Materialism In the End Times.

It’s May 21, 2011 and we’re still here. Again.

Either we’re all sinners or someone was wrong about predicting a day that only God knows.

I’m 99.99% positive it’s the latter. Again.

Oh wait, it’s supposed to be later this evening? In that case, we have a few hours to kill.

(Are you sure you want to waste your last moments reading this?)

Silly prophesies aside, I was fascinated by the public’s reactions.

See, many people didn’t care about the idea that millions might be gone.

No. They just wanted their stuff!

There was an End-of-the-World Sale on Craigslist, in which tens of thousands of unbelievers posted listings asking for the possessions of believers who expected to be Raptured. Curious about this, I did a search and found ads like this:

“The world is expected to end this month, give me your items for my end of the world giveaway. We are trying to get a lot together for people left behind. Excepting all items.”

And:

“Are you attending the rapture on May 21st, 2011? I expect to be left behind when it happens, so if you aren’t going to need your worldly possessions; be they money, cars, canned food, durable goods, etc; I would gladly take them off of your hands. Serious responses only, please. And remember, time is short! You can contact me by replying to this ad. I’m willing to travel for said goods.”

This was my favorite:

“Don’t be a doubter! You know the rapture is coming, and you know you’re saved and in good with the Lord. I’m an atheist, so on this coming rapture day I won’t be going with you. However, as a loving, forgiving Christian I’m sure that you’ll still feel bad for those of us left behind. Therefore, to assuage and comfort my grief at living life outside of the boundaries of biblical doctrine, I’m interested in any belongings you’ll have no use for when you’re taken up into the sky this coming Saturday.

Cars, tools, coins, antiques and other items completely useless to the Saved will still be useful in the short term for those of us who have rejected God — why not let us take solace in the pathetic possession of some earthly junk you won’t be needing. Indeed, NOT distributing your worldly things may very well show a lack of faith — a doubt in God’s power — which, of course, would be a serious mistake come this Saturday. God will obviously smile on you for helping sinners, no matter how forsaken they will be

Please reply to this posting to make arrangements. Know that your soon-to-be meaningless material items can temporarily help those who are going to Hell, and thank you for your final acts of Christian charity and goodwill. COMPLETELY SERIOUS: WILL TAKE YOUR WORLDLY STUFF. Can provide truck.”

It is amusing that at the idea of the world coming to an end, people are anxious to get rid of their stuff or, in most cases here, get other people’s stuff. It seems that the first thing people think of is all the stuff left behind. They want to make it theirs. Forget the fact that millions of people will disappear, let’s get their stuff!

A majority of these postings are just jokes, but there stems a little bit of truth in them. We live in an extremely consumerist society that is obsessed with stuff, obsessed with making money, and spending that many on more stuff! And for what? To make us happier? To make us appear wealthy and interesting? Or maybe to load us down with crap and strip us of our freedom?

The truth is that most of the stuff we have is junk. It is crap that we don’t need and has no value to us when we leave this world. So if this stuff doesn’t matter after we’re gone, why does it matter so much now?  I have an answer for you: it doesn’t.

Our society has everything backwards. We’ve forgotten the simple pleasures of life. We’ve forgotten how valuable relationships with other people are and that those connections last longer than any material item we could have. We’ve forgotten how rewarding our life experiences are. We are blinded by money and power.

People were also capitalizing on this false prophecy by making “I Survived the Rapture” t-shirts and selling pet-care services to believers who wanted their pets cared for after they’re gone. With all the focus that our societies has on possessions and money, maybe God should come soon.

I’m hoping this raises an increased awareness in people that our stuff does not matter.

We need to shed them so we can live on Earth easier and focus on what really matters.

How many of us really live our lives fully? Our last day could be any day.

So, how will you spend your last hours on Earth?

Note: If we do find ourselves at the end of the world and zombies are roaming the earth, you’ll find me hanging out in here.

Changing the Wardrobe: Transitioning From Round 2 to Round 3 of Project 333!

Round 2 of Project 333 is over. Round 3 begins today.

How did I do in the last month? Well, I cheated a little bit. Here’s how:

Horton Hears A Who!
March 2nd was Dr. Seuss’ birthday. I remembered that one of my items in storage was a zip-up Horton Hears A Who! hoodie. I knew the staff and students at work would love it so I pulled it out and wore it for his birthday. It was a hit! I put it back when I was done. That hoodie is also the only hoodie I have now, after I streamlined my wardrobe a few months ago and donated the others – so I was OK using it.

New Scarf.
One of my dear coworkers gifted me a lovely off-white, lacy scarf that I love and have been wearing instead of the green scarf originally on the list. Ironically, the green scarf was also a gift from a previous co-worker. Perhaps it’s a symbol of transition?

New Shoes!
This is the first pair of shoes I have bought myself in the last two years and I’m pretty darn excited about them. They’re a pair of super-comfy black flats that go well with anything. I didn’t like the black heels I had on my list – uncomfortable, and I needed something without heels. I went out shopping with a goal of finding a pair of flats and fell in love with one. I’ve been wearing these for the past two weeks in lieu of the black heels.

Other than those few steps off the path, the last three months went by well!

As for the next three?

This might be difficult for me. The first two months will be significantly different than the last two months. I need to dress professionally in April and May. Once June rolls around, I’ll be spending most of my time outdoors (including a week-long sleep-away camp that I am beyond excited about!). Most of the items I wear in April and May won’t be worn during June. I need to find a balance between professional and unprofessional clothes. I also have a few clothing items that I love but packed up because they could not be worn as more than one outfit: my favorite multicolored striped dress pants and a flattering, vintage skirt – just to name a couple. If I had the money, I would buy a few things to match my favorite pieces of clothing, but I have to make do with what I have, which I’ve been doing for years anyway.

Here’s my list of clothing for the next three months:

1. Purple dress
2. Pink dress
3. Black and gray dress
4. Light gray button-up dress
5. Gray cardigan*
6. Gray long-sleeved shirt
7. Green sweatshirt
8. Plaid shirt*
9. White t-shirt*
10. Fuchsia tank top
11. White tank top*
12. Black tank top*
13. Pink tank top
14. Axis t-shirt*
15. Plain white t-shirt*
16. Fuchsia t-shirt
17. Gray t-shirt
18. Green t-shirt*
19. Brown t-shirt*
20. Woodstock t-shirt
21. Dark blue jeans*
22. Gray skinny jeans*
23. Light blue jeans*
24. Black dress pants*
25. Light gray dress pants
26. Black dress Bermuda shorts
27 Denim Bermuda shorts
28. Black leggings
29. Black flats
30. Black Converse All-Stars*
31. Black flip-flops
32. White fashion scarf
33. Black belt

*indicates items staying from Round 2.

Three extra items in closet: dressy sandals, light blue skirt, dressy top.

Items not counted: slippers, pajamas & robe (which doubles as in-home lounge wear), volleyball gear (gym shoes, spandex, shirt), bathing suits, underwear, socks, hearing aids, glasses, jewelry (a couple necklaces, a couple earrings, rings – not that I wear much anyway).

I didn’t include a coat. My sweatshirt or cardigan + scarf will be my outer, warm layer.

OK. Here I go!


Previous posts about Project 333:

Project 333 on December 29, 2010
My Project 333: Phase II Update on January 5, 2011
One Month Into Project 333: Phase II on February 1, 2011
Wait, I’ve been wearing the same few outfits for the two months already? on March 1, 2011

Wait, I’ve been wearing the same few outfits for the past two months already?

When I opened my closet a few days ago and selected a shirt to wear, that’s the thought that popped in my head.

“Wait, I’ve been wearing the same few outfits for the past two months already?? Huh. Interesting.”

See, the thing is, I forgot about Project 333.

I forgot about it because now I just do it.

I no longer fret about people looking down on me for wearing the same clothes, week after week. My brain has been wired to believe I don’t own more than five pairs of shoes. My gray cardigan is a staple that is comfortable and goes with anything. I take no time getting ready in the morning. I forgot that I had two bags of clothes in the basement.

Having less clothes is a mindset for me now. It’s not a challenge anymore – it’s comfortable.

And can I tell you how much I love that everything fits in a small closet?

The only major thought that has crossed my mind regarding clothing is that I need new shoes. All the shoes I included in the project are at least two years old. They got some pretty good wear – I wore them almost every day before Project 333 – and are at the point now that I need to toss them out after winter is over. I am a little excited about this. It means that I will have less shoes taking up space in the closet over the summer and when fall rolls around, I can invest in one or two slightly expensive pairs with more thought into what I need, what goes with my clothes and the weather, how I can make the shoes last, and what I don’t need to buy again.

The next month should go pretty smoothly. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Project 333!

And if there isn’t anything, that’s OK. I’m just going to do it on my own.

On another note, it’s March already?! Time speeds up as each day passes…