Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Retail abstinence

This is day 20, and it's still going strong. Maybe not entirely happily, but strongly. I have not wavered, even when very depressed and profoundly yearning for a latte. I didn't want to break my vow.

I realize my spending is now on line with many, many other people's, who don't spend because they cannot, not because they are choosing to. Some of the challenges I've faced I've met with gifts and loans, and just saying no. I almost bought a latte Sunday, when I was working, but I found free regular coffee and went that way instead. And I am learning to knit, and my daughter is lending me her needles and yarn, as is my knitting teacher.

Nine more days until I leave for the Quaker silent weekend retreat. I am confident I will have a rich internal dialogue to process the month of abstinence, and I will figure out what this means for life (and spending) after January 31. I don't think I want to go back to my old thoughtless if somewhat thrifty ways.

One thing I did allow myself this month is to be generous to charities. So I have not spent on myself but have given our money to good causes. Felt great.

Peace, y'all



parise said...

this idea of yours really tickles me. i heard you mention a little about it at silent retreat and was curious to know more. what made you decide to do this? what were your rules? how are you doing on your spending now?

Molly Dove said...

I decided not to buy things besides food and drugstore-type needs. I didn't stop Netflix. I did buy a light box, but held off on other purchases I'd been contemplating. I resolved not to go out to eat unless I was traveling and had little choice. And, I didn't say no to charity. The practical impact of this was -- NO LATTES. It was very hard, especially before I got the light box. I have the receipts from jan and feb and will sit down and do some tallying. I am drinking a latte as I write this, so I have not kicked the habit. But if I can do it in the coldest, darkest, saddest month, I can do it again, any time.