Nothing New November – The Journey Begins

Okay, so I am a little impulsive. It is a part of my personality (disorder) and I am working on it.

Spontaneity may be considered an asset…but impulsivity? Not so much.

Most of my impulsivity roots in a desire to change the way that I feel. I experience an intense emotion and rather than just sitting with that feeling and accepting it, or waiting for it to pass, I need to DO SOMETHING to change the way that I feel.

In my life, I have used drugs, alcohol, food, relationships, moving, exercising, and traveling to change the way that I feel.

Oh, and SHOPPING. (They call it “retail therapy” for a reason.)

I am now sober (14 years – a good start), eat healthfully, and exercise moderately. My children and I have lived in the same house for 3 years, and in the same city for 7 years. I am single and in a healthy relationship with myself (and God).

But, like most Americans, I still have a problem with buying stuff that I just don’t need.

The New Yorker Cartoon Bank

My mom always says to “use what you have” and “play with the stuff you have” when it comes to decorating and life in general.

This is great advice for me, and for a culture that has adopted a disposable mentality. Our planet is in environmental crisis due to waste and over consumption. We need to start thinking, doing, and buying DIFFERENTLY.

As with most things, the change must start with me. So…..I am going for it. I am committing to not buying anything NEW for a while.

Sound extreme? Sweden just opened the first ever RECYCLED SHOPPING MALL. Pretty amazing and inspiring. Check it out.

I am really excited about this exercise. It will increase my mindfulness, decrease my contribution to global waste, save money for cool experiences and good causes, and inspire creativity for me and my children.

I am not going to be crazy about it…if I have to buy something new, I will try to make sure it is a CONSCIOUS purchase from a company that is trying to make a difference. (Like bamboo toilet paper from Who Gives A Crap, and Biodegradable Bandaids from All Terrain)

The point is not deprivation. The point is having appreciation for the things that I already have and taking care of those things. I plan to enjoy the process and have fun with it. Maybe other people will feel inspired to do the same and maybe we can all make a difference.

If I need something like a tablecloth, or a sweater, or a new set of drinking glasses, then I can head to eBay, Craigslist, the local thrift shop, flea market, or consignment store to find something fun and vintage that has a lot of life left in it (and character).

There is a lot of COOL STUFF out there.

My goal is to embark on this journey for long enough to make it feel significant, maybe a year? I would love to say that I am going to do it for a year, but rather than set myself up for failure, I will just start with a month. It’s going to be a Nothing New November.

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