Avoiding stuffocation!!

What a week......

Go to the profile of Mrs Bee
Feb 06, 2016
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Well, it was an interesting week for me.One in which I was able to think about how I manage my purchases, whether I can afford them and if they are all necessary.Maternity leave is always a difficult time when your pay is reduced and you suddenly need to get everything done with half the money.I was feeling the pressure already and jumped at the chance of doing this experiment in order to save some money.For sure I was excited for the wrong reasons.It was supposed to allow me to think of the bigger picture, focus on things that really matter and not to cloud my vision with impulsive buying and replenishing my draws full of tat.

However, I set out with the best of intentions.I ensured that the household shop was done prior to beginning this experiment and that we had everything we needed.For the first time I wrote a list of what we would be eating throughout the week and made a corresponding shopping list.My shop had never been so precise.My week was clearly laid out and I must admit this was the first time I felt such clarity.It occurred to me that I had fallen into a habit of spending much of the week dreading cooking, not sure what I had to cook; often leaving it to the last minute and having to buy something quick and expensive.Having a clear picture of what needed doing made me much more organised and we had lovely meals.Lovely meals really do have a positive impact on the family!

Yes- I know.This was not the purpose of the task but actually doing these experiments has pointed out that there is a series of lessons to learn along the way.You always start with a specific task but actually making them work requires a few changes in your life.

I must admit I was scared to leave the house.I took it literally and would only buy food or water.To top it off I decided it was only food that fuelled my body.I didn’t buy any snacks, treats or impulsive purchases purely to feel the buzz of shopping and treating myself.I have a habit of buying a little something from everywhere I go that builds up into a very- big something by the end of the month.

My family and I are desperate to see an exhibition on West Africa (my husband’s roots) at the British Library which ends in two weeks.We could go this week but I rebooked.How on earth could I visit such an amazing exhibition and not buy a little token of support at the shop?So you could view this decision in one of two ways:

Number 1: Epic fail!!!!!!You have just deferred your shopping- you still want it even though you don’t need it.

Number 2: Fair enough.Of course you would want to have reminders for your children of a great exhibition which focuses on their culture and heritage.

I prefer number two but am fully aware that there are elements of number 1 also.

Void.This suggests there is some emptiness.I think that by making such small purchases I have convinced myself that I do not compulsively shop.But I do.For a number of reasons.I really am trying to unpick why I find it so difficult going to a shopping establishment and not buy something, anything.Is it stopping me from focussing on the bigger picture?I am still mulling this over, but I tell you what I have learnt:

It was a change in my week, but a welcome change.We spent more time at home as a family.I saved money. I found that I didn’t need to spend continually to value myself. I was grateful for what I have.This week was a challenge for me but one in which I learnt quite a bit about myself.I think I am going to take this challenge forward in my life and not always feel the need to fill my life with stuff.Useless stuff.Stuff I don’t need.Stuff that will not make me feel whole.Who needs all that stuff when you are grateful for all that you have????

Go to the profile of Mrs Bee

Mrs Bee

I am a devoted, time-strapped mother of three in a whirlwind of nappies, teenage angst, arguments, low- finances (head teacher on maternity leave!!!!), kids' clubs, kit- cleaning, nose-wiping, shoulder-to-cry-on frenzy. In all that I have to find time for my husband and myself as the very last option. "Crazy!" I hear you say as I try to fit a blog into this ordered chaos….. You may be right, but the Great Wake Up is my way of making time for myself, learning new things about myself and new ways of doing things. I have tried many things that are too big, unachievable and leave me feeling: "Something else I didn't finish". I want to make a difference to my children, my husband, my family, my community and globally if I can. But rather than sitting in my living room thinking its all too much: I am going to start with one thing, one small thing. I may foolishly/ naively think it will be easy but much of the joy of this is not knowing how I will feel. Opening myself up to something new and then doing something I love- writing about it! I can't promise it will be beautiful; but it will be honest, with a little humour if I can and a true account of this journey I am about to embark on with The Great Wake Up!!

11 Comments

Go to the profile of Annette Hogan
Annette Hogan about 2 years ago

Reading your blog this morning has saved me from going on a shopping trip that I really don't need..... After a bad week I woke up and thought I need a 'treat, something to make me feel better'
As always you write so honestly and gave me a 'wake up' about my actions and reactions to uncomfortable feelings. I'm going to stay home (it's pouring with rain!) have a bath and give myself a pedicure. So I will not spent money and I'll and try and deal with my feelings instead of filling the space with purchases I don't need

Go to the profile of Annette Hogan
Annette Hogan about 2 years ago

Sorry Orlene, I am so embarrassed but my post was supposed to be in response to Preeti's blog
You must have read my comment and thought it has no relation to what you've written!

Go to the profile of Mrs Bee
Mrs Bee about 2 years ago

No worries anette! I think your comments are relevant. I am going to try and do the same 😱

Go to the profile of Carlis Alleyne
Carlis Alleyne about 2 years ago

Go to the profile of Carlis Alleyne
Carlis Alleyne about 2 years ago

Go to the profile of Carlis Alleyne
Carlis Alleyne about 2 years ago

I completely understand the pressures and struggles to avoid stuffication. I am suffering from the addiction of spending on lovely clothes , objects of adornments and beauty. However I have decided not start small and not go pleasure shopping on Saturdays. As I can spend up to £200 on a combination of food and clothes every week. And don't get me started on pop in to the local supermarket for a loaf of bread and a pint of milk that cost me £50 because I manage to pick up a few bargains on my way to the bread aisle. I am staying in the house today and I will be resting and cleaning in that order. I am not spending unnecessary money .😍 That was the intention. Well damn! The washing machine is playing up! They are in the region of 200 pounds plus! Surely part of de-stuffication was to save money.😕

Well I am without new clothes, no hustle and bustle of shopping and I will have to pay out for a new washing machine. I am not beaten I will watch a film next week at the cinema and avoid the shops. Good luck Orlene!!!

Go to the profile of Mrs Bee
Mrs Bee about 2 years ago

Good luck to you too Carlis!! It's a continual struggle but we'll get there 👊🏾👊🏾

Go to the profile of Mrs Bee
Mrs Bee about 2 years ago

Good luck to you too Carlis!! It's a continual struggle but we'll get there 👊🏾👊🏾

Go to the profile of Marisa Childs
Marisa Childs about 2 years ago

My husbands favourite line is " Is that money burning a hole in your purse?" Honestly yes it is, having to face redundancy and plan financially for a year has really opened my eyes to how much I don't need to spend.
Also planning family holidays, I have found the more disciplined I am financially, the better an experience the whole family has.
Lot's to think about Orlene.....

Go to the profile of Mrs Bee
Mrs Bee about 2 years ago

I agree completely Marisa! I am trying really hard to unpick why I spend. Where the motivation is from?? Only then can I really change this habitual behaviour. Being careful with your money to lead to more enjoyable family time is a great way to begin to change the internal dialogue!!

Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
Chris Baréz-Brown about 2 years ago

Keep it going Orlene! You are doing a fantastic job. Big love, C x