Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Clean living prevails (so far)

I have not run even one errand, in person or online, since Friday. Even though we have, in the time between, gotten down to our last half dozen eggs and are on our last two sandwiches worth of margarine. Even though my new Treo needs an extended battery, a car charger, a wireless headset and a solar charging thingee.

We have needed new swimming suits and socks. We’re out of pencils (of all things).

But clean living is, so far, prevailing. I have resisted popping into a supermarket real quick for a dozen (or so) eggs, or to pick up a tide-over tub of margarine. I’ve resisted going into the Dollar Store on my way to or from camp to grab more hair ties (my stash has dwindled down to three: a bright yellow one, a bright red one, and a black one). I’ve kept myself off the websites that tempt me, and instead merely made notes as the thoughts of Stuff We Absolutely Need have stuck me.

Funny how something as insane as running errands fifteen times a week is an easy habit to make…and a hard one to break. I just don’t think about what I’m doing as I veer into one parking lot or another. I just do it, and it’s only afterward when I’m running out of time for something else that I grouse about how much time was eaten by “those stupid errands.”

You’d think you’d have to force yourself to run errands all day long. You’d think you’d have to intentionally baste yourself with that crazy, marinate in it, pound it into your flesh before it would “take.”

But it just sort of happened. And now I’m finding it oh-so-hard a habit to break.

I’m going to break it. I refuse to be a slave to constant need-fulfillment demands. Besides, more than half of what goes down on the list is SO not a ‘need’. I've already saved over a hundred dollars purely because once I wrote it down, I realized that something either wasn't needed at all, or could be substituted with something we already had on hand.

Pausing long enough to have second thoughts: It's a good thing.

Onward and upward. I have a floor to find (everything that came out of the office or built-in ended up on the floor of my bedroom – it looks like a Public Storage shed barfed in here!).

Amazingly…I seem to have more time for these sorts of tasks, lately…


Senora Fuerte said...

In regards to everything being on the floor of your room, I have this fantasy that one day I will go through my apartment room by room and make a pile in the middle of the living room of everything that doesn't belong where it has been. I just want to see how big the pile would be and how nice everything would look without all of that stuff...

But I never have an entire weekend to make that huge of a mess and still have time to put it away somewhere else.

The fantasy has yet to be fulfilled, but since you are already halfway there, perhaps you can look at it as an opportunity rather than as a mess.

Lydee said...

I'm still with you on the "errand day" thing. I made monday my errand day. So I have my list, and so far so good....I don't know about those internet purchases though, I have been keeping them at bay for now, perhaps I should add them to my list too!

Here's to less impulse buying!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I'm working at far we've been doing pretty well. Forgot dog food, of all things, on yesterday's trip, but that's it. Pretty good for someone who can forget her own name at times! :-) Keep it up, girly!

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to live this way for the last 6 months or so. Originally I tried grocery shopping only once every two weeks, but part of this year's purge was getting rid of an extra (the 3rd full size) refrigerator. So it's groceries once a week, Target for "supplies" every other week. And yes, it works well. I've also eliminated a bunch of fake moneysavers. You mentioned the dollar store. I don't go in there because I invariably buy what I don't need in addition to what I did need. I'd rather just spend an extra few cents picking up only what I need at one of my two regular stops. Sometimes I pay a little more, but I figure I'm saving in gas & impulse buys, so it works out in the end. Good luck on the quest!

Amy Lane said...

I'm with you--I know that if I only clean my house, I'll have everything I ever thought I'd lost.