Reflecting on Gratitude
This topic evokes so many thoughts for me. I want to do more, be more, act more, when it comes to the reduce, reuse, recycle adage. I reflect on my grandparents, still alive at 89 and 87, and how I would marvel at their tiny little grocery bag of garbage for an entire week. I used to ask Grandma “how is it that you only have that much garbage?” Her reply was “waste not, want not”. So many things in our life can be re-purposed again and again. Yes, there is always something new available, and thus has created the mass consumers we are today, but I practice the policy that if it needs replacing because it doesn’t work, it can be bought, but if I’m replacing it only because something is prettier, then stop. Don’t bother. It’s not necessary. Often, the instant gratification from a purchase can cause long term negative ripples, so my husband and I have always had the 24 hour rule: if it’s still a good idea after 24 hours then we can proceed with the purchase. I can’t count the number of times we didn’t end up buying “it,” and how glad I felt after.
This goes back to my daily practice of being grateful for what I have now, and not always wanting and wishing for better things. As I get older, I’ve realized the joy in life is not derived from things, but rather moments and relationships. When my focus changed from dwelling on material possessions to building positive relationships, the need for things disappears. Now, not to say that I’m ready to throw my hair dryer out, I love technology and the vast improvements I have seen in my lifetime. But there is a huge part of me that wants to return to the way my grandparents lived, but also with a hair dryer! The sense of satisfaction that is gained from growing and nurturing your own food, building your own furniture or even home, in a sustainable eco-friendly manner are all things which better our existence. The reality of it all, is that the more simply I live, the easier it is to care for myself and others, both physically and financially. This gives me more time to focus on creating my best life, and truly enjoy the fruits of my labour.
Written by: Jodi Clark