Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Year's Day 2019 - Ground Rules

Hello 2019,

I've had a very fun first day of the year, which began with domestic felicity type activities, including some thematically appropriate content, for my No New Stuff resolution. It's a sign! The universe is providing me with new inspiration. I did some organizing and a tiny bit of decluttering and tidying, while listening to my audio book of The More of Less by Joshua Becker (a book on minimalism).

Then, I discovered that Netflix has the Marie Kondo TV series now, and my wife and I watched one episode, and then I rushed to my room to attack my clothing and sort through piece by piece to clarify and keep only the items which 'spark joy'. (She wrote the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.). I want to pace myself and go back to watch the next episode only after I have sucked the marrow out of the first episode, by doing what it suggests. I have too much unneeded clothing, and too much of it is black - making it extremely hard to find what I want or see what I have. I want to really release a bunch of things I don't need anymore so that I feel more space around me, and only hang on to favourites.

I still have a ways to go, as I did have a bunch of fun holiday social things to do today and tonight too. My room is in limbo with much 'joy sparking' as yet undetermined!

I'm off this whole week, so I can take some time to really go through our two bedroom condo and try to really take stock, declutter, purge, and clean up etc. Doing this will help me know what I have and what I need with much more clarity. I find both The More of Less and Marie Kondo inspiring in this regard. And they both underscore the belief that we don't need as much as we think we do.

Anyway, again it is late and I am writing after a third fun night out with friends, so I will keep this fairly brief. Tonight's fun was playing a game called 'One Night Ultimate Werewolf Game' which was soooo fun. I want more games, and partying in friend's living rooms in my life in 2019.

I still owe you updates re: the past, (stay tuned for those.)

But let's get my GROUND RULES (See 2010's Ground Rules here) out of the way:

Generally speaking, this is about no new stuff. So I will not be buying new stuff - with a few exceptions. I CAN buy used things. This does not bring more new stuff into the world, and encourages reusing of things. I can buy supplies for crafts and mending. I can buy supplies for fixing something that should be fixed in my house, i.e.: if I needed a plunger or something that I could not find used. I can accept gifts, and I can barter, beg, trade etc. Another main exception last time around was for health. This time, because I have had a couple of issues with my feet (achilles issue, and arthritis in a toe) footwear is included in 'health expenses' - I cannot wear shoes unless they are firm, with a slight heel, and wide toe base, and I don't want to have my feet get worse! The other categories under health include if I needed some kind of thing for exercise or physio (maybe a new running shoe etc.). My wife is recovering from some serious medical issues this year, and if she needs anything related to her health, I consider it totally exempt from the No New rules.

Another exception this year is that we already decided to do some renovations to our condo, and the money is set aside for a specific list of renos and replacing our busted up couch etc. I consider this similar to 'already spent' and would not have it fall under the 'new stuff' category.

Gifts to others will need to be homemade or it is acceptable to give money.

Experiences are very okay. For example: travel, meals with friends, going to shows etc. are all fine. I will be trying, generally speaking, to minimize wasteful spending on convenience items like buying coffee out, unless it is linked to socializing or a personal date with myself i.e.: taking myself to a restaurant or coffee shop to work on my homework for work, (I'm learning new therapy protocols) or working on my goals or writing fun things etc.

I think the world is actually more thrifty and into sharing than it was when I did this challenge nine years ago (car sharing, BUNZ, etc.).

Another exception is that I am the absurdly lucky recipient of a lingerie allowance. I will allow myself to continue to make use of this generous gift by purchasing myself occasional new lingerie with my store credit. This seems reasonable because it is a gift, was pre-existing, and is something that requires proper fitting, and somethings I would not buy second hand, such as underwear.

Preparatory shopping for this year of nothing new was less pressured than in 2009. In fact, all I got on New Year's Eve, was a pair of good black tights and 3 bins to make storage in our freezer more organized! On Dec. 31st 2009 I was rushing around like a chicken with my head cutoff with last minute shopping (see here: video of my last sanctioned shopping spree for a year). I did shop for myself a lot in the last month, especially getting footwear mostly sorted - that priority announced itself after my achilles blow out. We'll soon enough see what I missed that I'll be longing for.

This year I don't want to be shopping because I'm trying to sooth myself or anesthetize boredom. I was noticing that a bit this year, an old bad habit to rebreak.

I'm really digging this time off work to start the new year in an intentional way, and take care of business, and have fun and say yes to parties, and and and.

It's late and I have delighted you long enough. More tomorrow.


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