Nothing New and Happiness

sunflowers

The Nothing New project made me think a lot about the relationship between happiness and possessions. There was a moment in that project when I thought to myself: should I start hating all material possessions now, despise the material world, should I reject my belongings altogether? Then I examined it deeper and I decided that if I did that, it would be irrational and totally against what I felt too. Because I haven’t been buying anything new, I have regularly engaged with what I own and this regular encounter with my belongings brought about my strong appreciation of what we have. The other day I was sorting through my son’s toys and books and I noticed that we actually play with everything that he’s got and we’ve been reading most of the books. His and my clothes are also well-worn now. A large number of clothes that my son has are hand-me-downs from my sister’s friend. We received a big bag of those in exchange for my photographic skills. Every time when I dress my son in one of those items I think of that lovely family and the kids that I’ve photographed. I feel very connected to them.

Similar feelings appear when I use or look at other things, little tokens of familial love and friendship: 12 colouring pencils that lie on my desk remind me of a very kind Italian girl that I’ve just recently befriended and who gave me those pencils after I explored with her different ways of becoming more organised; a Happy Easter 2014 cup with dotted eggs carefully painted on it make me think every day of my husband’s lovely little nephew and a necklace that I’ve been wearing almost every day draws my thoughts to my godfather who just by being himself has for years been an amazing sMe, wearing the present from my godfatherource of strength and inspiration for me. These and other well-used items represent and remind me of people who are part of my life, even though I do not see them often. The difference between these objects and those that are still waiting for us in shops is that they have been filled with people’s faces and emotions. They have come with a cordial soul that those items at shops simply do not possess yet.

The Nothing New Project was initiated by Inked in Colour. Pop over to the blog. There is plenty to see there and I am sure that you will be inspired too.

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4 thoughts on “Nothing New and Happiness

    • Thank you Lignum Draco. The project finishes in January but after a year of consuming very little, I cannot just go back to my shopping habits from before the project. It would be a massive step back. I am not sure where I will go from here… We’ll see.

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  1. For the past year or so, I have been obsessed with getting rid of things that we do not need. This past summer, I was finding something new every day to add to the “don’t want” pile. Like you, my daughter’s toy collection only includes toys that she actively plays with. We don’t have kitchen “gadgets” – things made for just one specific use. With some slight exceptions, like seasonal clothing, if we don’t use it every day, we don’t keep it. It is inspiring to read stories about other people’s material purging, but we have to find what is the right level for ourselves. I place emphasis on handmade items from local artists and would have rather have one beautiful mixing bowl from a local potter, than several from a big box store.

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