Do you ever feel restless? Like something just isn't quite right? Most often when I feel restless big changes are on the horizon for our family. Feeling restless spurred me to leave my corporate job to return to the world of academia, it shifted the sights set on a dissertation and professorship to those of family and eventually a return to the business world. But when I think about our switch to cloth (while equally significant in our lives, hello IBB!), it was not caused by restlessness. Nope, I was mostly just MAD. Throwing away something we had just spent good money on. Again. And Again. And again.
In short - our switch to cloth not only literally decreased our carbon footprint, but it also marked a shift in mindset as well. This change did not occur overnight, certainly. Instead, it was a gradual shift from an all-out-unchecked-consumer-centric life to one of quiet awareness. And eventually I found myself nearly landed in minsumerism.
'The Minsumerism Manifesto' (the sharply-observed and keenly-written outline penned by my newest favorite blogger Miss Minimalist) beautifully sums up most of my feelings of restlessness. I think I especially respond to her writing as her focus is not only about organizing and purging your current holdings, but also about reconsidering your relationship with consumption and the environmental consequences of these decisions.
I found I lately begin most of our dinner-table conversations with phrases such as 'Miss Minimalist says...' or 'I read on Miss Minimalist today....' To me this is a sign that so much of what she says has resonated with how I'm thinking and feeling. Whenever I'm researching a new idea, item or choice, if I read something that clearly doesn't suit us I give it due diligence and move on. But when something leaves me feeling restless, I know there is more work ahead of me. Good work. Work that will move us forward, and into a better place.
With that, I'd like to introduce you to a new series on Bitsy Buzz - Much Ado About Making Do. Through these posts I'll chronicle our journey to further to pare down our lives, beyond our usual recycling and other 'green' choices. Now that I've devoured Miss Minimalist's primer, The Joy of Less, I'm ready to start the process. While we've been very good about decreasing our consumption over the last almost-two years, there still remains the evidence of our past life: scores of clothing, shoes, purses, vases, graduate school notebooks and the list goes on and on.
I don't purport that I'll end this journey with 100 possessions or be able to travel with just a carry-on. But I do hope to find a healthy balance between our old- and new-selves.
Want to take part in this crazy journey? I highly recommend borrowing or downloading The Joy of Less (after all, why buy until you know it will be a favorable contribution to your permanent library?). It is a quick read (I think I finished it in three bedtime-reading sessions). If it resonates with you and your place in life, it will likely cause some introspective rumblings (be forewarned, you'll likely be so inspired you'll actually considering getting out of bed at 3am to start purging). If it doesn't cause you to look around with new eyes (or you already are living the lifestyle she describes! go you!) then shut the book and know you've done your due diligence.
With that, dear reader, I ask you - are you restless?