It's been awhile since I posted, but I haven't abandoned ship - I've been trying to figure out where to go from here. With the exception of my trip, I think my less-consumptive habits have become just that.
So this post I'm going to focus on the input and ideas (albeit paraphrased) of others.
One of my first pieces of encouragement in the form of an informative video came from D. The story of stuff was great - it went straight for my consumer conscious sensibilities and introduced me to the term "planned obsolescence". We often marvel, that our teeny village in the boreal forest had all the stuff that any farmer and farmer would need. One of those services was a cobbler - a person who fixes shoes once they're broken. Think about that - someone who fixes shoes, which means your shoes are able to be fixed and not just throw-aways. I remember commercial cobblers in the mall when I was a kid, but they are long gone. So are high-quality, locally-made products made by craft and tradespeople. It makes me sad really, to think that this sustainable lifestyle many of us are seeking was more easily attained (in one sense) when our communities were smaller. At least more logical - our modern societies are designed to be convenient for urban dwellers, the hubs, but not for rural living like they would have been when our society had more of an agrarian focus. Fewer choices of course, but isn't that one of the great myths of capitalism? Places like Wal Mart and shopping malls don't really give us choice, they just distract us from what is really important.
Second piece of advice came from J, who upon discovering my quest and my fall from grace in NYC comforted me by letting me know she'd have done the same thing. More eloquently put she said that she looks always purchases things as a memento of a trip and that to surround oneself with beautiful things does bring a certain level of pleasure, especially in the form of art.
N recently sent me a link on FB about an artist who's minimalist exhibit of the things she saved from her life as a statement about our so-called need for stuff.
So it seems that I'm in good company on my quest. Keep that advice coming - mindlessly purchasing has become such a huge part of all of our lives, in one way or another, the idea of not doing so is intriguing, in the least, for all of us.