Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, when typically Catholics give something up, or try to form a new habit, for about six weeks. Many of my friends who aren’t Catholic do the same, it’s a good practice to try to go without something in your life you take for granted. It can make you reexamine assumptions, take you out of your comfort zone, or make you appreciate the thing you gave up much more when you return to it. Also it’s just a bit more fun when you do it with friends. 😀
Last few years I’ve given up:
- 2013: Meat.
- 2014: Smartphones. (This was hard!)
- 2015: I meditated every day using Calm.
This year I’ve been thinking about what I take for granted, and surveyed friends for what their suggestions would be. One of the things that I’m pretty bad at is buying too many things, especially gadgets. I’m pretty good at clearing out old ones so it doesn’t get too cluttered, but I definitely have a habit of getting the latest USB gadgets on Amazon, shirts from Kit & Ace, workout stuff from Lululemon, shoes I don’t need, etc.
So the thing I’m going to give up this year is shopping or buying any material things. I’m also going to take the opportunity to try and reduce the stuff I do have in my life to things that spark joy.
16 thoughts on “Lent This Year: Buying Things”
I take it if you laptop dies you will have the option to replace it. There was also a good documentary about this called “The Clean Bin Project”
Yes if something breaks that prevents me from working I’ll replace it (just had a hard drive fail on a NAS for example), but no new things.
Good luck 🙂
Of course the Coolest Pope Ever has a much deeper and better look at this, including talking about the globalization of indifference:
Matt, I had no idea you were so well read into Francis. You might like some of the stuff we’ve published at Ethika Politika that takes the pope at his word, but also reads him very charitably from the orthodox tradition: https://ethikapolitika.org/channel/papal-window/
Best wished for a fruitful Lent.
Thank you for sharing this Matthew. Have you ever met pope Francis? Or visited the World Youth Days? This year’s WYD will be held in Krakow, Poland, from 25 -31 July. God be with you, always.
I’m giving up anger this year. With two impending losses of a personal note, it’s probably a good idea to start finding out what other emotions might substitute. 😉
Good luck, and I hope you have a meangful and successful Lent.
Oh didn’t knew this Matt, it’s great idea. I will try to meditate each day (never meditated before). Thanks for sharing and good luck!
I gave up meat last year and have been plant based for a while, it really makes a huge difference
I’m giving up swearing….not that I’m so bad, but there are better ways to express oneself. And every time I slip, I’m donating $5 to charity. Matt, I love your idea and recommend the book, “Throw Out Fifty Things” by Gail Blanke.
So what will you be doing with the “stuff” you reduce?
Donating some, selling some, trashing some. Depends on what it is.
I could see you altering this plan or building on. Possibly become like David Welsford and live on a boat for a year.
Hi Matt! Were you able to keep it up using just one simple phone? I have same thoughts, yet getting a simple calls and sms phone only would probably mean carrying a tablet to get to Uber, check in on flights etc, as you say. Curious,
Nope I went back to an iPhone 6s+.