Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Out with the New

In response to the relative catastrophe of last night's frozen and then burst pipes, and a pending enormous plumbing bill, Jeff and I decided that we had to make some big changes. Perhaps to change our juju, but also to make it so that we might have savings for such events that you cannot predict but can be sure will happen eventually.

As artists/teachers, we have an enviable schedule and lifestyle. We spend much time with our son. We have frequent quiet afternoons at home. We both work on projects (dance performances, Americana music-making and so on) that matter to us and that we hope impact our little spot in the world. There is a balance that we try to strike in order to spend our mornings with fingerpaints in our son's room, our afternoons with ideas and books in coffee shops, and our evenings with live music downtown. These choices mean, though, that we aren't suddenly going to make a lot more money any time soon.

So... we resolve, in 2010, to not buy new stuff.

I'm going public with this to keep me honest, because I think it will be harder than I'd like to admit.

We will buy groceries and goods that you cannot so easily buy used (lotion, shampoo, pens, etc), but will strive to resist new furniture, clothing, and the like. There is much too much good used stuff out there to buy new stuff. It means no trips to Target for $6 teeshirts or stationary with a recycled look or another Matchbox car... It means, I hope, rethinking the concept of "need," and learning to both appreciate what we have and find ways to reuse perfectly good products.

Perhaps this will inspire others to buy a few less new things. Mostly, I hope it will keep me accountable to this challenge that, as a child of the upper-middle class, I anticipate will shock me a little bit.

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