It’s almost lent – the year is rushing past, I can’t believe my last post was about Christmas!
Traditionally Lent is a time when people of a certain persuasion try and give something up for 40 days. No matter what your religious views are this time of year is a good excuse to give something new a try – whether it’s taking up something you’ve never tried before or giving a go at life without something.
Most years I give up chocolate and buying books. If you know me you’ll realise that not only is this a trial but it does save me a considerable amount of money – not to mention the effect it has on my piles of “books to be read” but this year I’m going to try something different.
I’m not going to buy anything. At all. Ish.
I am going to resist all new gadgets, domain name, flashy camera accessories, book and must-have do-hickies for the next few months.
I have everything I want, so why do I buy things? I have a wardrobe full of clothes (ok, 3), a house full of gadgets – is there really anything so spectacular that will appear in the next 40 days that I will just be unable to live without?! Even I, the most optimistic technology-lover in the world can’t believe that.
Why am I doing this? I wax lyrical about how I’m fed up by the advertising industry assuming I’m their slave, to be manipulated into buying everything new and shiny, by being made to feel that what I have isn’t good enough – and that is all true but quite frankly I also would rather like to save some money after the fun I had over Christmas and the joys of paying for my summer holiday in January!
There is another reason – I want to enjoy the things I have – I have an xbox game that I played for a weekend then haven’t touched because I bought another one and I’ve been playing instead. Acquiring new things doesn’t necessarily increase your happiness, it just points it in a new direction that may not be necessary at all.
So here are my rules
1. I really DO need a new memory card for my camera, I’m going to Rome for a long weekend and not being able to take as many photos as I want would be criminal – that I’m allowed to buy
2. No randomly buying things I want today just so I don’t buy them next week, that’s cheating
3. Try and not order £3+ hot chocolate in Starbucks when I really do prefer the £1.50 Chai Tea
And the get out clauses –
1. If I NEED – truly NEED something then that’s ok – i.e. fixing my house if it falls down
2. Gifts as needed
3. if I NEED something for my trip to Rome later this month then that may be allowed to slip though
What is not covered:
1. Food – but try and be sensible girl,
2. Buying food and drinks whilst out
As my good friend Anthony often says to me, in his wonderful Scottish accent “What do you want Amy? What do you actually want? And is that what you NEED?”
So what do you think? Am I crazy? Do you think this is a bad idea – or do you think that perhaps, just perhaps having less crap in your life might help you focus on the things that need doing? Give me your thoughts, rants and ideas in the comments. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated 🙂