the challenge [day 1]

Day one of any long time period challenge is more of a normal time than a reality check of the radical decision you just committed to.  I decided to do this challenge very early in the morning, which is the time my monkeys are the most active.  Yeah, I should probably explain that.  My boyfriend Steve says my thoughts are like a bunch of monkeys next to a banana tree, so we frequently refer to the monkeys in my head.  Monkeys are fun and cute, so we’ll go with it.

So I had breakfast with my kids and decided to tell them the news!  We will not be shopping retail for a year.  No new toys, no new video games, no new clothes.  After the silence, then denial, they reluctantly agreed that it was a good plan, although they thought a year was a bit excessive.  Well, with all the excess in our society, why not add a little more excess?  LOL

The ironic thing here is that I still have to shop sometimes for work, and this being the first day of the challenge, I had to go to Ikea for stage set stuff.  I had an Ikea gift card for $50 in my wallet, just to complicate things.  So off I went to shop, placing the stage items in the cart, along with a few things that I could buy with the gift card.  Well, as we all justify the stuff we absolutely need, my justification here was that I should use up the gift card since it probably will get lost or decrease in value over a year.  As I was about to check out, I put the stuff back.  I don’t NEED it and I’m not even sure I WANT it.  I was there, I had ‘Ikea’ money and everyone needs more stuff, right?  I still have the gift card and plan to give it to someone I know that is getting his first apartment and actually has a few basic needs.

I told a few people about my plans, or my challenge.  A few people thought it was a good idea and were not surprised.  (They obviously know me well and there’s not many things I can do to surprise anyone)  Others said it was cool, but they could never do it.  Let me just say here that I like to shop, but not like most people.  I hate malls and I hate spending money.  I like material things though.  There.  I said it.  I have an internal struggle with wanting simple and less fighting with a desire for more.  I was raised in a very materialistic house.  I have to call it a house, not a home, because a much higher value was placed on the material things in the house, not the people living in it.

I suppose I’m doing this to prove to myself that I don’t need a lot of stuff.  I’m also doing this for my kids to teach them about another world, a crazy different world that exists outside this wealthy, affluent bubble we live in.  A world where poverty and hunger exist because 20% of the world has 80% of the stuff, including food and water.  As Gandhi said, “There’s enough for everyone’s need, but there is not enough for everyone’s greed.”

This challenge is a very small step.  I know I have a long way to go here, but if everyone just made some really small sacrifice, our world would change in a radically wonderful way.  The monkeys are still processing all of this, along with my kids.  Off to day 2…

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About jody wissing

I'm a person just trying to matter in a crazy world.
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4 Responses to the challenge [day 1]

  1. Amy Tuggey says:

    I have a couple of questions about the rules.

    1. When you say retail, does that include eating out?
    2. “resale” and “retail” – not the same thing, right?
    3. Where did the coconut trees go?

    😀

    Amy

    • embracechaos says:

      1. We will still eat out, but budgeted much less for that. We will support the mom & pop places like Andrea’s. Also, at some point soon, I want to cut out ‘fast food’. They create much paper and plastic waste in our world.
      2. Correct. Used stuff, okay if it’s a necessity. New stuff, none but groceries and toiletries.
      3. They are next to the banana trees, but it’s best to keep the monkeys away because when they start throwing coconuts, those sucker hurt!

  2. Ann says:

    You have started spinning some wheels in our heads. We are going to do some things differently in the month of June in our house. Excess. It’s everywhere.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’m impressed, if not surprised. 🙂 Good for you Jody, for taking an action like this and also, for blogging about it. It’s inspiring to me, but also intimidating. I like things too and I hate that I like things. I actually just made that confession to a friend earlier today before I got around to reading this. I don’t know why I like things. I know they hold no real value. I want to be different, I’m not sure how to be. But enough about me, bravo for you and for Cole & Joe who have a very mature attitude about this plan. Keep typing about it!

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