Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Christa, Day 50 and Day 51: Sometimes Peace Means Saying Screw Advertising

Day 50? Nailed.
Reduce your consumption of advertising. Advertising makes us want things. That’s what it’s designed to do, and it works. Find ways to reduce your exposure of advertising, whether that’s in print, online, broadcast, or elsewhere. You’ll want much less.
One of my coworkers, upon seeing that I use AdBlock Plus, asked me why. He said "What's the big deal?" And I get it - advertising makes things less expensive because advertisers pay so we don't have to. Viewing advertising is a way we pay for TV, magazines, and so on. Without advertising, the cost of so many things would go up, up, and up. But still. When I answered my coworker I said "I don't look at ads because I don't want to be forced to listen to anyone's message." Not listening is an option. A dastardly one, since it means that sometimes I'm not supporting stuff I like.

But you know what? Since I decided to limit my consumption of ads years ago - it began with not wanting to pay for cable TV - I have found myself wanting less. Wanting fewer upgrades. Being satisfied with what I already have. And I see it working in my child. She has never asked to bring home anything from the grocery outside of fruit. No one has told her she is supposed to covet certain toys and certain brands. I plan to keep her in this bubble for as long as I can. Would that I could put myself in a more perfect bubble, since advertising still creeps in.

And now for today's voluntary simplicity idea:
Live life more deliberately. Do every task slowly, with ease, paying full attention to what you’re doing. For more, see Peaceful Simplicity: How to Live a Life of Contentment.
Oh, how I struggle with this. Being American and none too fond of cooking, food is a definitely point of possible improvement. As is driving. Hey, welcome to America! Where the lunch breaks are short, the commutes are tedious, and the workday is long. Doing every task slowly and with care isn't exactly easy-peasy when your workload is overwhelming and there never seem to be enough hours in the day. I'm not saying that's MY situation, but it is generally true among U.S. citizens. Or so it seems.

Having read the referenced blog post, I can say that when it comes to Day 51, I'm winning some and I'm losing some. I do try to enjoy simple pleasures throughout the day, but I'm sometimes so immersed in other things that it's easy to forget or to go overboard. Solitude? No can do, but I try to stop and just be at least once a day. Not easy with a little kiddo hanging on me though. I'm working on doing less and leaving space, and frugality is right up my alley for so many reasons.

But I can't say that downsizing my to-do list is for me. Every time I try to limit my list to the essentials, I never end up doing anything fun. Fun, for me, is a to-do list item.

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