I haven’t gotten rid of anything really exciting recently to talk about here. (That said, I just want to let you all know that the hubby has literally covered our garage with computer parts that he is “sorting” and “getting rid of.” I will not expose how long they have been on the garage floor in this “sorting” process, but I will tell you that we now have a count down until May 1. If they are still there on that date, I will be swiftly finishing the process. And do not doubt that I will document that if it happens. If you like reality tv drama, maybe you should cross your fingers that the technology torch gets tossed to me….) I have, however, been noticing the different ways that I think about the things I own lately. It’s refreshing, but not without challenges. I want to discuss this, because a change in your state of mind is probably necessary in order to truly attack a challenge like the 100 Thing Challenge. I will illustrate my point through examples.
- My GPS AND my MP3 player broke. We are having both repaired (hopefully) instead of tossing them and getting new ones.
- We’ve had multiple fabric items rip – I sewed them back up. The killer irony here is that is something I could have done in the past, too, and usually just didn’t bother. It was just an excuse to “need” another piece of clothing, set of sheets, bag, etc.
- One of our dining room chairs is broken and may not be reparable. Instead of replacing the entire set of chairs or, better yet the entire dining set, we are now using an odd chair we kept in the garage for company. It’s not pretty, but in a house with dog, cats, kids and sweet friends no one notices. We don’t keep the kind of company that wouldn’t come back because of our odd chair.
- I received a gift of some money (not enough for anyone to stalk me, kill me and steal it), and I did not immediately think of all the shopping trips I wanted to take. Old me definitely would have hit the mall for at least a small splurge on clothing, jewelry, etc. The temptation is just not there. Wow!! This feels like the hugest victory. Instead the money will be spent on creating family memories, investing in our home and paying off our debt. Oh, and a hot date with my husband! I will admit that on a bad day I occasionally fantasize about going shopping, because it’s something I have done many times in the past to alleviate hurt feelings. But I haven’t done it. I do admit (again) that I avoid the mall (and Target) like the plague, because I know I am still not safe in there. But at least it’s a conscious process and I’m clearly making meaningful progress.
And, finally, what I have noticed out of these and other similar circumstances is that my feelings have changed about the things I own. When something breaks, I do find it more frustrating. Before I would get excited that a broken/damaged item meant I could purchase something new, regardless of my ability to repair the item myself. Now, I have one of two reactions: 1. pride that I can (and will) repair it myself or 2. frustration that I am now going to have to live without that thing until I can figure out the most economical/environmental way to repair and/or replace that item. Each thing I own has significantly more purpose in my life now, for better or for worse.
May we never move with so much junk ever, ever again.