Recycling = Gorgeous

Updated: Feb 5

I notice I have this background opinion that buying second-hand or recycled automatically means I'm somehow compromising or must be poor. It's going to be less than, not as nice, I can only afford used... all sorts of negative associations.

I have to remind myself that my desire for the new and shiny is due to some smart marketer who's managed to link having new and shiny stuff with being successful or accepted.

There was an old advert in the US about Maytag washing machines. It proudly said, "Maytag repairmen are the loneliest people"... which was true. A Maytag washing machine could last you easily 30 years. You'd be proud to say that too.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch's battered briefcase was a sign of experience. Now, we wonder why he can't afford to buy a new one.

We're buying clothes that last one wash, particle board furniture to throw away and looking for what is easy, new and cheap. I'm not throwing blame or judgement here. Notice, I started with the word, We.

I'm having to pry myself out of that paradigm as much as anyone. I was at the electronics shop and saw a sale on new TVs. Ours, of course, is an old working model from a customer. It's not a Sony Bravia and there was a sale on. I nearly came home with one until I reminded myself of what we're out to do. Our existing set actually has lovely resolution and does everything it's meant to. We'll keep it as long as we can, repair it if we're able and then pick up another second-hand one to keep the circle going.

In our Arnies journey, we've picked up all sorts of surprises. Not too long ago, Adrian brought home this immaculate Singer Sewing machine. He had no way of knowing it was one of my secret wants to have this exact one. It's been preserved with love, in perfect working condition and made beautifully. Our only challenge is finding a strong enough table to hold all 30 kilos!

I still want my new and shiny. But, in taking another look at things people no longer want, I'm finding new surprises each day, appreciating the craftsmanship of old and breaking away from the marketer's hold.

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