The Hungry Ghost

I have been a little more anxious than usual in these last few weeks. I don’t know if it’s pregnancy, pregnancy hormones, seasonal change, or random. It’s made me feel sort of dissatisfied with life…which, for me, almost always correlates with a desire to withdraw from societal activities and focus on what is rejuvenating.

I almost never buy new clothes. It’s something I started in college when I was more radical than I am now, but has continued for most of my adult life in one form or another. A life goal of mine would be to sew all of my own clothes. I actually think this is practical because I prefer to wear the same things over and over (thus only needing a few patterns), and do have a dress I sewed myself.

A year or so ago, my meditation group was talking about the ‘hungry ghost’. It’s a concept from Buddhism that refers to a spirit with an enormous, unfillable belly but a tiny mouth. So no matter how much it eats, it never feels satisfied. Hearing that talk really ignited by most recent no-buying streak, where I just stopped buying things in general and got really serious about pairing down.

But now, my body is rapidly changing. Almost week to week. I have invested in a new work uniform (black leggings and a black and white striped tunic — not the most professional, but definitely comfortable and wearable all through winter), which has helped me avoid having to buy a ton of work clothes. I bought a few tank tops I’ve been wearing with the leggings when not at work and that’s…pretty much it (plus new bras and underwear. Maternity undies = total lifesaver, btw).

I feel really good about that choice. Just forcing a limitation into my wardrobe. Of course, if I urgently need something, I feel fine spending money to buy it, and honestly I feel more fine than I used to at buying it at a fast/casual retailer because I need it for a fast/casual reason.

But I have been also really resisting buying anything whatsoever for the baby. I don’t like the idea of having a dedicated nursery with all baby furniture. I don’t like the idea of buying a ton of accessories that I’m not sure the baby will like or not. I don’t like the idea of buying stuff new for a newborn baby, when it will grow an insane amount for most of the next decades. I’m still trying to figure out an approach to this that feels good and ethical to me.

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