Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Initial goods

I love experiencing the kindness of strangers. Even more than the exchange of a quick "hello" between passers-by, or a chat while in line at a store. When someone you've never met displays pure goodwill, even as the recipient I feel proud of being human: never alone but part of a larger society of caring people who want to help one another.

Thanks to Matti, a fellow Freecycler*, I can cross of a few things from my needs list. A few people who wrote back to my post soliciting items, and she was the first person I could arrange to meet. Not only did she give me several essentials--all so well cared for--but what touched me is how she invited me in, so that she and her husband could help me out to the car! Obviously very generous and kind people, whom I would never have met otherwise.

This kind of experience is the added reward of my little experiment.

To see what Matti gave me, please see the page "Things Collected" (link at top of page) for photos.
*For those of you who are not familiar yet, Freecycle is a great online community of strangers exchanging free items--no sales, no bartering--sometimes without even meeting! It's a Yahoo group, and once signed up you can post either WANTED or OFFER messages and arrange for often anonymous drop-offs and pick-ups of no longer needed but potentially still useful, though sometimes random, objects without throwing them away.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things I need...

This is an experiment...
I want to try to "prepare for baby" with as little impact as possible... largely depending on hand-me-downs and donations from friends and strangers. I want to show it's possible to have nice things but without the expense and stress.

I plan to pass on everything I get in the same way when I'm done. This is not a new idea, and I've found wonderful websites/resources along the way.

If you'd like to know why, please read more here...
I also welcome discussion of items and any advice or tips.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The World of Want...

I want it all!

Sections of stores, entire floors, departments, shops and websites heretofore ignored are suddenly catching my eye. I've given up all personal shopping (the fun's gone when I know I'll keep changing sizes) but now all those cute baby items are calling out to me.

Design and functionality are definitely in, and at an all time high? I'm not so much having sticker shock but options overload. I want the best and the latest but then I stop to ask... wait, did I have anything like this? Likely not... and how would I remember? My nine nieces and nephews, born in the 80s, grew up with simpler versions. The truth is that I'm living in a world of luxury and options that didn't exist before. And before I take the plunge, I have to ask, what does a baby really need?

I enjoy shopping of course. And I will splurge when I can. But I've also learned to be frugal over the years, having experienced the childhood turmoil of up-and-down finances, and the flagrant spending habits of siblings in debt. I think I overcompensated by creating a life that I can afford, but always looking for a deal... I'm a bit of a paradox, clipping coupons while enjoying some of the good things in life. But the world of want, when I fall into it, scares me. I know it can be endless, and often stop at instant gratification.

I have lists of items I "need" but they are also colored by what I "want." What if I limited my choices to not buying anything at all? To try a community approach of sharing and recycling?

Friends have already started to offer things, which I so appreciate, but many are also saving for their next or have already let go of some essentials. But there are some wonderful websites (see list) and resources to turn to--I decided to take on the challenge, and report my success here.

Discovering a new world

I'm sixteen weeks pregnant.

I feel like I'm suddenly living a life of firsts. I've always felt ready to be here one day, but it's only when it's real and happening that I've truly appreciated feeling the strangeness of it all (a human being is growing inside me--are we sure?). It's alien and animal at the same time, and it's the first time I've really marveled at it. It's also the first time I've felt this strong and vulnerable at once. I'm on the brink of a whole new territory, my life is about to change, and though people can't seem to help but remind me of just how it will change, for myself it's an excitement and mystery that feels still far away, but also so soon...

I've always been a planner. My job is about organization, and I tend to completely rearrange closets/cupboards instead of just being able to clean them. With so many unknowns and questions coming my way that I can't answer, I'm starting this page as a place to keep it all together. My experience, the preparation, the what I have yet to know...