Monday, February 4, 2008

Rocking the Compact

When contemplating my Lenten sacrifice several weeks ago, I stupidly blurted out at the Milk Moms monthly Moms Night Out (MNO) that I was thinking of going off the consumer grid for Lent. Although I hadn't thought deeply about it, I just figured it meant that I wouldn't buy anything new from a regular retail store, except groceries and other consumable items like diapers and shampoo. I left myself with the "out" that I could still shop at the thrift store. Marya pointed out that the thrift store and Craig's List is where I do most of my shopping anyway, so how is it really a sacrifice? I got speechless at that (horrified at the thought of relinquishing my beloved thrift store for 6 weeks) and Marya quickly said that of course it would be the Jewish woman instructing me on my Lenten sacrifice!

I thought about it a lot over the past month and mentioned it to another Milk Mom, Therese. Therese is a fellow Craig's Lister and Freecycler and pointed me in the direction of "The Compact." So, at the most recent MNO this past Friday, I made my announcement. I will forgo all regular retail shopping and thrift store shopping for myself and the girls from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday. I need to do it - I hope that in uncluttering my material possessions I will also unclutter the relative complexity of our lives. Life just has to be simpler.

It was Milk Mom Helen who initially gave me the original inspiration. She and her husband and adorable daughter "HVDD" live in a one bedroom apartment in DC. She has joked before that HVDD has no toys except old National Geographic and New Yorker magazines and batteries. She and her husband both have well paying and well established careers, but they just don't believe in things. She has once said that they want to give their daughter experiences rather than material things and that really resonated with me.

So far I'm not getting too nervous. I might make a short list of things I might need before Easter - I think Ramona needs some tights for her Easter dress for example. I just found out that there's a children's consignment store really close to Beezus's weekly parent-child Montessori class - the devil is tempting me already!


Elaine said...

You can totally do this, Ellen. I often go through phases of "spending moratorium" where I refuse to purchase anything new for myself. Now, that I've made strides in decluttering my house - I'm operating on a 1 in, 1 out system so as to not move backwards in the clutter department.

Go, Ellen, go!

Kate Wicker @ Momopoly said...

Thanks so much for sharing this with me, Ellen. You've given me even more inspiration to fast from buying any non-essential items during Lent.

God bless!

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