Monday, February 7, 2011

Great Expectations

Hi there,

I'm rather tardy on posting.  I've had this problem before.  When I give myself something really specific that I want to do on the blog, I end up postponing writing until everything is right with the universe and I can focus on writing about just that one thing properly.  I've done it with the creativity stuff and the Reverb10 writing too.  It's probably better for flow if I don't be so specific in my head, since my inner blogger often flakes out if I can't do what I set out to do.

What I've been postponing writing about is January.  The first month of 2011, when I was free to shop for the month and have been working on various other projects.  I've been setting lofty goals of doing tidy posts on: 1. my Annual Review of goals, and 2. the stuff I bought and money I spent in January after a year of not shopping, 3. what's next etc.

To be honest, January's end was quite full of, well, shopping.  I spent some time last night tallying up the damage, and it's more than I realized.  All told, I spent......$855.93 on 'stuff' during my sanctioned month of buying new things.  A bit of it was stuff for my wife and I, but mostly for me.  (FYI: in case you don't know this, I'm not buying anything new for the rest of the year again). Some highlights from my list:
  • an orange ukulele with case and song book (turns out I liked it better than the pink one)
  • my favourite, fancy, expensive fine tipped markers (20 colour pack)
  • a bunch of moleskin notebooks in various sizes and colours
  • a couple of bins and tins for craft supply organization
  • a swimsuit
  • a toilet brush, potato peeler, tea towels, paring knives
  • a winter cape, cute boots, gloves, and scarf
  • underwear and sock blowout (got over $100 worth of each)
  • full length mirror
  • earrings from Ten Thousand Villages
  • Winner's shopping spree - 2 dresses, 1 skirt, 2 cardigans ($154.35)
  • Joe Fresh shopping spree - included 28 items (massively reduced, bill was only $131.70-conscience on red alert re: why so cheap?)
I did not end up getting a Tilly Hat, or a kitchen rack for my pots and pans.  Time ran out.  It became easier to shop as the month went on, but I am kind of relieved to be done for the year now.  It is hard to stop once you get on a roll. 

Again, I'll have to work to cull my old crap, to make the new fit in, and not feel over-cluttered and like the walls are closing in on our wee condo.

I also have been going full tilt on some of my other goals around being healthier and doing more 'non-passive leisure' and 'friend outreach'.  Being healthier feels like a bit of a strange thing to talk about.  It's one of those things where you can feel boring or self-righteous if you get it wrong.  Let's just say, I've been working hard to try and take really good care of myself for just over a month now.  I've been walking more, packing my lunch, eating like a normal person would instead of like a sumo wrestler, that kind of thing.  I've also been sleeping better and I definitely feel more calm and less stressed out on a day to day basis.

Seeing lots of friends.  I've been booking lunch dates on Fridays, so that I get to see people I like, and actually leave the building for lunch.  So often these days we end up skipping our break and working hunched over desks with our lunches. By making plans with others outside I am shifting this in a nice way.  Also, I've resumed Stitch & Bitch (Friday we had a great one at my twin's), and I've finished my first 'freestyle hat'.  It is 1000 times better than the giant one I made for my wife.  I will revisit knitting a hat for her now that my improvisation has galvanized me.  Also, our book club met last week and will be meeting again in 2 weeks.  I am doing games night with a friend couple this weekend and bowling with another friend couple on Saturday.  If you don't book times with friends, you don't see them.  Or at least I don't.  I don't seem to just bump into my buddies without some leg work.

Had a sweet visit with my 89 year old grandmother yesterday too.  She can barely see out of the one eye she has left, but is still happy to let you and everyone know if you've gained or lost any weight recently.  Fortunately I fell in the former category this visit. Whew.  It was nice to Laing out with my cousins, aunts, in-laws and other extended family. 

Okay, I'd better get back to work.  I'm using my lunch break to blog today, so pat me on the back for not working through it.

I'll be blogging more about my 'laser sharp focus' on the goal of paying off a loan that is now at $16,151.  I want that beast gone by the time I leave my second job.  Argh.  It's a big task.

Talk soon for reals.

xo Tara


christy said...

I wish I had even have the drive that you do in keeping up with your goals. Way to go!

pareidolie said...

I have been reading your blog for a bit since the reverb thing and I really wanted to follow on your footsteps of not buying anything new.. however I need some tips. Mostly, my problem is that I buy "cheap" stuff so it just gets ruined or ugly or unwearable after a few uses and then I am 'forced' to buy again. How do you measure how much you spend, for example on socks, do you buy high end stuff so it will last? Do you avoid "made in china stuff" I'm sorry if this is a silly question!

No New is Good News said...

Thanks for your comments Christy and Pareidolie!

re: not buying new, last year, I really did not prep a lot, so I didn't think much about what kind of things I would buy (or should have bought prior to beginning my 2010 year of not shopping). I had a lot of time in 2010 to think about what I would prefer to buy in the future when I shop again, and I would have to say that my preference would be to buy quality stuff. I read a book on vintage clothing that talked about how in the past good clothing was made well, and would not 'pill' etc. Nowadays so much clothing is cheap and wears very badly. My vintage wool coat is a good example. It looks pristine compared to several coats I've purchased 'new' over the past few years. They don't age well. They aren't built to last. So, I think it's seriously worth it from an environmental point of view, and a savings point of view to pay more for something well made. Now, having said that, I did not really follow my own advice too much in January. I didn't get a lot of things, but I DID get quality socks and undies and swimsuit. And if I bought a new suit, I would go for 'Tilly' brand which is local and well made and even washable. Having said that, I bought made in china cheap stuff in January too. It's very hard to resist the cheap volume available ie: in t-shirts and and yoga pants etc. But that book I read about vintage was right. The main deal that attracts us with new stuff is colour and fit. But those are temporary things, because fit is due to being stretchy, not due to being well made, and things bag out, fade out, and get pilled up.
Like my sister's old boyfriend used to say, "Buy cheap, buy twice!"