Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 265 - Stuff, Stuff, More Stuff.....Oh Yeah, and Fireworks

I was 99% sure at some point that I would be off on my day counts. Turns out I was - but only by a few days. So without further ado, my second post for Day 265!
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Forget risk averse - trying to pay off debt has made me "stuff averse". I now get nauseated when our house accumulates those random piles all over the place - and try as we might it happens a lot. 

So this Fourth of July, Mike and I decided to head up to La Jolla Cove and watch the free fireworks with a gorgeous Pacific Ocean backdrop. We headed to the grocery store, packed up our cooler and splurged on some yummy deli sandwiches at the Olive Tree Market in Ocean Beach - total cost $25.85 with plenty of leftover fruits veggies and hummus for the week. Not too shabby.

La Jolla Cove -
The Cove was packed. When we finally found a spot of grass we ended up next to the lovely pile of "stuff" you see above. As Mike and I dropped our blanket, cooler, jug of tea and bag full of books and hoodies, my immediate thought was that we obviously weren't going to have a good time because we didn't bring our giant gazebo tent (not shown in picture because it was too freakin' big) or the 50 pounds of additional amenities one might need while having a "relaxing" time. Relaxing, that is,  between the time you pack the car, haul all of that stuff out of the car...relax...., think about packing the car, and then pack it back up and haul it out again. And not to mention the fact that you MUST own a gas guzzling Suburban or Expedition or - god forbid - Excursion just to make it to your destination with all your goodies.

La Jolla Cove -
He Who Has The Most Toys Wins
America, let's just take a step back and look at the monstrosity of stuff we've become. It's not good for our pocketbooks, wallets, piggy banks, mattress stuffings. Is it just me or does carting this much stuff around make for a less enjoyable and more hassle-filled time for yourself and your family? I'm not talking 100 Thing Challenge, but try to show some restraint. If you forget the baked beans, the three packages of cookies for four people, the fold up table and the banquet warming trays it's not the end of the world.

La Jolla Cove -
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
I truly believe stuff is an addiction with society fanning the flames by promoting an economy based on consumer spending. And I've been right in the middle of that addiction. So while this post seems to be heading down Rant Lane, I'm going to try to make a U-turn and at least dish out some advice.
  • Limit yourself to bringing 10 or 15 items to the _____(fill in the blank). Or even 5 if  you're an overachiever.
  • Remember the backpacking rule: pack what you need and then get rid of half of it.
  • Try to make people and your surroundings your focus rather than bringing your entire living room. 
  • Bring a camera so you can selfishly plug your photography attempts on your next blog post rather than focus on the trash heap next to you. *big grin*
  • Does your house look like that first picture? If you haven't used something in a year, toss it or donate it!
  • If you have a large group getting together, coordinate what you bring so you don't end up with stuff that someone else also brought.
Compare the first photo with the last three - which would you rather be staring at while you hang out at the beach/park/lake? Do you really need all of this stuff to have a good time? Are there any helpful hints for cutting back? I'd love to hear your comments!

Stay tuned,



Lindy Mint said... Best Blogger Tips

What a nice way to spend the holiday (without all the stuff, that is). 

I start to get panicky when I feel like I'm being owned by my possessions.  I think the personal realization that the more stuff you have, the more time and energy you have to dedicate to that stuff is a good motivator.

60kproject said... Best Blogger Tips

It's difficult not to get caught up in the "stuff" competition, though, although I'm getting better. I find myself thinking I need to get some cool beach chairs, a portable grill, a beach umbrella, a cart to pull everything.........and then I come back down to earth (thankfully). It's hard not to get caught up with keeping up with the Joneses!

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