A different kind of consumerism…

I’m back again.  But I’ve been posting so infrequently that I’m sure you didn’t even know that I was gone!

The kids and I spent a week visiting family.  Were back now, safe and sound, but vaguely out of sorts.  It was a great visit, but different, of course, from being at home.  We live in a different rhythm, we eat different foods and it takes a while to come back to normal once home.  Also, we’re never quite the same people when we come back.  Just like the maple tree below, that I photographed before we left, and found completely bare when we arrive home.  It’s amazing what one week can do.  The littlest one now says “daddy” and “mommy” more often then “dada” and “mama”.  She’s added several new phrases to her repertoire, including, “do again!”, as in, just sang “Itsy-bitsy Spider” for the twelfth time in a row?  Big smile and “Do Again!”  Also, “excuse me” (seriously) and “thank you!”; polite little munchkin that she is!


But there are other changes as well….friendships rekindled, priorities rearranged, ideals relaxed, new and novel experiences shared.  There has been just the slightest of shifts, and we just don’t quite fit exactly back into the life we left.  Such is the way things go, always growing and adapting, and on that note…

A month or so ago, I started re-reading Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids.  The first time I read it, I felt like it was an affirmation, because it really falls right in line with how we strive to live.  This time I’m delving deeper, not so much into the book, but into our lives.  It occurs to me that there are still several areas that would benefit from simplifying, the two main ones being crafting and food!  I’ll talk about the later at some point, but I’ve made some interesting discoveries about the power of creativity and the role of inspiration.


I’ve cut back on computer time across the board, not just the time that I spend here.  Most days I just check my email.  A couple of times a week I look in on a few of my favorite blogs.  Then there are weeks like last week, when we were away, and I didn’t touch a computer for seven days.  This paring down wasn’t premeditated, just a result of life being the way it is at the moment, but I’ve noticed the strangest things.  For one thing, I no longer feel so scattered.  I’m more likely to finish a project that I start.  I no longer find my mind racing as I scheme and dream about my next 20 projects (or more!).

It’s not like 100 years ago when your neighbor might have a new style of knitted lace or a fashionable new cut dress to share.  You can find information on absolutely anything, at your fingertips, any hour of the day.  Which is incredible, and wonderful and….over-whelming. There is no end to the inspiration.  Wow.  But the other side of that is, there is no end to the inspiration…
fire 1

And maybe there is such a thing as too much inspiration??  It may just be in my nature and perhaps there is no one at all who can relate to this, but I think I’ve spent a good portion of the last several years over-inspired.  Too much of a good thing.  There are so many wonderfully talented women and men out there, who graciously share their lives and their art so that others may benefit.  It’s really incredible when you think about it.  I was kind of shocked when I realized that this is the number one way that consumerism finds it’s way into my home.  It’s strange, but it’s true.  These amazing people, with the very best of intentions, the very same people who rail against consumerism in a more mainstream sense (myself included) are the ones most likely to inspire consumerism in me.  It’s of a different sort, to be sure, but the effect is still the same.  There is the feeling of more, more, more!  And the feeling of over-whelm when it is all too much.  When I see a darling sweater knitted for a child or hear about a spectacular and heartfelt birthday celebration, even other people’s thrifting scores, get me going and starts my mind spinning.  It’s not a matter of trying to keep up, but of just being so blown away with the beauty of an idea or an object, that I can’t get it out of my mind.  Which would be fine, nay fantastic (!) if it happened every once in a while, but there is just so much potential out there, so much beauty, that it’s possible to sit and find new ideas constantly.

It’s all very interesting, and somewhat alarming, to me anyway.  I love being able to reach out to other people who are walking a similar path, to be able to get a glimpse into their lives.  I don’t want to entirely give that up.  I’m sure there is a balance to be found and I’m learning a lot, thinking and experimenting with it.  I’d be interested to hear other people’s ideas and experiences!


10 thoughts on “A different kind of consumerism…

  1. Anne B.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. It has occurred to me on occasion that admiring or valuing something doesn’t mean I have to own/have/do it. Just knowing that something exists in the world should be enough (and is, if I remember to think about it that way). For example, there are a lot of garden plants that really speak to me, and I used to think this was a sign I should incorporate said plant into my own garden. Space being quite limited, this is impossible, but fortunately I discovered I can admire a formal garden or a georgeous windowbox full of trailing flowers without needing to replicate it for myself.

  2. Suzanne

    I did enjoy that book and took alot away to help me balance life. I love the book Margin too . But, I know what you mean, we cruise blogs and the net and see so many good things, but do we really need to do it all. It is so tempting when one loves to create!

  3. Lisa

    I never comment on blogs but I totally relate to your post. I realized this a few years ago and I now get on the computer a few times a week to check mail and check a few favorite blogs (yours of course) and that’s it. I no longer spend hours of time online. I don’t think people even realize how much time they invest. I’ll hear someone say “I’m only on an hour a day” That’s 30 hours a month!! Anyway, I love to craft but I find that I too will fall prey to the “oh look at this fabric or look at this yarn and then here I am buying it!!! I also hate that blogs have turned into advertisements for a bunch of stuff I don’t need. I won’t even get on my tangent about people who go on and on about how their family doesn’t watch tv but with all their computer time, it’s far worse…their kids don’t watch tv but they watch their parents glued to a computer screen!! Anyway, my little one needs me so I won’t spend anymore time on this,… but you are on the right track!! IMHO

  4. Emilie

    Yes! I understand exactly how you feel! I do think that there is such a thing as too much inspiration. As a crafty creative person, I see sooooo many things online that I’d love to do, the ideas get swirling in my head and I get scattered and don’t end up completing anything. The same thing happens to me with books. I’ll go to the library and check out a ton of books and then get so overwhelmed that I don’t end up finishing even one of them. I’ve started forcing myself to only check out a couple books at a time. I need to start doing the same thing with my time online and my crafts as well.

  5. cecilia

    over-inspired. i hadn’t thought of it in those words exactly, but thats it… i have definitely noticed just that since i began blog-reading. i enjoy so much of what it has to offer, but it is easy to get wrapped up in or loose time in. (people’s thrifting finds totally get me too!) i try to remember that while there are lots of fun ideas out there, my truest inspirations come from walking in the world, living life, and developing my relationships. i completely agree that finding a balance is a must.. i am still working on that.

  6. cecilia

    i should also say that while i love the wonderful recipes, beautiful crafts and all those bits, the part of blog reading i enjoy the most is the connection with the author, known or unknown, through their authentic and genuine sharing of life and days passing – those words often speak to me in a way that helps me to find my own voice. i appreciate that there is this medium and these authors, who let me learn about myself an what life i am creating, through their lives. you included, so, thank you~~~

  7. Kyce

    Ah, thanks for this–I echo what Cecilia says above. I enjoy checking this space from time to time, and appreciate this open reflection. Time to log off for the remainder of naptime, and do some work in the real world.

  8. Jo

    Yes, yes, yes. On all accounts. There are blogs that I no longer check because there is just too much information on them. Too much inspiration.

    I completely hear you and thank you for putting it into words.

  9. Pingback: Lustful Knitting « Old Recipe for a New World

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