What a week......
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????