Things I’ve learned from killing consumerism #12 – ‘Groceries’ is a broad word

I’m five weeks off the end of my no retail challenge. I think I’ve learned a fair bit. I’ve given up a lot, but I also know I’ve exploited a couple of loopholes.

This weekend I bought a tree – a mandarin tree. And yes, I justified it as groceries. I mean, that’s what it will ultimately turn into, right? What’s $40 now when in two years I’ll have all the free mandarins I want?20151025_170005

I do think it’s justifiable, but I could have tried harder. I could have found out how to cultivate a tree from cuttings (is that even possible?) or grow it from seeds. I guess that’s the difference between me doing this challenge as a challenge and doing it as a necessity.

I can look for loopholes and excuse myself for buying things under the banner of groceries. I really have no idea what it’s like to live pay check to pay check and not be able to afford a new dress. I’ve gone without by choice. I can’t presume to know what it’s like to go without by necessity.

I hope I’ve learned more discipline. I hope I’ve learned to live simply and not gratify my lust for shopping. But at the end of the day, I have to acknowledge, that really, I’m still a rich girl who can afford to look for loopholes.

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The Holiday Glut

cupcake_21006126Why do we love to do what is not good for us?

This will be my second Christmas without sugar, and this year I won’t even miss it. I am not tempted at all by chocolate or candy canes or puddings or tarts. My body has learned to see it all as a poison and my mind has followed suit.

But I’m not off the hook. I’m a glutton for other things. As soon as my holidays start my careful health sustaining routine goes out the window. I stay up late and sleep as long as I want. I forget to exercise and I eat when I feel like it, and lo and behold, within two weeks I’m feeling pretty average.

The word gluttony is usually associated with food, but I wonder if I could define it as the excessive consumption of what feels good over what is good? If so, holidays are a prime time for it.

I’ve really been challenged on this. Holidays give us a great chance to relax and let our hair down, but they’re not a time to let our glutinous feelings take over.

This Christmas, let’s remember to honour God with out bodies. Just because we can do it or just because we have the excuse to do it, doesn’t mean we should.

 

Wishing you all a lovely Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus and a happy, healthy holiday.

Octopus, rain and a kitchen table (Or: the work dinner that will happen again)

532035_534912026540235_1661749161_nI admit I was sceptical about my work dinner.  We were from different generations; different walks of life. Outside the teacher-prep room would we have much to talk about?

Our small office group met at a rustic-meets-modern restaurant, just outside town. It was already dark and after a drink at the beautiful redwood bar, we took our seats around a large wooden table, reminiscent of that in a farm kitchen.

The restaurant specialised in tapas, and we gave the chef his head to bring out whatever he chose.

The food was divine. As the night meandered on we feasted on fresh bread, olives, pesto and chorizo, complimented by the most exquisite duck and shitake spring rolls. Our plates were cleared and they brought out squid and lightly crumbed octopus with huge char-grilled prawns, followed by sticky beef ribs and piri piri chicken. We ate slowly, savouring the delicacy of the flavours; the perfection of the combinations.

We laughed and talked about life, and travel and film; and we ate.

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Gradually the restaurant cleared and we sat back contented as they brought coffee. The open door brought the fresh smell of new rain from the darkened street. We were the last ones there and chatted to the owner and chef as they stood at the bar.

After four hours we left, knowing that we had been a part of something special: the harmonious meeting of work and life.