The 47 puppies sealed the deal. Their cute little faces behind the store glass fueled my inner fire to draw the line on excess. Let me explain…
Two days ago I wandered around an outlet mall in Phoenix, AZ. This indoor mall was massive and had every store that you could think of. And it was dead. There were barely any people there at all. You could park anywhere you wanted. And it made me wonder, why do these things exist if no one is coming to them anyways? Granted it was a Tuesday morning at 11:30. But still. Where were all the people that ‘needed‘ a place like this? Hopefully doing something amazing in their lives!
Yesterday we got to the airport, and we have a habit. Hit the store, grab snacks, and I always buy some sort of book. Of note, I had one other book I could have read in my bag already. I had other books downloaded to my kindle…already. I had 3 other books in my checked bag…already. Why did I feel the need to buy yet another book?
1. Because I could.
2. Because I wanted to.
3. Because it’s a tradition I started years ago.
There wasn’t the thought of I don’t need another book. Or the thought that I could’ve got it from the library. Or actually waited for the book. (like, perhaps it would’ve shown up in a book swap somewhere, or given to me, or shown up at a free library, or or OR)
Anyways, I bought the book The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha. I read it from start to finish on the plane. Turns out it was timely to the research I always have going. The most fascinating part of the book is when he outlined how many questions he asks himself in a day. Ranging from ‘when should I check my email?’ to ‘what should I eat for lunch today’. He noted almost 300 decisions that he questions himself on any given day. So he made a plan to outsource his decision making. He made a meal plan. He blocked time to check his emails. He saved his decision making for the really important decisions that he needed to focus on. Did the fact that it added value to my life justify the decision to buy the book? (Yes, these are the thoughts that ping pong back & forth in my mind).
Which made me wonder how I could ease my decision making process and challenge myself in a new way, and do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, AND have already researched. Yes. I have already researched minimalism, fast fashion, the art of tidying up, and all of the other things related to said topics.
I’m giving myself 30 days. To not purchase anything that isn’t a necessity (aka food) in my life. I have everything that I NEED. I really do. I don’t need another white t-shirt just in case my favorite white t-shirt is in the laundry the day that I need to wear a white t-shirt. I’m pretty sure I could use the other backup white t-shirt. With this, the decision making is already made up pre-purchase. I’m not buying anything. That’s it. I can save my decisions for something that’s bigger than a white t-shirt.
And I’m going to track it. I’m going to write down the things that I love & their price. I’m going to write down the things that I probably would have bought and their price. And then at the end of my 30 days? I’m going to see, quite visibly how much money I would have saved. And that may fuel that initial goal I had which was a full year. But this in itself does scare the crap out of me so for right now? Baby steps.
Back to the dogs. We went into that store. We looked at those puppies. We saw how sad they were. We saw how tired they were from playing in a small space. My son had tears. I had tears. We wanted to save them all. We talked about how sad their situation was many times that day.
This problem is bigger than me. Our need to want more is marketed to us every day. People study this every single minute of every day. How to create the craving for us to want the next best thing. What if we just had a look around, assessed what we already have and re-purposed it? And put the things that we really need on our wish list. And when it comes around for the second time or the third time maybe we’ve decided that our wishes had changed. Remember writing out that Christmas Wish List? Part of the fun of Christmas is the anticipation. We do NOT have this as a society anymore. We have instant gratification ALL. THE. TIME.
I guess what I’m talking about here, is taking inventory, deciding who we want to support & why and then do that. I adore local small business. I will forever continue to support people who are providing me a service so that they can feed their families. Who believe in a product because it makes our life intentionally better, not just because. Just not in the next 30 days. But I will cheer you on from the sidelines while I take assess the ‘because I can‘. I do know they why behind it but I’ll save that for another post. Part of it is taking a hard look at my habits and changing them, for the BETTER.
So now I ask…have you done a challenge like this before? How did you feel during the challenge? What did it change for you? Do you challenge yourself in ways like this often? This is how I push myself to learn and grow, and I like to use myself as the test subject. Because then I’ll know, and have a more informed launch pad for the next personal challenge.
Know anyone this may resonate with? I would love it if you could share…here’s why…you may be surprised…but it has to do with yet…another challenge! ha!