Buying nothing in 2020

February 3, 2020

I forgot to tell you about my New Year's resolution: This year, I'm not buying anything.

Okay, maybe I'm going to have to buy food, toiletries, and the odd article of clothing out of necessity. But every time I catch myself thinking "wouldn't it be nice if I had X", I'm going to pause, smile, and divert my attention.

So far, it's been a wholly liberating experience. I wear the same outfit every day (black shirt with blue jeans), so I'm not fazed by the birdsong of advertisers or storefronts beckoning me to look differently.

Priorities shift when you elect not to buy anything. Instead of focusing on the next acquisition, the attention shifts toward creativity, stillness, and community. I've spent so much more time among friends than in the self-imposed prison of work-and-spend.

As well, a life with less stuff is less work to maintain and less space is required. An inner peace is reemerging out of the knowledge that I have an abundance—not of stuff—but of time and space.

We're constantly fed messages that we ought be busy, that we ought work and consume and work and consume again. But what if we practice refusal? What if, instead, we all stopped buying and started smiling more, loving more, and learning more? How would the world change?

I'm not buying anything in 2020.