09.Nov.2009 100 Thing Challenge
At this time of economic downturn and as the stores prepare for holiday shoppers, I recall an interesting article that I read last year on my way to my downtown office. Chicagoans are very familiar with the “Red Eye,” the popular publication which you can obtain free from select locations throughout the city. There was a two-page spread featuring Dave Bruno, a San Diego resident who realized that his family’s belongings were weighing them down. As a result, he started the 100 Thing Challenge.
Throughout the year, Bruno has been documenting his journey on his website, http://www.guynameddave.com/100-thing-challenge.html, of trying to narrow his belongings and to live for one full year with only 100 possessions. This upcoming one-year anniversary marks the official end of the project.
Little did I realize, Bruno’s project started a 100 Thing Challenge movement. Devoted followers of his website were inspired to participate in the project, and some even started their own blogs. In fact, Bruno’s project became so well-known that he was featured in Time magazine, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1812048,00.html. It is apparent that the desire to declutter is shared among many as TLC’s “Clean Sweep” remains to be a popular television show.
While I highly doubt that I would be able to whittle down my possessions to the magic 100, I have always kept Bruno’s amazing project in mind. Because of modeling, my clothing and makeup products alone would probably disqualify me from the project. Moreover, I inherited my mother’s “pack-rat” genes, so I am constantly challenged in throwing away things. However, I draw inspiration from the idea.
It has been my experience that my material belongings weigh me down, too. Not only do you have to keep them organized, but merely looking at them can add an element of stress. A quote from the movie “Fight Club” says it best: “Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”
I have really started to narrow the number of my possessions. My younger cousins have inherited some of my clothes that I no longer fit, used for photo shoots, or never wore. This summer, I participated in two garage sales, and things that I really did not need benefited those who were down on their luck or those just in search of a bargain. In this digital age, I do not own CDs anymore as all music I own are housed in iTunes and my iPod. Also, I made frequent trips to Goodwill in hopes that my items could be useful to others. Plus, I have rediscovered Ebay, and I am constantly looking around the house for items I should sell.
This is still a continuous journey for me. Nevertheless, I have learned not to place so much importance on material things but value experiences more.
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