Days aren’t just days any longer. We have evolved to a point where certain days are used to market goods, or support movements, or promote whatever even pickles.
For me all this doesn’t matter. I think everyday should be support small business day, and every other day should be buy nothing day. Black Friday is nothing more than a flashing red alert signalling to me to stay out of any shopping area.
We consume too much and produce too little. I am as guilty as the next person. My first instinct is to buy. I have to fight it. Even though I know I want to save money right now, when I see something I find appealing I think: Oh, I should get that, before it’s gone.
That’s one of many thoughts of a recovering shopaholic. I also caught myself saying, “We should get that because the one you have will wear out eventually.” I actually heard myself, took a step back and left without buying anything. I can’t believe that after all this time those thoughts still are at the forefront of my mind.
Maybe it is really some sort of addictive condition? I never believed that I was certifiably a “shopaholic.” Mind you you, I didn’t buy the things I saw the other day but, WOW, I wanted to. And sitting here right now, I realized I didn’t even snap a photo of the thing I wanted to buy.
I will go back today and take a photo. It was a mirrored covered box, which I certainly without a doubt do not need. But I am drawn to mirrored items. My favorite color is clear. Water in all its forms fascinates me, and mirrors reflect like water.
Normally, I take pictures of things I like but either can’t buy, or can’t keep, or look interesting but I don’t want. Taking photos is one of my many coping mechanisms and it’s very effective.
I need to remember to stay the course of de-cluttering and saving money and not buying “stuff.” With the cold weather creepy in it’s so easy to forget about the garage and the storage unit. Out of sight out of mind.
I don’t want more stuff. I have too much stuff. Less is more.
Tip: Put a rubber band on your wrist, snap it before you make a buying decisions. (ouch)
Inspiration:“Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”- Hannah More
One-day one thing: Sort make-up again.
The sky is totally gray today. From my office I can see to the west, to the south and to the east and it’s gray. Shades of gray. Even the roads are shades of gray. If the air wasn’t clear, I’d swear it is gray as well. It’s been raining on and off all morning and into the afternoon. I have to remind myself not to be concerned with the weather. I can’t change it. But I am obsessing over it’s grayness.
I think gray skies are a trigger for me. They make me want to get in my car, turn the music up, drive through Wendy’s and get medium fries(fat) and small coke (HFCS) and head to TJ Maxx. I bet you it’s crowded there today. I am not going to check it out. But I am dying to. So weird.
There is nothing in TJMaxx that I need, I know this for fact. So then my train of thought is to think of something someone else needs. I could buy that for them. And of course my last resort is to buy something I might, or someone might “need” in the future. Not good.
(Hello self ? I am trying to get rid of everything, remember?)
This behavior is totally engrained into my being…and get this… I was about to blame the weather.
They do have music playing, colorful things to look at that I haven’t seen before. Plus I can go there without having to talk to a soul. So it’s not all bad.
I leaving the office now……
Ps. I intended to write about the various shades of gray in our lives on the whole. I thought I might learn a lesson from the gray in my life, but those words didn’t show up….. only crazy TJMaxx words. C’est la vie.
Tip: Splurge, buy a nice coffee, tea or hot chocolate and enjoy it. They all taste better on gray days
Inspiration: ” I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ” ~Andrew Wyeth
One-day one-thing: Plan a rain-date for the next crappy day. If you have something already planned you’re more likely do it and you won’t miss the opportunity.
During my years of irrational consumerism, I could see the future. It’s true. I knew exactly what everyone needed before they even thought about what they needed.
Once, I bought an alarm clock guaranteed never to turn off, until a person caught it and turned it off. It was self propelling, and if it wasn’t turned off by the sleeping human quickly, it would jump to the floor and run away by rolling under the bed, or any other out of reach place while still sounding the alarm.
I bought this two years before my son went away to university. Every single day of his high school years, I had to wake him up over, and over, and over again. In the future, I wouldn’t be there to wake him up. I could see this clearly. The clock still sold by MOMA today runs 48.00, I think I paid more. That never opened brand new clock, sits inside a blue plastic container that contains an assortment of new things, on the second shelf inside U-Store-It unit #227.
I know of another new thing that’s in there. I bought it for myself. It’s a bank that is a replication of a wooden water tank like the ones on top of buildings in Manhattan . I was “saving” this for when I had a “cool” office not a cluttered mess of an office. I have an awesome office. It’s not yet “good enough” so I am using old tea bottle for loose change. As I am write those very words I see how pathetic this is. ( I’ll fix the coin bank issue Monday)
Other purchases are back-ups, duplicates. I bought these because I already owned the item and I liked it. Like a certain Ikea scrubber, I could see in the future this scrubber would no longer be available. I even taught my daughter if you like something – buy two of them….ugh! Some of those thing I don’t even like anymore. Other “new” items I bought for future gifts. I could see who needed the gift and what it was before I even met the person. I was good. Unfortunately when it came time to give these gifts away, either I couldn’t part with them, or they weren’t the right gift for the occasions.
When I shopped I shopped with conviction, no second guessing, everything had a purpose. A purpose in the future that I could clearly see. I was clairvoyant. I could see the future as far out as I needed, to infinity. That is, until I could not.
What I could not see in the future was not being able to sell our house that was on the market for 14 months. What I couldn’t see was all our equity was going to disappear. What I couldn’t see in the future was losing our home of twelve years and having no place to live. Once I lost my ability to see the future, I was sad for a long time. I could not see anything and I certainly could not see joy or any shred of happiness in my crystal ball.
But that was then, this is now. Nothing much has changed except me. And to tell you the truth, I’m not sure if I have ever had a more defined idea of what’s important in life. I have learn so much about how we spend our time, how we spend our money and how we interact with people. My life has completely changed it’s trajectory and I like it.
The more stuff I shed the better I feel. Simplifying is intoxicating and addictive. Simplifying has helped me to focus and grow. I like it. I have a long long way to go, but so far it’s good. I am examining my life on a different level, from a different place. I am learning about myself and my family and what I am learning brings me great comfort. We are all in agreement that we are on the right track to “living better with less.”
UnPacktheRat is more then a blog to me, it’s my teacher, and for that I am grateful.
One Day -One Thing: List at least one new (or not) item on eBay