Thursday, August 24, 2006


I have been thinking a lot about why people feel a need to consume. I get a feeling that a lot of people are living unfulfilled lives. I know that I did. We work in the same dead end job - which has little meaning. We have nothing htat we are truly excited about. We are isolated from meaningful social interactions. Thus, we try to find something that fills the void. Some people find alternate ways to do this; partying, working out, shopping...

We go to the store and see people, we get a new item and havve a warm sensation that we have added something to our lives.

In actuality, we are isolated. We wander the shopping malls alone, we are cut off from the natural world (windows or no natural light), no birds chirping, no scent of freshly cut grass. We are shopping in oder to fill a void.

I think that some of this is due to the fact that we have no passion. Besides things to consume, we really have nothing that has meaning.

I left a job where I sat in front of a computer and designed websites and designed interactive materials for faculty in order to become a teacher. I left hte job that was not fulfilling because I felt that something was missing. Well, yes, we did transfer for my husband's job, however I had opportunitites for the same type of job here. I chose to teach. I love to design, yet I felt that I was losing my self in my work. I was not happy and would often shop to find something to make me happier. I would shop for items for my office to make it into a space that I enjoyed. It didn't work. Now I am passionate about what I am doing. Teaching is my calling. What is yours?

I was shopping in order to fill a void. I was lonely. Now that I realize the impact of my consumerism, I have another passion. I feel very passionate about making wise choices in my purchases. I don't want to be a part of a downward spiral. I want to live life fully with people rather than being empty while in a sea of other shoppers.

So, I have found others who feel the same way as I do. Yes, many of these people are online (the Compact,, Sally), however, the more I learn the more aware I have become of my environment and enjoying my life.

I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
- Henry David Thoreau


In Recovery said...

So true! Since I've been actively decluttering, I've looked at my previous activities differently. Being AWARE gives you a new perspective.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I really admire your goal of simplicity. I'm 38 with 3 kids and I was inspired by the idea of simplicity about 3 years ago after reading Thoreau. We paid off all our debt, stopped buying stuff we do not "need", and now spend alot of time with our kids.

One thing I like about this lifestyle is that you can't force simplicity. If you do, then it ends up complicating things. Its more a state of mind. At least, thats the way it is for me.

Good luck to you.

Sara said...

I've also tried to figure out "that high" that I get after buying stuff. It's completely addictive too...the more you buy, you more you want to buy.

Glad I found your blog! We think alike :)