|Moyan Brenn, Flickr|
- Do you need to work tonight?
- To put food on the table and clothes on our back, no. To go to restaurants and keep designer sneakers in the closet, yes.
The Less is More project is coming to an end. What are the main observations, lessons and conclusions to gather from a year of buying only the essential?
First and foremost, I am not tired of this project. I am not looking forward to the "right to buy". I am not planning to go shopping. I do not plan to revert to my old ways in the new year. I want to make this new frugal practice a lifelong habit. I will keep decluttering, consuming less, and appreciating what I already have.
Because it feels good.
It feels good to live in a decluttered space, to know where everything is, to know that everything you own has a purpose.
It feels good to really, genuinely appreciate everything you have.
It feels good to see ads or go into a store and not feel pressured to buy.
It feels good to be completely unconcerned with keeping up with the Joneses.
It feels good to share (by donating or regifting).
It feels good to know that your ecological footprint is lower.
It feels good to use your time, energy and money for what really matters.
To give a full picture of the situation, I feel it's my responsibility to add that it also feels good to know you have a choice. The main difference between voluntary simplicity and actual poverty is that the former allows you to acquire the things you need when you need them, whereas in poverty, even the basics elude you. Someone I care for deeply is currently struggling to keep a roof over their head, and food on their table. That reality is very real for many people, even in a "rich" country like Canada.
For those of us who aren't struggling, the least we can do (apart from donating time, food, objects or money, of course) is to be grateful for what we have, and mindful of what we do with it. Money and other material resources aren't an end, they are a means. Let us never forget that.
Speaking of mindfulness...
Mindfulness will be the focus of my 2016 project. Mindfulness might be the key to peace, love, and well-being. Are you willing to give mindfulness a chance?
I will now allow myself a well-deserved break for the last ten days of 2015, and will be back in January full of new ideas to share! Happy End of Year to all, and see you in 2016!