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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Less is More Project: Week 20 - Two questions

Money, Flickr

I mentioned to my preteen students that I am on a "no buy" challenge. The best way to describe their reaction is to say "jaw drop". They could not fathom living a life where you buy nothing but necessities (i.e. groceries, gas for the car, and the occasional present when my kids are invited to a friend's birthday party). 

The preteens' reaction says a lot about the relationship we, as a society, have with possessions and money.

One of my students asked "But why? Are you poor?" (gotta love children's bluntness). As if the only reason one should limit their spending and acquisition of stuff was out of necessity. I did not go on for too long on the mindfulness-related reasons. I will let the idea simmer in their young heads. 

Now for you, young and not-so-young dear readers, two questions to ponder (and to answer in the comments below, of course): What would you do...

...if money was no object?

...if you had all the money and time in the world?

Next week, we will explore and discuss the answers we have gathered. In the meantime, I invite you to watch the following video:



None. I seem to be cured of the consumerist syndrome for good. I might have to drop the "Temptations" rubric altogether. It does help, of course, that the weather has been warm and sunny: I'd rather spend all of my time outdoors than in stores.

Donations (good riddance)

I decided to find one object, in each room of the house, that I don't really need or want anymore. The result: I found one or two things to let go of in each room... until I tackled the playroom. There, with the help of the children, I sorted through the whole contents of the toy chest and the bookshelves. We ended up filling two big garbage bags!

Observations and cogitations

Every time I think I am finally done with my decluttering, I find new things to get rid of. How far will this take me? Some family members are already calling me an extremist (which is an extreme comment in itself, I think). It should be a reminder that minimalism has a thousand faces, and that each person should do it in their own unique way.

Your turn to share about your struggles and victories of the week! What did you resist? Did you donate or get rid of anything? Did you face any challenge? Please comment below! And...

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  1. My answer for this never waivers. If money were no object, and I had all the time in the world, I would work at an animal rescue. Period.

  2. If money was not an issue and I didn't have to work .... I'd still work. Except it would be part time because I love my bus driving. And than I would also have time to spend with my parents, grandma and my son. Would I want a new house, nope....I'm happy with my smaller home. Would I like a new car, nope...the worry of a new car scratch is horrible. New clothes, as long as I have a few sets that are comfortable and make me feel good, I'm just fine. Simple really is good for the mind, body and soul. For me anyways.
    As soon as school is over and I have times again it's time to go through the clothes. Coats/jackets too. It's garage sale season, my fun. I LOVE getting a good deal for a dime. I'm looking for nothing but still need to go and see. Sticking with the one in two out.
    Love that you are sharing this with you students. Awesome!!

    1. Those are all super interesting points!

      Good luck getting rid of more stuff. It feels so good.

  3. Money no object? I suspect I am more interested in what money can do for other people than I am for myself. I have all that I need (and more than I need). I would like to support some communities in other parts of the world though. Support and empower them to develop in ways that are right for them.
    Time is another question. Unlimited time sounds blissful. The house could be under control. The garden could be under control. The many, many books I want to read could become a reality.

  4. Years ago when I was riding my bike 6 miles back from the store with a backpack full of groceries I pondered what I would buy if I won the lottery. A new bike was my response. I'm still riding that same beach cruiser, lol. It's hard to part with a bike named Desperado (actual model name.)

    Just now I realized that I can't read your two questions as my computer has been having issues, so maybe now, a new computer. It doesn't have a meaningful name.

    1. You can get a new computer and give it a name. In the meantime. keep riding ZE bike! :-)

  5. If I had all the money and time I needed to do, be and have everything I wanted..... time to stare out the window and think would be nice. I would spend more time at home following all sorts of domestic pursuits and learning new domestic skills. I would start a foundation (of course later on when I had no time to follow my domestic pursuits because I am too busy with the foundation business I would rue this decision). The foundation would be primarily to help other people learn living skills, that is learn how to be more productive in their own lives and to be the captain of their own ships. The foundation would help low income people, the battlers and the strugglers, obtain solar panels and other environmentally friendly options that become available. Oh and I would volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.