece. Instead, I went home, wrote her a song and recorded it for her and now she’ll have and enjoy that forever – something made just for her.

For Mother’s Day, I sent my mom a half hour recording of “Kyle’s Radio Show – Special Mother’s Day edition” filled with songs and musings by yours truly for her to listen to during Mother’s Day dinner because I wasn’t able to be there with her. She loved it, and now my dad is expecting one for Father’s Day. I have a feeling I’ll be doing this for many Mother’s and Father’s Days to come and that is definitely okay with me because it won’t cost a thing and will be something they look forward to each year.

I’ve taken solace in visits to thrift stores and used bookstores. I’ve strengthened relationships with friends and family by exchanging borrowed items with them. I have enjoyed tackling the challenge with my lovely girlfriend who believes we could live our entire lives and never buy anything new.

I like the sound of that.

So, guess what else I’m adding to my new, more solidified way of life? I hope to minimize the amount of food I purchase on a daily basis.

How you ask?

Well, I’m becoming an organic farmer.  Stay tuned for more on that.


One response to “consuming less, appreciating more

  1. Hey Kyle- just stumbled back across your blog today and I’m so glad I did. Love this post and the reminder that ‘things’ don’t buy happiness. Sounds like a very cool challenge! Might have to try this out and let you know how it goes. =) Thanks for an uplifting read!

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