It's the new year, when we all re-access our life, our journey, our place in the cosmos. Am I where I hoped I would be by now? The answer is usually a big, fat, resounding NO! Why is that? Are we just all lazy sots? Is it just too hard to break habits? Make new ones? Do we not have enough support? (That's right, blame someone else for our shortcomings!) Does LIFE get in the way? (I'm not really sure what that means; are we not living our life as we are trying to change it? Do we hope to accomplish something in a bubble?)
I think it all comes down to mindfulness. We need to pay attention to why we do what we do, when or before we do it. Why am I shoving this food in my mouth, even though I'm not hungry? Why am I buying another book to put on my MASSIVE to-read pile that is overflowing the shelves in my office, living room and front hall? Why am I sitting on the couch, again, where I've created a groove in the cushion that fits only me, watching shows I don't even care for? Why am I picking out another bunch of yarn for a new project when I have seventeen large rough totes full of yarn for other projects I had planned? (Yes, 17. I kid you not.) Most of it I can't recall buying, or even what I had planned to make with it.
We live in a world that consumes. We are trained to believe we NEED to have these things. NOW. Let's admit it, we all resort to Retail Therapy for a number of reasons; boredom, stress, feelings of inadequacy, as well as the miracles we subconsciously believe some item might preform. (This dress will make me look twenty pounds thinner and might even save my marriage!) We are all intelligent people, but we can convince ourselves of ridiculous things, things that if we said them out loud, anyone within hearing distance would crack up in disbelief at our self-delusion. We need to pay closer attention to why we are doing this. But first, we need to actually catch ourselves doing it.
What is that voice in your head telling you when you see the advertisement of 70% off on athletic wear, even though you have a closet full of it that you haven't worn? "But it's ON SALE!! The stuff in my closet likely doesn't even fit anymore. And I really should start working out, one of these days, a new outfit will put me back on track..." What? You don't hear voices? Are you sure? Maybe you hear the devil whispering in one ear, and the angel in the other? Are you deaf in one ear?
This was kind of long lead-in to my reason behind this post: I'm making 2018 My Year of No Shopping. I'm told that making yourself accountable to others makes it easier to stay on course, though I've found that's not necessarily true for me, but I'm going to try it. Again.
So what can't I buy this year?
- Books, magazines, notebooks
- Yarn and other craft products
- Clothes, shoes, jewellery, and accessories
- Stuff for the house, i.e. decor items, small appliances
And what CAN I purchase?
- Replacement of broken items (January 19, and I had to buy a new dishwasher, and I know my rubber boots for the farm have bit the biscuit. They aren't supposed to have heel ventilation, right?)
- Movies/dining out (this rarely happens, trust me)
- Yard repairs/improvements
- Furniture and appliances, if for replacement only
Over the last month or so, I've listened to a number of audiobooks on hoopla about minimizing and doing with less. I can't link to hoopla on my computer, but if this interests you, these are the titles:
The Year of Less ~ Cait Flanders
The More of Less ~ Joshua Becker
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ~ Marie Kondo
Maybe you can help me stay accountable. Have you made any resolutions? How is it going for you? Do you have a back up plan?