TL;DR: Once you see the problem of consumerism, you can't un-see, so enjoying "stuff" becomes difficult: letting go of "stuff" actually makes room for a new kind of fun and freedom; some of the things I've gained include heaps of money, time, freedom, spontaneity and an extra-special love for the stuff I do have; super helpful book recommendation at the end.
The emotional fallout of rejecting consumerism
In a previous post I talked about un-consumerism and the need to find a new way to flourish, that doesn't involve making and discarding a whole lot of material stuff all the time.
Once you start to notice the problem of consumerism--and the way we've been conditioned to over-consume in every aspect of our everyday lives--you'll notice something else: it's really hard to enjoy consuming stuff now. Which means it's hard to enjoy a lot of life.
Shopping trips taste stale in your mouth. The joy goes out of planning dinner parties with environmentally expensive ingredients, or decorating your home (two of my previous favourite pastimes). My internet browsing suddenly got way less fun. I used to really enjoy fashion blogs, renovation before-and-afters, and success stories from female entrepreneurs. Now all I can think about is how repelled I am by the idea of shipping clothes I don't need from the other side of the world, or how irritated I am that my favourite bloggers are luring me to click on affiliated links that lead to Amazon purchases. It's a real frickin' killjoy.
So you'll need to sit with that for a little while. But embracing un-consumerism brings a new kind of fun and freedom.
The unexpected gains of un-consuming:
Some of the things I've enjoyed include:
This is just me. How about you?
Must read: The Art of Frugal Hedonism is the ultimate manifesto for living an un-consumerist life. No, don't buy a new copy! Search for it at your library (if they don't have it, you can request it) or try to source a second-hand copy online or through your networks.
Related: this gift registry sets you up to request home-made gifts, skillshare, practical help, experiences and donations instead of material stuff. So cool, right!