Saturday, August 25, 2007

Options weighed, purpose defined

The 48 hours following my loss, my mind was running a non-stop marathon of scenerios. What now? After returning the rental van that I no longer needed, I bought a one way ticket to Chicago. As logical as starting a new job, making more money and replacing the things that were stolen seemed...I was having second, third and fourth thoughts about it.

Why?

There was something in knowing that I had nothing, that was very liberating—an opportunity that I didn't want to let go to waste. I thought of dropping off the few things that weren't stolen with a friend, and using the rest of my savings to just take off—travel the world, hop on a fishing boat, do mission work in Africa, hitchhike across Europe. I read epic stories of great adventures like this all the time. But why am I so entrapped by the idea of an ordinary predictable life, that I haven't done any of these things?

I don't know the answer. But I obviously didn't seize the day, because here I am writing a blog about what I wanted to do, but never did. I choose the route most expected and least exciting. I took the job in Chicago, moved into an empty apartment, and began rebuying the things that I needed as well as things I wanted, but could have done without.

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So what is this all about?

This is about living in a consumer culture and being aware of the things I buy. Since there are so may things that I will need to rebuy, I thought it would be interesting to keep track of everything I buy. When I start buying back the stuff that we seem to acquire—usually unnoticed—over time, I want to think about how it will be used, where it's made, how it's made, how long it will last me and what will happen to it when I no longer need/want it. I figure this could also double as a log for my renter's insurance (which I didn't have previously) in the unfortunate case that something happens to all of my stuff again.

I will be logging everything I buy (as well as things that are given to me or found) that are not disposable (i.e. toiletries, light bulbs, food, cleaners, sponges, etc.) and making note of the make, model, color, part number, location of manufacture, price and any other supporting commentary.

This may just end up being a self-serving, online catalog of my possessions, but people seem to find interest in all things internet. So if you find interest in this, enjoy.

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