I often feel as though we live in a world where things are valued by society only if they cost money or make money. Have a hobby? Put it on Esty—because the value lies in the profit not in the joy of creation. We aren’t left with much room to be, create, feel, experience—our space for living shrunk somewhere along the way. This world, lacking in space to breath and clean air to breath, comes at a high cost. But what if there was another way? What if we came together and helped ourselves or others get out of the trap? What if you started today?
Take a Financial Inventory
Take a moment and think about your life. Many of us are stuck inside, quarantined, living on limited funds and feeling as if we need another way. What do you spend money on? Make a list of everything. Everything. Do you live in a building with coin operated laundry? Write that down. Do you use a lot of disposable products? Put it on the list. This part of the process could take some time, so take your time with it. The more detailed your list, the better picture you’ll have of where you stand. Some things you won’t be able to change now and that’s ok. Of those things what could you learn to do yourself, to create, to cut out the middleman, and to find some freedom from this trap? The things often referred to as “life hacks” at one point were just life skills and everyday ways of living.
I’m not here to tell you to jump up today and buy a giant farm or to run off to the woods and never see society again. Change starts small, it starts with us, and it has to start today. Now that you’ve taken an inventory of your life and where you spend money, pick one thing to change. This will be different for each of us. Is there a skill you can learn, or one you already have, that you can put to use? Do that thing, don’t give up on it, implement it into your daily life, then look at your list again and add another. In this way, with each small change, you are learning to reduce your dependence on a system that was designed to keep you in debt.
We all have that friend that’s really good at something. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to be the only friend with a truck who gets called every time someone buys a new couch. But learn where you can share and trade with people. Barter your time or your skills for those of others and keep your money in your pocket.
Somewhere along the way, we lost our way. We lost our power to major corporations and to a world where multi-tasking on multi-tasking was the norm. We sped up and up and up again. In that process we needed to spend more money to keep up. In the keeping up we needed to make more money to keep up. It’s an endless cycle unless we stop it. Change starts with you and me. Change starts with that first loaf of bread or tomato plant or hanging your clothes up to dry. Give it a try and see where it takes you.