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What happened to September? and (In)Voluntary Simplicity (and contest)

I have no clue what happened to September. It’s gone.  Even here in SoCal the mornings are finally a bit cooler.  I was still in a t-shirt and shorts for Rigel’s 6 a.m. walk, but the 68 degrees house temperature felt toasty and welcoming when we got back.

September, other than finishing up some sock WIPs that I didn’t get done as planned in August, was sockless.  Hats, mittens, yes.  I finished one pair of mittens, one pair of fingerless mittens, one of the pair for two different sets of fingerless mittens (here and here), and one hat.   I’ve also cast on (and am more than halfway done, and may finish it today,) for the Celtic Cap. (One pair of fingerless mittens was completed prior to September.)  That may not sound like a lot for an entire month, but the holiday knitting really didn’t start til September 19th.

October shan’t be sockless.  The Sock Knitter’s Anonymous Rav group KALs for October include Man Socks, so all the man socks I was planning on doing for holiday presents will get started (and hopefully completed) this month.  I have 4 pair to do:  Thuja, Husbeast, and two self-designed (not yet designed) pairs.  Yes, they will be worsted weight. I’d never be able to get them done otherwise.

On another note:  I’ve been interested in the voluntary simplicity movement for many years, first reading Your Money or Your Life then other books, running a study group,  etc, and more recently following various blogs.

It’s no surprise that the basic tenets of voluntary simplicity — living mindfully, valuing time with family and friends, decreasing or more thoughtful spending, etc — are gaining popularity with Americans in general during our current recession.  Lemonade out of lemons (hopefully grown on your own or a neighbor’s tree, if not, purchased from a farmer at your local farmers’ market), so to speak.

To me, the idea of voluntary simplicity, and especially mindfulness over thoughtless consumption, ties in with many of my values and concerns.  Handmade vs mass produced;  buying produce and meats at my local farmer’s market; supporting small businesses and artisans; the fear and cognizance of peak oil.

But is voluntary simplicity (or its values) becoming something people are being forced into?  And is that a bad thing?  (I’m NOT talking about people losing their homes, having to declare bankruptcy, etc:  that is horrible.)  But we’re now seeing commercials (I think Allstate?) talking about rediscovering the things that really matter.  When an idea is incorporated into insurance commercials, it’s definitely hit the mainstream.

Have you been thinking more about these things?  Changed your lifestyle?  Your goals?

In a shameless shill for comments, I’ll run another small contest.  Comment on the idea of voluntary simplicity by midnight PST Oct 4th 2009 (Sunday evening) to win, yep, stitch markers, note cards and some California poppy seeds from my garden.  Monday I’ll post the winner.

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