December 29, 2009

Will I continue with the Compact?

The past few weeks I've been getting a lot of questions from readers about the fact that it's the end of the year and so my experiment is coming to an end. I've received questions about whether I'll continue with the Compact, whether I'll keep blogging, what I've learned from the whole experience, and is there anything I'll be buying new in January, amongst others.

Over the next few weeks, I'll try to answer all your questions in detail. Right now I can tell you that doing the Compact and blogging about it have become so much a part of my regular lifestyle that I can't imagine stopping now. So I will definitely continue blogging into 2010, with a few changes. I'll continue with Thrifty Threads and Food Waste Friday and some of my regular features, but I'll also be adding new challenges, conducting interviews, and reading more simple living books and telling you about them.

I embarked upon this experiment with a definite end date in sight, but sometime around September it dawned on me that not only was there nothing I was dying to buy new, but that my new lifestyle was very satisfying to me. It occurred to me that I didn't want to give it up, that I'd become a die-hard Compacter. That is to say, I will still make exceptions and occasionally buy new things, but I will always make a conscious effort to borrow, buy used, or do without first. And I like that. It feels right to me.

There's no way to say everything on the subject in one post, but I think the most important element in my decision to continue with the Compact and writing this blog has been the support of my readers. I've gotten great support from my husband for doing the Compact, but writing the blog has been so much more valuable than I'd ever imagined. It's much more than just a document of my year, because of all of you out there reading and commenting and writing emails to me. It's become a whole conversation about living a non-consumer lifestyle. And that interactive element is what I've enjoyed most of all. I can't express how much I appreciate your support and involvement, and that goes for those of you who challenge me as much as those who say I've inspired them to make similar changes. There is nothing that makes my day like having someone tell me that what I've said or done has meant something to them or made them think of things differently. So thank you all so much for joining me in this journey.

Tomorrow I'll answer the question, "Is there anything you plan on purchasing new in January? Something you've realized that you can't find used, or just really have been wanting to splurge on?" If you have any specific questions you want me to answer over the next few weeks, feel free to leave them in the Comments section.


Alea said...

I am looking forward to reading your reflections on living a year without buying anything new. When I first heard about The Compact, I was intrigued, but did not sign up because I thought my whole family would have to agree to participate. After reading a couple of blogs by compacters, I realized that was not the case. I decided that I would join the Compact this year and when I broached the subject with my family was surprised to find that they were all willing to join with me. I am very excited to see how this unfolds in 2010!

Angela said...

Alea- How exciting! That's great news that your family is willing to join you. It will be a team project, and I'm sure it will be very rewarding.

Vegan Good Life said...

Angela - thank you so much for sharing your journey and inspiring others. We are overwhelmed with the opposite message in the media: being told to "treat ourselves" to a life we cannot afford (even in such bad times); that 'the best' is the most expensive; and to covet high-end items (think of Sarah Jessica Parker's worship of Jimmy Choo's in SATC).

I'm so happy I found your blog. Looking forward to reading more in 2010. Happy New Year! Catherine

Compact UK said...

Thank you so much for blogging your experience over the last year. It has inspired us to do the same for 2010.
I am so pleased that you will be carrying on with the lifestyle, as we really could do with a veteran to look up to!

Julie said...

Catherine: re high-end goods: the week before Christmas, we decided to go to a new upscale shopping center in our town, to check out a restaurant as a treat for my hard-working husband. Well, the shops (Hermes, Louis Vuitton etc.) were empty, and the restaurant we wanted was not open on the weekend. So we ended up in Neiman Marcus (looking for a bathroom---the bathrooms were quite fancy, as you can imagine!) and I had never been in a Neiman Marcus in my life. My son (8)and I noticed a man's wool coat for sale for a mere $5995. I laughed and told my son what an outrageous price that was and then we amused ourselves looking for other prices till my husband was ready to go. It's obscene that people will spend that much money on consumer goods while others are in line at a food bank or living on the streets. We left that mall without buying anything and I hope it goes out of business in this economy. Angela, I look forward to seeing what's next for you in 2010!

Betsy Talbot said...

Angela, I'm so glad you're going to continue blogging. I've gotten used to starting my day with you!

It makes sense that the Compact has become a way of life for you. When you spend more than a couple of months doing something that tends to happen. I don't even bat an eye now on things I used to really struggle with in staying on budget, so I know this to be true personally as well.

Thanks for sharing your life with us this year. I'm looking forward to 2010!

Non Consumer Girl said...

I'm glad to hear that you are going to continue blogging!

Leasmom said...

I'm about to begin with the compact. Thanks to you I learned about it. Glad you'll continue, you're making an impact with your words and actions!

hiptobeme said...

I'm really inspired by Wardrobe Refashion lately. Have you done anything like this and if so, could you post it or show posts by your readers? Perhaps a new feature idea? Thanks.

Angela said...

Thanks for all your comments!

Catherine- Thank you for the kind words. I am so glad you found my blog as well. I am so inspired by your choice to be a vegan. For me, that is a much bigger challenge than the Compact. And yes, I remember when I tried to watch SATC and just didn't get it. I felt really out of it, and I guess I sometimes am in this culture. but it's so nice to know I'm not alone!

Compact UK- That is great news, and thank you so much for telling me. Good luck! I know it will be a marvelous adventure...

Julie- I used to get a big laugh out of the NM catalog- it really is funny, except that it's also pathetic. Who really buys that stuff? Maybe the same people who would shoot the last endangered tiger or something. I can't even begin to relate.

Betsy- Thanks for being a loyal reader and commenter. It's always great to have your point of view.

Non Consumer Girl- Thanks, and same to you!

Leasmom- Thanks so much! That is so sweet and I'm happy that you're going to take on the challenge. From what I've read on your blog, you are already way more into the frugal game than me, so I'll bet you'll have no problem!

hiptobeme- I'll check that out. I'm just barely getting back into finding good thrift stores. I don't know if I would do the "refashion" thing because I don't sew or knit. Between the clothing swap and the area thrift stores, I think I can keep myself in nice duds for quite some time!