I buy things and never use them

Hello and happy Sunday Funday. [Blogged while feeling frantic about my holiday to-do list. #TypeA. And now I just read that Type B is the “healthiest and most common”. Sounds right.]

The holidays are such a weird time. They’re supposed to be full of joy and love and happiness and gratitude. But it’s also a time of high stress and expectation and overconsumption in every meaning. A time of year when obligation, tradition and autonomy sort of blur together into a fog we stumble through until spring. The weirdest thing to me is that we’ve been conditioned to think we have to get people the best, biggest, most expensive gifts to show our love. Even more — that we have to get a gift at all. “I can’t just get him this,” I’ve thought so many times. As if lack of more shit is somehow a sign from me that I don’t appreciate someone. Whatever happened to: It’s the thought that counts.

The sentiment, if there ever was one, of gratitude is likely long lost by Thanksgiving night. We’ve been eyeing shit we definitely don’t need for weeks by now, waiting for the sale price to hit. Don’t get me wrong, I easily get swept up in wanting new things. Do you know how many cropped sweatshirts I have? And do you know how many of those I wear regularly? Idk, one?

We throw our money into shitty, cheap, often unethically made stuff. Stuff we might use a few times before tossing (because who takes the time to fix or recycle, lawlz). What if instead of wasting our money on lots of cheap things, we used it to buy a few higher-cost, quality things or to enhance our lives in some other, non-tangible way? It’s hard not to buy the $20 jacket. But do you know why it’s $20? Probably because it wasn’t made very responsibly or made to last. Don’t we have a responsibility to the people we can’t see in other parts of the world (because who makes things in America, lawlz) to support and advocate for their well-being and fair pay? American society screams for equality. Does that demand not echo around the world? Makes sense.

OK, OK, one last thing. Instead of filling our carts, what if we invested that money in our health and happiness? Or instead, donated to support a cause bigger than ourselves? WOWZA. Could you imagine? LOLOLOL. I like to treat myself just as much as the next person. I simply think there’s maybe some room to re-think the way we spend and why we spend.

I try to watch the documentary Minimalism once a year to ground myself. More on that here. Right around the holidays is a good time. Of the many documentaries I’ve watched, this one moves me the most. Others mostly make me numb with rage because I often entertain the realities of animal agriculture and the inevitable complete collapse of the only planet we have — but this story is so beautiful and relatable and powerful. And more so, it’s practical. We can all choose to simplify and responsibly consume with intent. Because we’ll always have our autonomy. Sometimes we just lose sight of it in the fog.

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