Limits are great things no matter who, how or what you are. Kids love boundaries, thrive on them, the 'experts' all recommend them for ethical and social and emotional development. The problem with modern society is that being a rich Capitalist democracy we have become somewhat used to having no boundaries when it comes to our adult selves. 'Want that? Yup. 'Now?' Yup. Its all ours to be had. The price we pay for having and getting now, all that we want, manifests in many ways. Loss of community and development of cultural narcissism, financial debt, weight gain, ill health, limited relationship, environmental destruction and the list could go on. It used to be just an elite few who could have it all but our insatiable appetite has been afforded to the middle classes the world over.
This post over at the Green Phone Booth today reminded me of my current thinking; that Im loving my self imposed limits of local, organic, sustainable and ethical. I am actually finding life easier as i get older and more conscious about what i purchase. My lifestyle imposes limits to my purchasing and no longer do i find myself caught up in the consumptive habit. By removing myself from it like i have, by having principles which define what i buy, I have removed choice and thereby have simplified life.
We purchase basic goods which we use regularly, those which satisfy our 'principles'; a few local dairy products, mostly organic, organic local fruit and veg, home grown and home made staples, wild or free range organic meats, occasional 'kids' bread (square and soft) which comes in cellophane, bulk organic dry goods, etc etc. and a few condiments which i just cant make (see this exciting news, soooo local amde just a few streets away!). We pretty much stick to these varying them every now and then with something exciting and really leaving the exotic and well travelled for special occasions (not every Friday night!) like birthdays etc. Instant food doesnt really make much of a showing in our place much to the kids chagrin but I have noticed they now eat when theyre hungry not because theyre bored. Eating means work, investment, time and they cant be bothered when theyre not 'STAAAAARVING' and want more than fruit!!!
Shopping at op-shops has really introduced a whole new freedom. (Shoes I do buy new and I wear them out!) Impulse shopping and i are definitely not friends and is generally facilitated by staying out of the shops. So being a tight wad and knowing my limits and loving my boundaries really helps when it comes to navigating the marketplace; makes it easy and stress free. Being 'pov' by choice is liberating, sometimes socially challenging but the bank balance loves it and it means we have money available for experiential pursuits!