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.
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.