On Saturday we will celebrate one year in our new home. I chatted in this post about how we arrived in Pretoria with precious few possessions. And how rapidly we managed to change that situation. Without even trying. Here are some of the highlights of the year.
And some recent pictures of the lounge.
We came from a tiny rondawel where we had learnt to make do with SO few things. We hung our clothes from a railing in the cone thatch. What could not fit onto that railing, had to go. It was that simple. Which meant of course there was only one Sunday suit. And one coat. And that I did laundry every single day of my life! But we had clothes on our backs and the semblance of order in our bedroom. The kids quickly learnt that for every toy that came in, one had to go. We shared with our neighbours. They all had children, little money and less storage space. We were all in the same boat.
We gained from living lightly. We had a sense of community. I got training in organising (while my natural tendency is towards chaotic creativity) and decluttering (while I am actually a hoarder) simply because the household could not function with the one kitchen counter groaning under keys, or the receipt for the faulty toaster lost under a bed.
And yet, when we started packing for the move, we could not believe what came out of that rondawel! It felt like every single hole oozed stuff. Over the years we had accumulated more than we had ever imagined. Because it was all so neatly packed way, we had no clue that we were the owners of so much. Stunning. Mind boggling. Crazy.
The painful process of pruning started again because we did the move ourselves and could take only essentials. The truth is us humans can survive with very little. But we need a lot of stuff to live ‘respectably’. Then comes the paraphernalia of hobbies. Sport. Fancy ways of cooking. Entertaining. And your house overflows again! So many items are used once or twice and then sit in a dark corner until years later it gets thrown ‘away’.
I firmly believe a man’s life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. That is why I did not buy a single thing this Black Friday. Our shop also did not offer any discounts (have you noticed?) We chose to focus on zero waste options for gifts, decorating and cleaning. Besides, creating excites me far more than consuming.
Don’t you agree? I refuse to forget all the benefits of living lightly. I kick against being assimilated into the rush to own more. How do you manage to create rather than consume today? I’d love to know.