Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lacking on Purpose

I’ve had a long week, with late nights, scraped-together meals, and an unfortunate shortage of energy. Having slept-in today, I spent the late morning reading some of II Chronicles, journaling, and paying bills. I’m glad I have a moment before I continue with a loaded weekend to sit and write a bit. I will have to press on through the next few weeks, knowing that with the end of October, we will be settled in a new apartment, and (hopefully) the simplifications we are making in the move will add ease and efficiency to our daily life.

I’m thrilled by some of the changes we are making—the biggest being that we won’t have a TV for a while. The one we have now is of the generation of televisions I grew up with—a large, heavy cube, taking up more precious square footage than we want to spare in our tiny new home. Instead we’ll set up our record player in the living room and maybe a make-shift stand on which to put one of our laptops for Netflix viewing. What else do we need? I sure won’t miss all the commercials.

David is a sound snob. I’ve missed listening to music while I clean or work or relax, but when David is home, the speakers on my computer, or alternatively those of the old CD player I’ve kept from my 14th birthday bother his audio snobbery and he prefers the television for background noise. So he’s giving up his office record player and receiver so we can have music at home of an acoustic quality that won’t offend his trained ears. Ha. It will be so much better than repeats of Walker Texas Ranger in the background, interspersed with commercials for short-term lending companies, retail, big pharmaceutical, and fast food. Bye-bye, marketing lies that drive me nuts.

Besides the TV, we will also lack a dishwasher. A full tub. Central air. A garage. A dining room. Washer and dryer. You know, those first-world luxuries we Americans seem to think we can’t live without.

It’s like a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is experiment in frugality. Can we really live happily with only the bare minimum? I fully believe we can. I am actually exhilarated by the idea—that radical part of me that wants to prove that stuff can’t buy happiness.

The true challenge will be to keep our new place from accumulating more stuff than it can hold. We’re going to have a 1-to-1 rule of something out for something in: anything new must be replacing an item we’re donating or selling. And this Christmas we’ll be asking family who want to give us gifts to think instead how they can bless us in non-permanent/non-material gifts—maybe gift cards for restaurants or movie vouchers. Or nothing at all! We are so excited to be with family for the holidays—what more do we need?

Now, we’ll need to find a reputable and affordable laundromat—too bad we can’t bring our record player with us when we wash our clothes.

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