Thursday, May 28, 2009

I am Selling Out... Kind of...

I started this blog as a challenge for my family and myself to see if we could live in a simple way and not buy new things. I thought it would be interesting to see if we could live through the limits that The Compact would impose on us. I wondered what we would discover about ourselves and about our neighbors and the typical consumer lifestyle that we are all pressured to live. Would we be able to live a year without buying any things that are new? Would the kids feel out of step with other kids? Would I pine for anything? Would I chafe under the restriction?

My husband makes a good living *knocks on wood* and we have always lived fairly simply, but if I wanted to get a little something from Williams Sonoma I could have. If I felt like getting a Hanna Andersson outfit for my daughter, that was no problem. I ended up not doing that very much, because I ended up not buying very much for any of us, even before The Compact. It was an easy switch to make to just buying used things from Goodwill or the Salvation Army and we found lots of nice, gently used things from Eddie Bauer (for me), and The Gap and every other place I used to shop when the kids were little and I wasn't a bit concerned with them outgrowing their clothing in a 2 month time... That was a little frivolous of me, but the clothes were very cute and 100% cotton. I felt that was important for tender new skin.

I found all sorts of decent clothing that was perfectly good. It didn't matter to my kids, or me or my husband either, if things were a certain brand. The Compact would have been far more difficult if that had been the case, or if we had cared if things were part of a current trend. Trendy, we are not.

So The Compact has continued to be a part of our lifestyle. We have purchased new things and then I have confessed to you all right here on this blog. We've gotten a water heater and a manual lawn mower and shoelaces and goldfish and leotards and props for performances and new toys for the kids at museums and gifts for them at X-mas and at birthdays. We've gotten used things too, but we have not been pure, just very conscious about our purchases. We haven't really been frivolous.

I started this blog as a way of tracking our lifestyle and seeing how we progressed and then realized that if we weren't purchasing new things, I could show you what we were doing instead. If you don't buy it, what in the world do you do? For many people buying is a form of entertainment or even sport--the challenge of finding and then getting the great deal. On one of my April Fool's Day posts I put up a Google AdSense banner and explained that we would now be carrying ads. I wrote:

See the ads over there, at the top of my blog? They pay me to run them here. That's a good thing. Why wouldn't I want to make money here? What would be the possible point of making all of these posts? Really, I don't get it. People only do things for money. That's what makes the world go round. Why would I sit here writing things for no reason? If I'm not getting paid, what's the reason then? I'm not tracking on that, really.

That was a joke. I write here because I feel strongly about many issues and want to share what I know. I write here because I like to write and hope to share something good with others: political outrage, unschooling joy, ways to be healthy with raw milk, kefir, the seminal book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, my hilarious husband... My secret ambition is to be a paid writer somewhere, somehow. It would be ideal if it was on my terms wouldn't it?

I feel like when I grow up, this is what I'll do as an adult. And then I realize that I am grown up and I am a writer, of sorts. So, why not now? What the heck am I waiting for? As my father quoted Hillel to me when I was an emotional teenager, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?" Sage words there.

So you know what? I am going to continue to write here and get money for my writing from having ads!! What?! "But, Laura, what about your whole 'We don't buy it. We're living on The Compact. We think new things are bad. We are holy and pure and think serious thoughts all of the time...' What about that stuff?!" you argue indignantly with me. Ah. I see your confusion and concern. Seems a little hypocritical doesn't it? Well, you are wrong! Wrong I tell you!! Because you know why? I'm going to have ads for stuff I believe in. Ha!

Food. Whole nutritious food! You have to eat, even on The Compact. I am a huge fan of kefir and kombucha, and yogurt, sourdough starter and dried foods that retain their enzymes and... and... and all of the stuff that Cultures for Health sells. So guess what. I am now an affiliate of their site and every sale that they make, linked from here at We Don't Buy It, I get paid for. Hurray!

I will now have some ads here. Also, I may have product giveaways. Have you ever wanted to try and make yogurt, or kefir, or sourdough bread? It can seem like a lot of work and it can seem overwhelming, but it's not if you have easy starters and quality ingredients. Maybe you'd like to try one out. Maybe you'll win a contest and get some for free and then you can.

I will review products too. I'll let you know what I think. (Yeah, that's a new one, because I've always been shy about sharing my opinions, haven't I?) *snort*

I am selling out sort of. But, as it turns out, not really.


Anonymous said...

Hey, why not support your family while doing something you love? You would be crazy not to. I'm not a huge fan of ads I've seen on blogs (I've seen some doozies!), but if if you have taken the time to examine the companies and products and they work for you, I think it's terrific to pass along this info to your readers who, in all likelihood, I have similar interests or they wouldn't be reading. Go for it!


Laura said...

What a nice response--thanks, Kate!

Bekki said...

You're sooooo not selling out. Sharing things you believe in is helpful. If you happen to get a little kickback, so what? I hope no is silly enough to really feel miffed.

If folks don't like ads, they can always do what I do... use Firefox instead of evil IE and download Ad Blocker Plus. I almost never see ads anymore. :-)

Laura said...

Thanks for the support Bekki.

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