I’m just about to celebrate 20 weeks of Subverting Overconsumption, bringing me well over a third of the way through my project of buying nothing new for a year. Unfortunatey I seem to have hit a bumpy patch on the road, and though there’s not much to do but keep going, I’m not feeling all that happy about it.

It’s like this interminable Canadian prairie winter: March 1st hits, and what started as just a few months of cold weather suddenly turns unbearable. The thought of enduring one more night of freezing feet or one more wind-bitten walk to work is just too much to handle.

Subverting Overconsumption is feeling similar. It’s not that what I’ve set out to do is that hard – I’ve stuck to my plan, and the result has been a significant increase in my awareness of what I consume, how and why. But at the moment I seem to have hit a wall where everything about it just feels uninspired and irritating.

Case in point: when I moved out of my old place I had to leave the left-shooting house hockey stick behind. Now I’m without, so I’ve tried the regular stuff: posting it to my Wish List and to Freecycle, visiting the local used sports equipment store, etc. But to no avail. No stick wants to find me.

When I had to endure a trip to Canadian Tire to help a friend pick out her own shiny new stick, I couldn’t help wondering what the purpose of me not buying a stick actually is. I mean, my rationale is still rational: though I consume plenty, I like that new goods aren’t being manufactured just for me when there is more than enough perfectly good stuff already in existence to reuse. But the sound of my voice explaining to friends that I can’t come out to play for lack of stick is increasingly grating, and in the meantime I’m getting less exercise, breathing less fresh air, and having less fun for my trouble.

I guess I’m in the whiny phase of Subverting Overconsumption. It’ll probably pass. I mean, I’m certainly not bored with life…there are a million more radical things I want to do as a result of starting by buying nothing new. Maybe I’m just at the part where I realize that what I’ve committed to isn’t enough, but what I think I might want to commit to next is too scary to say out loud. For now I just want a fricking hockey stick.

Sticklessly yours, n

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