Becoming a Non-Consumer

Well, here goes nothing...

I’ve decided to challenge myself in a way I’ve never been challenged before. In fact, it’s in a way that I never, in a bazillion years, would have ever wanted to be challenged. If it was ever imposed upon me I would have been incredibly  angered and would definitely have resulted in a whole lot of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

What is this challenge you ask? Hold on to your hats friends….

I’ve decided to become a non-consumer for the month of April.

That’s right. A non-consumer of new non-perishable items. I’ll buy our food and gas new (because really… um… who wants USED food? ICK…) And, while I know there are people who dig through the trash bins at grocery stores to obtain their groceries and it’s their sole source of food. Um… so can’t go that route either. Double ick!

I know it’s going to be the hardest thing for me. Ever. Well, maybe not ever, but definitely incredibly hard.

Though I haven’t gone shopping in a craft store in a few weeks, I still find myself drawn to them. I have an intense desire to acquire. I know there isn’t one stinking’ thing I need. In all reality, I probably have the overwhelming majority of products carried there anyway (those of you who have seen my studio know I’m right). I still find myself drawn by some crazy power to just go in, look around, and see if there’s something I need (or want).  There is NOTHING I need. Literally.

I find myself buying clothes for my baby boy, even though he doesn’t need anything. Again, quite literally. My friend, Cara, has a son who is older than Fred, and she kindly loans us their used clothes so that really, we don’t’ need to buy more. But I do. They’re just so darn cute! And… since he’s not a girl (not that I’m sad any longer – I do so very much love my baby boy), I want to get him every single cute thing there is. Quite honestly, it’s a good thing he is a boy because there isn’t a whole lot of cute boy stuff. Girl stuff on the other hand…

I spend my weekends running around town, supposedly doing the grocery shopping, but in truth I stop off here and there because I “need” A, B, and C but would end up getting D, E, F, G, H, and I too.  Then, I get home and have to work to either justify it and/or find a place to store it.  I have an overwhelming desire to acquire.

Now, if there are indeed things we need during the month, I don’t need to buy it new. It would serve me, my family, and my community better if I would visit a local thrift or second hand store. I can better serve the environment by doing it that way too because it could be stopping something from ending up in a land fill.

I do have a very strong need and desire to acquire. I have many theories on why I find myself that way. Rather than waxing poetically about it, I’m just going to accept it for what it is… a not-so-positive desire. While, like a piece of chocolate, is not a bad thing in small portions, but when taken to the level where I currently find myself, it is an out of control addiction. I’ve been this way for years, so it’s going to take some time for me to break the habit and build better, more healthy ones.

I want to get to the place where I value the things I have; not finding myself antsy for nice new furniture but enjoying the furniture we have that is paid off. Instead of pining for beautiful new clothes, enjoying the mass of clothes I have. Who cares if they are last year’s style – it’s not like I work in the fashion industry. Instead of a nice new car, enjoying the fact that ours are (almost) paid off.  And instead of the fancy cute and oh so fashionable shoes – wearing and appreciating the dozens I already own. I want to find myself being more creative. Instead of buying the cool looking vintage style art piece – I’d like to make it myself.  In short, I don’t want to think about the things I don’t have an instead enjoy the things I do. I want more time to enjoy my family, more enjoyment and satisfaction in what I have, and I want to feel empowered knowing that I have overcome one of my (many) weaknesses.

I know I will struggle. I’ll be blogging about it, so please keep me accountable.

This is going to be the new me… the Non-Consumer me.


gina g said...

o.k. i am game... heck, i could use a challenge like this... my husband will be so happy! only thing is, i will probably cave tomorrow but if i do i can just say, "hey, april fool!"
fingers crossed...

Cara said...

Do I need to take your debit cards? Just kidding. Maybe you need to go the "Cara school of shopping" and I will show you how to not spend money! :P

Jennifer said...

That's awesome Heather. I have been thinking about doing something like this myself. If you are willing to have another support buddy, I am game!

Good Wishes
Jennifer Suter

T. said...

Amen! I'm so feeling ya' Sometimes, it feels like insanity that I can not be happy with the abundance that I have in my life already....sigh