So back at the beginning of the year (is 2018 over yet, because it feels like it has hung around long enough!), I shared some of my goals. One of them was the most ambitious thing I have ever tried. Inspired by the book Possum Living (cool video here), I plan to go all of 2018 without buying anything I don’t NEED. Sometimes there is a giant grey area between needs and wants. Take books, for example. I need books like I need air. But do I NEED to BUY them? Unless it is a text for my job, probably not. This outline is rather fluid, and time may force some changes, but I will share any changes as a means of holding myself accountable.
- College tuition
- Clothing (but NO T-SHIRTS)
- Utilities and mortgage
- Cellphone – I have a Tracfone, so I have to get service cards periodically. Texts are $5 for 1000, and it’s the primary way we communicate at work
- Books specifically relevant to work – must be read within a month of purchase
- Car (I signed my car’s death warrant when I put my favorite sticker on it)
- Potting soil and bare bones supplies for growing plants to sell at Farmer’s Market
- Photo books – I do these twice a year as a gift for my mom, but I also get one for me. My photos are essential. But no superfluous photo gifts. I use Snapfish, and they usually provide me with good coupons.
- Books (Goodbye, BookBub! Until next year?) – Not even the illustrated Goblet of Fire due out in October
- Harry Potter memorabilia (this kills me!)
- Music (unless I already have gift card credit on the music site)
- Toys for the pets. It’s too bad, really, because Lumen is quite destructive, but she LOVES HER TOYS SO MUCH! I stocked up on the one toy she hasn’t managed to completely murder and dismantle, so she won’t have nothing. Don’t look at me like that!
- Additional pets – (no more snakes? WHAT? But… but…)
- Additional pet housing, beyond basic supplies (food, UVB bulbs, etc
- Toys in general
- Impulse buys for the kids
- Clearance holiday stuff *whimper* unless it’s for prizes for my students
- Coffee or meals out – unless I am traveling or it is pre-arranged date-night
- Postage for packages to friends
- Gifts – beyond family birthdays and gift-giving holidays
- An addendum to the above rule: no creating gift-giving holidays. In our house, Valentine’s Day is a children’s holiday. I cannot turn it into a “Hey, gimme this Funko Pop! figure” holiday.
So you’re here to hold me accountable. Almost As much fun as a host of fleas nesting in your armpits.
I make a lot of impulse purchases when I’m feeling sad, lonely, depressed, excited, anxious. I admit that I shop (and eat) to deal with feelings and to fill a void. So what am I going to do when that shopper vibe starts bouncing in my brain? I’m going to be creative. Literally. Like, I’m going to create something. Here are some ways to channel my energy
- Write – I’ve been successful with this one. I have been writing a LOT. I have written so many blog posts this year already, and that’s not even the tip of my brain’s iceberg. I think I could spend the next few weeks and write out blog posts for each day for the rest of the year. Don’t worry. I won’t. But I could. And I wrote a short story and entered a writing competition. So yay.
- Take Lumen for a walk or a run- I ran with her a few days ago, and I totally freaked her out. “If Mommy’s running, someone must be chasing! LET’S MAKE TRACKS!”
- Read – I am on NetGalley, and I’m working on reading a book I’m super-excited about. And when I read the book, I can REVIEW it, so that brings me back to WRITING!
- Knit – I have the basics down. Yay, me. But I suck at it. Practice makes perfect, so I shall practice.
- Give stuff away – Stuff begets more stuff. If I clear out some of the clutter, I am less inclined to buy matching clutter. Also, moving stuff out helps me to realize how much I already HAVE.
- Make little turtles out of Sculpey – I’m good at this, and I owe some people some critters. I gotta get on this as soon as my right arm begins functioning again.
- Play Neko Atsume -What better way to practice becoming a crazy cat lady than to learn to attract stray cats?
How do YOU deal with anxiety or depression? What’s the most effective thing for you? Tell me in the comments.