Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Too consumer driven

I've recently had to clean out my bedroom at my mum's place and realised that I own far too much junk. So with that and lots of eco guilt, and less cash and more time I've decided to look into voluntary simplicity. According to one website, Voluntary simplicity is defined as

a growing movement of people who have realized that happiness and fulfillment do not lie in having more money, or new and bigger things, but rather in the time with loved ones and connection with community. They are questioning the consumer society's insistence that possessions, especially of the newest design and color, are the means of fulfillment, or that any material possession can possibly be "to die for."

There is a whole host of websites devoted to it like:
You’ve heard it before: "time is money." What we discovered is that’s not true - time is better than money!

This revelation has allowed us to be content in our work or to change that work when it no longer satisfies. It has permitted us to spend less time acquiring things and more time acquiring experiences, insights, and relationships. It has encouraged us to lend a helping hand in our community, whenever the need arises, because we can make the time to do it. It has given us freedom and control of our lives.

For some reason, it seems to us that many people have failed to grasp this simple truth. They trudge off to work every morning to put in their time at jobs they despise so they can buy things. Have you noticed? The more a person hates his or her job, the more money he or she spends on toys, time-shares, new cars, the latest trendy clothes, jewelry, etc. And the more one spends, the more one needs to hang on to that job, no matter what.

Is there a way out? We think so. If you’re already addicted to conspicuous consumption, it will take some getting used to. But it IS possible to own your own life if you are determined to do it. How? Simplify!!

I can't say that I have walked away and decided to give away all my possessions or to stop purchasing. But it has got me thinking differently about consumerism and particularly how I spent my money. Just off the top of my head I know that I probably spent too much on clothes and household stuff that I don't really need and on eating out. So instead of having lunch out this weekend we are going to pack a lunch, grab my newest book from the library and go bushwalking. Any suggestions for somewhere easy and close to Melbourne?


Cindy said...

Good for you, Kristy! I often feel the pull of consumerism strongly on a subconscious level but try to think it all out and limit myself to a modest level of indulgence that I can really appreciate... but I think getting the right balance is going to be a life-long challenge.

I wasn't sure if you'd check back on our blog and wanted to answer your question about Hobart - I was there on a Sunday and almost everything in the city was shut, don't even bother going there unless you have a specific restaurant or shop in mind that you *know* is going to be open. Salamanca Place was a little more lively, from memory. Regardless, I hope you have a wonderful time, and enjoy Sirens as much as we did!

Theresa said...

Good on ya! Voluntary simplicity sounds sort of like my life, though I don't know if I've chosen a simple life or if it's chosen me--we don't have much stuff, because we were totally broke for a while and we just got used to no tv, internet, etc. We don't eat out often because there is very little vegan-friendly in the area. I don't have piles of accumulated stuff because I moved here 18 months ago and could only take 50 kg of possessions. Whether I've chosen it or not, I love my lifestyle! Have fun bushwalking and reading this weekend! I love bringing books to the beach or a park and just reading there, as well. Plus, take advantage of free festivals and art openings and other events, to avoid boredom.