“I don’t pay sales tax on things I… don’t buy!” It was about ten minutes until the store I wanted to go to was scheduled to open. I’d also been awake for over sixteen hours, needed to get home to write, and go to bed at a decent hour for work. Without even a moment of hesitation, I left, and next thought about the store about fifteen minutes later, without the slightest bit of regret.
Most bands sell merchandise at their shows. For years, if I even vaguely enjoyed a band, I would buy a CD, sticker, or shirt to support the arts. Minimalizing one’s lifestyle might imply advocating for the opposite. Fewer of my pesos do pollinate the pockets of performers, however, purchasing with purpose should always be the way to go. If you can answer yes to “will I still listen to this in ten years?,” buy away!
Early on into my sobrieties, I would distract myself with any frivolous adventure, just to distract myself. I think that’s good. When you’re knee-deep into any addiction, whether you want to admit it or not, you become so enamored with your uppers that you can’t experience life anymore. It just feels wrong. It’s like going out into a thunderstorm without a rain jacket. Why bother? Well, sometimes, you’ve gotta brave those storms, catching any life-raft.
Despite all the months and thousands of words I’ve written about decluttering, and sobriety, those sensations will probably never fully go away. I fantasize about going to some cool bookstore and buying a stack of books to enjoy just as I fantasize about, well, you know. I take a route of complete abstinence for my sobrieties, knowing that any drop of similar tasting liquid in the wrong mindset could tip me over. How about books?
Where do I find the time to write essays daily? If it takes me an average of 45 minutes to 90 minutes each day to conceptualize, write, edit, photograph or draw, and publish an essay, then I have to take that time from somewhere else. I had today off. I had fully intended to edit some larger projects. Instead, I slept, went on a walkabout, and now it’s well into the evening. I’ve still gotta write, so…
Crammed in Aurelius’s Meditations, between the exact pages “busy” people will stop reading a book at while claiming to others for feigning social clout that they “are reading,” which officially is after two full pages, was an account executive’s business card. Such relics used to be sacred monuments in my collection. I always wanted to feel an object’s total story. Who was its former owner? Now I realize that such thoughts waste our valuable time.
All the good trash-treasure gets soaked after rainfall. I try throwing away my non-recyclables and recyclables daily to keep the apartment-mansion clean, and for the occasional trash-treasure. When it rains, I’m less likely to want to cruise the cans, since this water-soaked game case, scratched mismatched disc, and some sort of waterlogged receiver wouldn’t pique my interest even in my hoarding prime, years and lifetimes ago. Instead, it’s more of an anthropological study of neighbors.
After weeks of overindulgent over-consumption of sugary snacks of sorts seemingly innocent, I realized all of those should go. Anything that doesn’t nourish well – or, if it’s not my favorite coffee-dipping crackers – should go, but, unlike donating anything that’s not trash to a thrift store, there aren’t as many food banks in this area, and the ones that are around are more exclusive. It’s unfortunate how much food goes to waste that could be helpful.
I own over 375 books and have made strides in reducing my materialistic tendencies, yet while returning The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck, I couldn’t help being seduced by an upcoming library book sale. I suppose my book collection isn’t exciting for me. I don’t need to chase these titles down and the boxes are ugly, gloomy, mismatching lumps, unlike the thrill of the hunt and vibrancy in the air at any large-scale sale.
If you care about things, you put them away neatly, right? So if there are many objects strewn in disarray throughout your living arrangements, how much do you really care about them? Do your prized possessions intermingle with trashed trinkets you don’t care about? If so, you may not be fully honest with yourself about your materialistic values. You may care about being the owner of an object yet not care about the object itself.