It is now late afternoon on Sunday, New Year’s Day, and I’ve already come dangerously close — like Amazon one-click close — to breaking the resolution I set for myself last night. Not just once has this been an imminent threat, but five separate times. For reference, that’s also about how many hours I’ve been awake today.
Things are not looking good.
I’ve been planning this resolution — to not buy anything I cannot eat during the entire month of January — for weeks now. In preparation, there are no fewer than three bottles of shampoo in the shower, and I have purchased an extra toothbrush, new throw pillows, four matching bowls instead of three chipped ones, and a new shirt. It was just the holidays, yes, but I spent quite a lot of money putting things into my house in December so I’d be less inclined to spend quite a lot of money putting things into my house in January.
And yes, I’m aware of how idiotic that sounds.
That said, the penultimate goal here was to spend less money — and I’ve clearly failed at that if you average the two months together. What I really wanted was an opportunity to take a good, hard look at my spending habits. When do I buy shit, why do I buy shit, and exactly how much shit do I buy?
And so because the intention was never to try sacrifice on for size (that’ll be for when Lent starts), while I’m busy observing my hair-trigger impulse to consume goods and services, I’m making a list. Anything I suddenly decide I should probably pick up at the store (one of those tall pepper grinders waiters have!) or order online (leggings with cats in space!) or want to grab when it’s inches from my hands (that dog embroidered on the towel looks like MY dog!), I will write it down instead of purchase it. And on Feb. 1, I’ll take out my list and literally anything on that list I think I still desperately need to own, I can buy. I want to see how much of the stuff I think I need is just habit and boredom and competition and advertising.
Like I said, it’s midday on Sunday, and so my list already has on it:
Two matching houseplants to hang from the two unused matching hooks above the bed. (Who’s got two thumbs and was staring at the ceiling this morning?)
Yellow Fiestaware setting because the red, orange and teal need to be evened out, visually speaking.
Rug for hallway because dog wanted to sit near the kitchen, but the hardwood floor is too hard.
Tall dog dish stand thingy with removable metal bowls. No stretching for food in this house!
Hooks for underneath cabinetry in laundry room to hang things like wet swimsuits and bras. (Note: Cabinets are purchased but not yet hung, and I went swimming once in 2016.)
So basically everywhere I look is an opportunity to spend money, and the fact that my current retirement fund would last a mere seven months doesn’t come into play at all. It’s time to change my ways. That, or hope I’m one of those folks who keels over shortly after retiring.
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