I've done three things in the past week to contribute to my goal of creating a simpler life. I have:
1. Joined a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) program.
2. Cleaned out my cedar chest, donating a box of stuff to a local charity.
3. Shopped at a thrift store for the first time.
The CSA I joined is called Fresh Option Organic Delivery. CSAs are a program by which people pay a flat fee to receive a share of locally grown fruits and vegetables on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I decided to join a CSA for two reasons. First, I want to eat more and a greater variety of in season fruits and vegetables. I was particularly inspired to commit to this change after reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food". See my post "Eating Simply" for more. My second reason was to put my money where my mouth is and support local farmers and food suppliers.
I received my first delivery of organic fruits and veggies a couple of days ago. I was very impressed and have eaten well since. I even cooked red chard for the first time ever, making Linguine with Pancetta and Chard. It was wonderful.
As for cleaning out my cedar chest, the experience was quite liberating. I found a few gifts from over 5 years ago that I was holding onto simply because it felt wrong to give them away. A set of body lotions that my sensitive skin would likely react to, an ornate 16 x 20 glass picture frame, and a pile of old pants that don't fit were among the items that are now on their way to finding better homes. My only regret is that it took me over 5 years to get rid of these things. It's amazing what guilt can do to create clutter. I plan to continue this de-cluttering process little by little over the next few weeks.
And finally, I shopped in a thrift store for the first time ever! Well, I bought a costume for my grade 11 school musical at a thrift store, but today was the first time I bought an actual item of non-theater related clothing at such a place. I have my friend J to thank for this adventure. She is a thrift store queen who graciously took me to one of her favorite haunts. I think I'll be back. After all, thrift stores are the ultimate exercise in frugality, so long as one is buying items that he or she actually needs.
Well, this is what my week in simplicity looked like. I am quite pleased and recommend my endeavors to you. In the next week, I wish to continue experimenting with all the lovely fruits and vegetables waiting patiently in the kitchen, de-clutter another corner of the house and begin a daily meditation practice. I'll let you know how it goes.