I’ve taken a week off from the world of blogging. I’ve been in Michigan visiting my mom (age 88), dad (age 89), new grandson (Henri) and the rest of my large family. Smart business move? No. Smart relationship move? Definitely! Happy New Year! -Tess
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. ” ~E.F. Schumacker
It all happened four months ago while getting ready to meet friends for a night out. In my bedroom, frustrated and mad at myself I began tossing things out of my closet and drawers in a frantic search for my favorite pair of jeans. In one moment of sanity I swore off buying any new clothing for one year. I ended up wearing something else and gave the area a quick glance over my shoulder before walking out. Again, I swore to myself no more new clothes for one year. Then I’ll re-evaluate.
I remember when I was first married and the only clothes I owned fit neatly in three dresser drawers. I owned one pair of Levi jeans. I remember life before $10 movies and $5 coffee. It seemed to me all was simpler then.
Today I not only feel empowered by my decision but I’m determined to eliminate more unnecessary spending. Every month in 2009, I am choosing to eliminate one unnecessary purchase from my life, cold turkey.
In January, I’m eliminating designer coffee. It’s a bad habit and it’s costly. I’m going to purchase a good coffee maker and brew my own coffee daily.
In February, I will let go of purchasing any more magazines. The magazine subscription I buy from my nephew, a boy scout will be sent to as a gift to a friend.
In March, I’m eliminating new shoes. I don’t want to even admit how many pair I own. I have two daughters that sell shoes. I wear the sample size and get all I want free of charge. Why would I need to purchase anymore?!? I had one pair of shoes growing up, one pair! I will reevaluate the shoe thing in 2010.
In April, I will no longer be purchasing any hard cover books.I will allow myself one paperback or E-book per month. I will rediscover the radical notion of the library. Imagine thousands of books, CDs and DVDs for free!
In May, I will no longer purchase greeting cards. I will create my own or send free E-cards.
In June, I will eliminate buying food in airports. (We travel a lot.) I will pack snacks in my carry on bag.
The next six months…to be continued after more reflection.
The United States at one time had the happiest citizens in the developed world, now it is number 23, according to research from the University of Leicester. Depression, alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide rates have soared. Fewer than one in three Americans claim to be “very happy.”
Personally, I believe it has something to do with our retail addicted society searching for happiness outside of themselves vs. within. It makes sense to believe if we all decided to live better on less we could increase our happiness, get out of debt and protect our environment at the same time. Please let me know your plan for living happier on less in our tough economic times?
“I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society. When the visitors came in larger and unexpected numbers there was but the third chair for them all, but they generally economized the room by standing up. It is surprising how many great men and women a small house will contain. I have had twenty-five or thirty souls, with their bodies, at once under my roof, and yet we often parted without being aware that we had come very near to one another.” Visitors, pg. 135 -Henry David Thoreau, Walden Pond