Frittered Away by Detail

Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify. Henry David Thoreau

Whenever I think of making changes in my life, I think of Henry David Thoreau and his trip to Walden. I do not know where he got his writing inspiration, but every word fills me with head shaking agreement. I love Henry.

I have high utility bills, living here in the frozen north. There’s not a lot I can do about them in the winter because I do keep the house as cool as I can without turning blue. But come summer, it is time to live without air conditioning – provided I can. If it is 90 degrees and humid, I will have air conditioning.

But what else can I get rid of? I’ve already eliminated a lot of possessions in 2014. I can’t think of any other possessions that can go. But I can live on less food, less impulsive buying, and yes, even less yarn buying. If I just started knitting from what I have I think I would finish it up in 2030 or later. I need no more yarn. I will make this commitment to myself. I will buy yarn for a project, but not because I think it’s awesome. No more buying of single skeins of yarn for “someday” because someday ends up in a pile ……..

Fabric. I need fabric. I buy PFD fabric in bulk for my dyeing. That’s who I am, what I do. When I think of my purpose in life, it is to make color on cloth. So I will not stop the fabric buying. I am even going to branch out into buying commercially printed quilting fabric, because my stash is gone. Here too I will buy for a project. I will plan a quilt and get the fabric for it. Otherwise, it ends up in a pile with me scratching my head.

Clothes are never an issue except for the basics. I have plenty of clothes and got rid of a lot over the years. I always look at stuff and ask myself “Will you wear that?” Henry also had a theory about clothes. In Walden he said “Beware occasions that require the purchase of new clothes. Better a new person should wear the old clothes.” Or something like that ….. paraphrasing here! New clothes aren’t needed for me although my son does need some new things and those we’ll get in the spring.

But what about food? There’s room for savings there. My son has brought up the fact that since it is the two of us, we don’t need a huge meal every night from scratch. We’re quite happy with a salad and soup or a healthy sandwich. The sugary treats and the salty treats are just empty things. They don’t add to nutritional value and they don’t taste good.

If there is anything I will spend grocery money on, it is fresh produce. Shopping at the Farmer’s Market in the spring, summer and fall is the best way for me. Also participating in a CSA provided I can find one with organic vegetables will help.

There are things in life worth doing, not owning. I’m going to do the doing and skip the owning ………. guess that new dining room table will wait!


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