Jen Hatmaker’s book, Simple and Free, is a 2021 update of her 2010 book, 7. I’m only a couple chapters in, and I’m already feeling inspired to make some changes. She began with food: she cut her food intake down to a very simple seven items, and was very strict about it. It was difficult, but allowed her to realize what abundance and waste was present in her life. I did not even partake in the experiment fully—just examined our eating habits and realized we are doing a lot of the same things.
It is fascinating how many food options we as Americans have on a daily basis. Last week, when the bad storms came through, we had just gone to South Austin to pick up my kids from their dad’s house. We were coming home to Round Rock right in the worst of the storm. We’d decided that we wanted to go to the new Whataburger at 620 and O’Connor. It was Friday night, the ride back is 40 minutes when there’s no ‘movie rain’—this took longer, and the kids were getting antsy and hungry.
We get up to our neighborhood Whataburger, and the power is out there and at the nearby Wendy’s, too. My privileged, first-world kids started to get worried that perhaps French fries were not in their immediate future.
I could not help but think about the book, and Jen’s descriptions of so many cultures subsisting on less than a dollar a day. Spoiler: my children lived. I decided this was not the time to lecture them on children starving in other parts of the world. However, it came up later in the weekend.
The next chapter was on clothing. I am a shopper. I seldom buy full price. (Jeez—a rationalization right out of the gate...) But, I still have way too many things I do not wear. I have bought things on ThredUP.com, which is a brilliant online thrift store—but I still do not need any of it. That’s the next challenge. Donating more clothing. I’ll keep you posted.