I returned from Spark! Circus with a renewed distaste for consumerism. We don't need everything that is offered to us, and there are some ridiculous things being sold. Walking through the shopping districts of Tokyo was painful. I started to avoid going into areas of town where every nook and cranny is dedicated to selling something.
Having lived out of a small backpack for four months while touring with WHD Dance and in the circus, I realised I can be happy with very few resources.
But my apartment is overfull of things that I have succumbed to purchasing. So much stuff. After returning from Thailand, I spent days clearing things out that I didn't need or want any more. But it is hard and there is just so much stuff that we do use, but infrequently - 2 tents, 2 spare futon, and 20 china party plates, for instance - that I couldn't achieve the stark emptiness that I wanted to surround me. And then there are all the things that are Tod's...
Even my desk is untameable. The pencil cup overflows. Why do I have so many pens? Do I need four Sharpies? Three pairs of scissors? Yes...? No? I use them if they are there. Would I miss them if they were not there? Argh. Don't get me started on hoop workshop materials or art supplies.
So, frustrated by my inability to pitch all of this kipple, I remembered my 2009 experiment in "No Shopping" and decided to give it another go for the rest of 2013. At least I won't be accumulating any more things. My personal guidelines at the time were:
- No accumulation of things
- Purchase only consumables
- Become mindful of my consumption
- Exercise creativity by repurposing what I already have
- Improve skills in repair, maintenance, & construction
- Build networks through bartering and trade
- Reduce my "ecological footprint" by decreasing waste and increasing the life of my things
- Refocus my desires to meaningful things like learning, rather than an LED hula hoop
And I am adding one more this time:
9. One in, one out.
For 2013 I am also putting more emphasis on giving things away, including things I love. I will be clearing out my clothes, coats (ouch), shoes (oh!), kitchen cabinets, hula hoops and flow toys, books, and all the little things that weigh me down. Assessing what is important to me and what I really don't need.
And then I will try not to shop.
To keep myself honest, I will report here monthly. If you are keen to play along, there is a closed group on Facebook called "Make Do, Do Without 2013". Drop me a PM over there and I will add you.