Things I’ve learned from killing consumerism #1. Take care of what you’ve got

20150214_160930It’s been a week since I moved house, and a week since I quit shopping.

I have been surprised at what I’ve learned about myself already. Like how slack I’ve been about taking care of the things I have.

I have two pairs of running shoes. I’m the type who buys new running shoes about every 5 years. You’d think that could be testament to how well I look after them, but really it shows how often I go running.

Anyway, I have two pairs: One old one that sits in the back of my car in case I face an emergency muddy adventure, and one pair that is ‘new,’ that I wear to the gym.

A couple of weeks ago I was painting and gardening at my new house. I was wearing the new runners and the old ones were in the car; just right there in the car. And guess which ones I wore to get splattered with paint and caked with mud? Yep, the new ones.

The old me was willing to ruin her new shoes rather than change, because she could always just buy more.

The new me is kicking herself. The new me sat down and cleaned her shoes for the first time since her mum made her as a child. The new me will be wearing paint splattered runners to the gym for the rest of the year.

The new me will learn to take better care of what she’s got.

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My Australia Day Commitment

cut-expenses-1_21176251For the last four years I’ve been living with my parents. There were a variety of unfortunate circumstances that led to me having to move back in with them, but finally I’m moving out again under very blessed circumstances.

I’ve been able to save quite a bit of money living with mum and dad and it’s enabled me to renovate my apartment. Amongst the blessings though, I have seen my heart gripped by consumerism.

I love the adrenalin zip of the credit card. I love packages arriving in the mail. I love scouring the net for home wares and never turning away from a clothing sale. I love buying books at the click of a button and finding new and wonderful shoes.

Towards the end of 2014 I read this article about a woman who decided not to buy anything new for a year, and I knew that that is something I wanted to do.

So in a couple of weeks I’m moving house. Once that’s done this is my commitment: Beyond essentials and gifts, and until December 2015, I will buy nothing new, or even second hand.

No clothes.

No shoes

No cosmetics

No books

No home wares

Today is Australia day. I live in one of the most blessed countries in the world and I want to break the hold that consumerism has on me. I want to learn to be content with what I have.

Wish me luck, and I’ll keep you posted!

I buy books like they read themselves…

booksThere are two things that I find almost impossible to resist at the shops: Shoes and books.

I’ve had to be stern with myself about the shoe thing. I’ve learnt (I think) to stop buying shoes that are so uncomfortable that I can’t walk in them (even if they are, oh-so-pretty) and I’ve learnt that there are only so many pairs of shoes that you can wear in one year.

The book thing, though, I still struggle with. When I was young I read a lot about children at the turn of the century who saw books as rare treasures, and I think that contributed to my love of them. There is something so precious and alive about a good book. A childhood book can stay with you forever like nothing else can. (I am of course talking about real books here. Don’t even get me started on E-books!)

Suffice to say, I have a large book collection and recently I had to pause and take stock. How many books have I bought on a passionate whim and never read? As I counted them up, I realized there are quite a few. Many of them, still on my ‘to be read’ list are pictured above.

So I’m going to try to stop buying for a while, until I’ve actually read what I have!

Do you have a stack of books that you ‘just had to have’ at the time, but that you haven’t read yet? What are they?