Thursday, July 12, 2012

On buying nothing new...

On the first day of this financial year, a couple of Sundays ago, we were driving home from a very pleasant morning at a cafe and gallery when we spotted a dining table on the nature strip of a house which was 'for lease'. The table had a handwritten sign on it saying it was free to whoever wanted it. It was blond, solid wood, good as new, huge and heavy! We have roof racks on our car and Kim keeps the ratchet straps in the glovebox so we were able to pull over, lift it up, strap it on and take it home. One day we plan to build a studio in our backyard. That day is many years away but it will happen! The table is going to live in our shed until we can use it as a work table in our future studio.

It was funny though because finding the table came right after I had declared in the cafe that morning that I was going to try not to buy anything new for the next two months. The 1st of July seemed like a good time to start that. I hadn't planned it, I just decided on a whim. And then finding that table seemed like a sign. I'm not superstitious but I like being open to little prods from the universe that I'm on the right track.

The same day I decided to buy nothing new I also began a whip-around the house to dig out things to donate to charity. I was starting to feel overwhelmed by stuff and there's so much of it! Especially with two kiddos. During the course of whizzing round the house I discreetly got rid of a bunch of old, icky bath toys. Instead of replacing them with bought stuff I sorted out the container drawer in the kitchen and gave Miss P all of the containers that were missing lids. She still hasn't asked for the old bath toys! These containers are providing more than enough amusement. Incredible.

It's been almost two weeks since I made my 'nothing new' vow and so far I've been true to it (apart from food, of course, and necessary toiletries, medicines etc) and it's actually pretty easy. I have been tempted, of course. Books are my weakness. But it's interesting that once you make an arbitrary rule for yourself and decide something is off limits, it's relatively easy to stick to that. Limitations are sometimes a blessing. So I've stopped even looking at books online. I went to the library yesterday and borrowed some to get my fix. I also borrowed music CDs too and a few DVDs. I used to do this all the time and just fell out of the habit. It's amazing what you can do for free when you really start trying.

The picture above is from our trip to the park last weekend. Miss P 'made' a pizza - that's the drawing there. It's an olive and apple pizza. Surely that's a Masterchef-worthy combination? And she wanted a container to put it in to take it to the park. Then at the park she started collecting flowers. She loves flowers so much. Just the act of collecting things from nature in her container made her happy. We don't need much, do we?