Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Money Mindfulness, and Knitting

Archergal writes:

This explains something for me

From No Impact Man:

If we get to do the things that other people do and have the things that other people have, that means we're as loveable as everyone else. If we go the places they go, then we're as cool and, therefore, again, loveable. Consumption has become a surrogate for being loved.

That may explain a lot of what goes on in the knit blogging world.


The knitting group I started locally used to meet at a mom & pop coffee shop, which unfortunately went out of business. I bought coffee every time we met there, in support of local businesses. I suppose that's consumerism in a way, but it's also localism. I'd love to meet at the library, but they don't stay open past 8 PM, and most of us can't get to a meeting until 9 PM, so it's not really practical... so we meet at Borders. I don't think Borders makes much off us, since we don't buy many books, but they do make something off the refreshments they sell us.

It's really sad that there is no public space available / suitable for us to meet. It's true; most of the public space available is in shopping centers. We could meet at members' houses, but that would involve cleaning for some unfortunate soul (probably me) every week. (I have two long-haired dogs; dust-bunnies start appearing half an hour after I vacuum.)

Even the way the most recent knitting boom got jump-started (for those who weren't knitters before) is linked to consumerism and celebrity -- it became cool to knit because Hollywood stars were knitting. How sad... why not do something because you love it? Why does it have to be sanctioned by a celebrity?

I've been thinking a lot about consumerism this holiday season, too. The housing market crash and consumerism are directly linked; how many commercials have we seen in past years encouraging people to take equity out of their homes to go to Aruba etc.?

Bill McKibben's essay, "Hundred Dollar Holiday" sums it up well.

I'm actually not the world's worst person when it comes to money, but I do have some bad habits that I really need to cure & am going to make an effort in the new year to be more mindful with my money. That's not to say that I won't spend money -- but I am going to try to spend my money more on stuff that has value instead of stuff that I simply want "right now" -- to examine my wants to determine if they're really needs or just wants.

Which is probably not what Henry Paulson would want to hear right now.


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