Freecycling, and Filling the Void

When my friend tells me she needs “retail therapy,” she is not being tongue-in-cheek.  In her life, in her mind, shopping fills the voids.  I gave up shopping with her many years ago: it is not fun, it is stressful — and it leaves me just a bit more depressed.  I am uneasy with the greed, I am uneasy with the thought that I could in fact afford to buy most of the things I covet.  But my friend shows me what she buys, and I look, and am reminded of all the things I have given up and given away.  Occasionally I get that “keeping up with the Joneses” sort of envy, but I have become quite adept at dithering, and it seems “needful things” really do have short shelf lives.   I have decided I like that phrase:  “It was not meant to be.”

I discovered Freecycle six years ago, when our contractor listed just about everything from our master bath remodel: sinks, cabinets, lights, shower, tub, fixtures …  I think someone took even the toilet.  It was rather astonishing to me, but then it had never occurred to me that someone might not mind reusing our old (but not decrepit) bathroom for — say — a basement or a rental unit.  Since then, we have sent bits and pieces of our old lives out into the community, and continue to be surprised by our fellow Freecyclers.  We have simplified our lives in many ways, and though I think sometimes that I am contributing to our materialistic culture, I comfort myself that at least it is not new  materialism.

Last week, I finally gave up on my three-shades-of-violet-but-who’s-counting  Farmhouse Yarn.  I was really resenting that yarn because I was (and still am) pissed off with with both the producer and the retailer, and I just knew that all that hostility meant I was never going to like anything I made from it.  So, Freecycle — because yarn, like furry critters, are without sin — and someone out there will love it and create something wonderful out of it.  Maybe this winter I’ll be walking around town, and I will see a school of purply fish hats amidst dancing snowflakes …

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