Well, actually I did. Just not quite when it got published.
I wrote it, scheduled it to be published, then had some more thoughts and wanted to revise it, tried to change it back to not being scheduled, and apparently did something wrong because it got published anyway.
When I was in middle school, my friends and I noticed one of our friends wore the same Teva sandals every day during the first several weeks of school. So we dared her to wear them every day for the entire school year. And she did. Except one day when there was more than a foot of snow on the ground and she wore close toed shoes instead – and we all agreed that this was a reasonable exception.
There was no point to why she wore those shoes every day. It was random. It was fun. It was silly.
That’s not how I view my 2014 resolution.
After I wrote the post but before it got published, I talked with a friend about my resolution to not buy any material possessions for a year. He asked some questions about what I meant by it and what my motivation was behind doing it, and “this is an incredibly laudable goal, but beware being too legalistic about it.”
And interesting and – I think – valid comment/observation to make.
Because – as an example – one thing I have struggled with is the fact that I’ll be going to Uganda in less than two months (eep! that soon? I still need lots of support!) and while there we will have the opportunity to shop in local markets. This is a chance to support local businesses and artisans – some that are part of the microfinancing projects that Musana does, and some that are in similar situations aside from Musana.
And contributing to that economy in a positive, healthy way is more important than a one-year challenge to myself to not purchase any possessions. As long as I’m not buying hundreds of dollars worth of stuff.
I guess he just reminded me to remember my motivations behind why I was interested in doing this in the first place – differentiating between wants and needs, learning to be happy with what I have instead of always wanting more, valuing what I have and taking better care of it, living with less, and being mindful of ethical manufacturing.
Because if on January 1, 2015 I go on a huge shopping spree and buy loads of stuff that I’ve just been postponing all of this year, I think that cuts into some of the value of what I was trying to accomplish this year. Because ultimately I’d like to make some long-term changes to how I view and value stuff – not limited just to 2014.
So maybe I’ll buy a few things this year. After very careful, thoughtful consideration. (But a new TV will not be one of them.)
That’s what I wish I had added before my last post was published.