Your Money or Your Life?

Remember the popular book by that name a few years ago? Recently I was perusing their website when this phrase slapped me: "what’s actually going on when we are overbusy, overspending, overeating – and overwhelmed – and how we can get back to “enough” when it’s all too much…"

I ruminated on that phrase as I shelled out $280 for an overpriced fruit juice guaranteed to cure all. It lurked in the back of my mind as I spent $125 for a set of Copic markers that complemented the several dozen markers I already own. I pondered it standing in line at the supermarket - the few "essentials" I picked up totaled $139 and some change. Of course, there's nothing wrong with any of those expenditures, but none of them bought me what I really wanted.

I wanted health. Most reasonable people know that health is purchased at a cost of exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, and a handful of medical screenings for early detection. Most reasonable people know that a daily dose of juice won't replace any of those other things.

I wanted to express creativity. For me, creativity ranges from "making cute stuff" to communicating an inner emotion using everyday items in unusual ways (that kind of "art" is never blog-worthy when I do it, but its fun for me anyway) Granted, a certain number of tools are required for crafting projects, but I have cupboards stuffed with enough supplies for a millennium-long outpouring of creative expression.

I wanted to fill my refrigerator with a selection of goodies to satisfy any appetite. For goodness sakes, two fat adults shouldn't be spending either money or time satisfying their food cravings. What was I thinking?

Obviously, I wasn't thinking. I was reacting. So, I have a plan to stop the over-consumption that is robbing me of time and peace-of-mind. I'm going on a 28 day "Enjoy What I Already Own" challenge. As part of the challenge, I'm not buying anything except the most basic materials needed for a quality life. Clearly, the phrase "quality life" lends itself to interpretation. My plan is to buy nothing from any store, except a grocery store.

At the grocery store my plan is to only buy the absolute essentials necessary to make meals using food in my freezer or cupboard. I'm certainly not giving up butter, wine, or toilet paper, but since I have a few cases of each of those things, my shopping list should be quite minimal. No clothes, books, magazines, hair gadgets, art supplies, cleaning supplies, etc. I already have enough of everything and I want to enjoy what I own.

I hypothesize that if I don't spend a single second shopping online, in stores, in magazines etc., then I will find the time I need to enjoy a better quality of life. That's my challenge, and I'm totally jazzed about it.