Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thriving On Thrift: An Introduction

Thrift is the foundation of my life. There was little choice; necessity prevailed for most of my childhood and adult life. Sure, there have been times of affluence, but frugality is a hard habit to break. Indulgences occur, but are never the norm. At this point in life, now that my children have homes and families of their own, I find I'm able to afford the things I once "did without." Yet, still I resist them. It's not due to some misplaced sense of martyrdom. Not at all. Home-cooking simply tastes better than convenience foods. Rags work better, cost less, and haven't the waste of paper towels. Sewing produces clothes that actually fit me -- and last much longer, too!

These remarks aren't intended to start a pity party. Quite the contrary. My life is full and happy. I never lack the necessities, and frequently enjoy treats. To quote Catherine Pulsifer, "Being frugal does not mean being cheap! It means being economical and avoiding waste." I couldn't agree more. In fact, I've been thriving.

The quality of one's life, and the marks that leaves on this world, is my measure of thriving, and it's amazing how a thrifty lifestyle feeds this spirit. This is not about religion, politics, or other social agendas. This is about the elation and satisfaction that come from providing one's basic needs in a visceral, hands-on way, and the fruitful by-products of that lifestyle.

I'm reminded of how I feel when returning home from a camping trip. Sure, a part of me yearns for a long soak in the tub. But, there is also a deep melancholy at the thought of returning to the usual routine. Somehow, modern life has become filled with mountains of trivia, contraptions, and societal mores that quicken the pace of life, yet rarely satisfy. When I go camping, all that slips away. The only matter of importance is catching fish for dinner. Daily living is reduced to the basics: food, fuel, and shelter. Little else matters. Yet, in meeting these basic needs the days are full, active and supremely satisfying. I never sleep better than when camping!

So, my purpose in beginning this blog is to share ideas on thrifty living which exemplify such ideas as: Convenience often comes at the expense of quality; cost-effective rarely means the cheapest item on the shelf; less can be more, and frequently is; a thrifty life has many riches.

Also, as a child of the sixties, I have a persistent mantra ingrained into me: Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle! Fortunately, thrift is very ecologically-friendly. So, my other purpose in starting this blog is to share ways which help us all live lightly, harmoniously and joyfully on this wonderful Earth of ours.

I'd love to read about your ideas for thrifty living, too. If you'd like to see a topic covered, please feel free to email me. There couldn't be a better time for us help one another live better for less!