Simply red

Stop ‘buying so much crap’ was the task of week 6 after having a rest- week 5. We are only allowed to buy food and water and other essentials (such as fuel or medication.) Freeing our mind in the process.

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For a few years now accumulating stuff has become less important to me, which is weirdly inversely proportional to the amount of disposable income I have. I’ve often wondered why life is like that? Why, in my teens and twenties and thirties I always wanted something, the latest fashion, hair colour, house items, new car. Firstly, I was cash strapped student who could barely afford a pizza, then I got my first real job but I was saving up for a house, a wedding, a trip to see friends in Australia, then I was paying a mortgage, then I was paying someone else to look after my baby so I could work and pay for everything. I was always aware of the short-term gratification of buying a new item of clothing or that trinket for the house but I still did it, then I would groan as my bank statement arrived (never deliberately checking my balance at the cashpoint.) Now I am a little more established with a higher wage I don't seem to crave the things I once did.

I don’t know when things became less important? Shopping less of a joy. I still like a quick half an hour around the shops but I used to make a day of it, with my friends, have lunch and then carry on late into the afternoon. I’d really rather not now. In the last few years if I do have a need to go shopping, I tend to head for a charity shop, where you can buy a top for £3 and a vase for a £1 and I am happy. The top usually goes back to the charity bin a week later when I realise the reason it was there in the first place was because of the dodgy collar but I have found a few treasures along the way and if I get a compliment while wearing them I feel a little sparkle inside because I know it cost less than a fiver. Now when I am tempted by something, I really give myself time to think do I really need this? Where will it go? Unless I can picture the perfect place it stays in the shop. I think it probably happened when I downsized from a five storey house to a three bedroomed house. I only kept the special things- or the useful. I felt less burdened with my simplified life.

My perfect day now would be toast and fresh eggs from my hens for breakfast, a walk with Ted my dog in the morning. Meet up with a friend for a nice coffee and a chat. Then home to a nice supper and a glass of wine, some catch up conversation, reconnecting and a cwtch (Welsh hug) with my one in front of the fire. Who needs more? In fact this would basically describe most Saturdays. My idea of heaven is also getting into a really good read and not having to do anything else. So I guess I am more about the experience these days rather than the things. I’d rather buy a bunch of flowers that will make me smile for the £1 vase than an expensive item of clothing. I’d rather cook something that Cai loves for tea and see his face light up or get Ted a bone from the butchers and watch him gnaw contentedly at it for the next two days. I think I have learnt what gives me the most pleasure so perhaps I have already dealt with my stuffication. I still know I could improve, but we can only keep trying to go in the right direction until all we will ever need is inside us.

Fiona Dolben

Acupuncturist, holistic therapist, content creator., Hemp Holisitics

I'm a single parent of ONE lovely lanky teenager.. I live in deepest rural Wales . My 'proper' job is in marketing and events but I am also a trained reflexologist, masseur and reiki giver (go figure!) I also look after my Mum who is in her late 80's, my dog Ted, my cat Black and my hens and dream is to have a small holding and offer people holidays in my teepee and maybe the odd therapy as you can see I am a mass of contradictions.... I like to walk, do yoga, eat salad and visit new places but I also like to drive fast, Feast ice lollies, vodka on Friday's with friends(, which leads to dancing in my kitchen) my coffee , and staying up late... I can be outgoing but also extremely shy so like the rest of you I am still trying to figure it out one day at a time...