Making Do



This photograph by Pamela Hanson   has always captured my fantasty of living in a European city in my small apartment overlooking a bustling boulevard.

For some reason I imagine this is a very small apartment, maybe even a studio apartment where this woman lives.  It just appeals to my love of small homes, small apartments, few possessions, but ones that are meaningful.

One thing I have always loved about Europeans (at least the ones I have known personally) is that they were all so nonmaterialistic.

It wasn’t about buying, buying, buying. It was about living.

For them, life wasn’t about having things. Life was about having experiences.

I have tried to embrace this in my own life.

I remember reading in Entre Nous, how French women “make do” with their clothing, their belongings, even their husbands — not trying to change them to meet their expectations.

I like to remember this philosophy of making do when I cook — using up the ingredients I already have in my cupboards and refrigerator; when I “shop” my closet — working with the clothes I have instead of believing I need more of them; with my belongings — for instance, I will place one pot ontop of another for a voila! instant double boiler instead of thinking I need to go buy a new kitchen accoutrement.

I am trying to live my life this way and hopefully get out of debt and then only spend my money on things like books, movies, language classes, cashmere sweaters, wine, good food, piano lessons for my kids, etc.

7 thoughts on “Making Do”

  1. I love that picture! It does stir the emotions doesn’t it? I read this post earlier today and thought about it for a while and decided not to go to the grocery store but to come up with an idea for dinner using ingredients I have on hand. Spaghetti and meat sauce is just starting to simmer on the stove as we speak. I defrosted the meat in the microwave and it was a snap to put together. I also think I squashed an unhealthy and very silly want for a new expensive purse in the shape of a tote bag. I pulled out a longchamp bag I have in my car that I use literally as a tote bag for extra work things and turned it into my new purse. It’s much lighter weight and I really like it! The best part is it’s free. It’s really casual too with short handles and no zipper on top, but I like the look of it.

    Hmmm, I wonder what else I can come up with this evening? I think these are my favorite posts you do. They always inspire me. Are you writing a book about this stuff? **I hope so :)**

    1. Stephanie,
      Thanks, you always inspire me, as well. I think it’s because we both have similar views on so many things!
      Nancy, I have seen the infinity scarves, but they are not my favorite style for some reason … maybe it’s just that traditional side of me.

  2. Yes, I love *making do.* Some of my favorite meal, favorite outfits, favorite experiences have grown out of making do with what was available, what I had in the moment. K, this is inspiring as we all begin to think about the new year and what is important in our lives.

  3. It’s very hot, and they’re both a little out of sorts with each other. She wants him to take her dancing tonight but he has plans with his friends and won’t take her out. They’re going to go for a drink at the cafe downstairs, but she’s pouting and he’s waiting impatiently. He doesn’t want to rush her and make her more angry, because he plans to come back later tonight.

  4. Fabulous post, Kristi! It made clear to me how much I have changed during my 40 years. I remember being in my late teens and early 20’s, any time I got something new I just had to show it off to my friends/family. At a certain point I realized that I frequently did this, but some of my friends did not behave in the same way. As time went buy I noticed more and more this was how everyone in my family behaved. Materialism/acquisition and showing it off is very important.

    Over time I have found I am overwhelmed by things which serve no purpose in my life and have pared down. I no longer acquire just for something new. I occasionally fall back into old habits, but with decreasing frequency. I no longer live the same way as many of my family members. In fact, my daughter and I just implemented a household rule for this year. The rule is that for everything new that comes into our home, something comparable must be released (sold, donated, given away or thrown out) Christmas and Birthday presents excluded. At the end of the year we will evaluate and see how we’ve done. The plan doesn’t “make do” as much as we could, but I want us to do something that we have a hope at succeeding at and truly making a difference in our lives. We can build from there.

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