I notice that my choices slowly change. Pretty often I find myself saying: I don’t really need that. And it is not necessarily the point of “can I afford it or not”. I just find that I don’t need it. It doesn’t make me happy, I don’t need it for food or shelter or enjoyment. I simply don’t need it. I am not craving shopping tours or the so called retail therapy. It is just not there. There is still enough money to spend on the necessities of life, but I am not going for the additional things I usually would go for. I still have a weak spot for books and I wasn’t completely consequent, but I also notice that I am more choosey than before.
We’ve been away for a weekend recently. Usually I am very tempted to buy some stuff from the locals or some little souvenirs or knick knack in the stores. This time it felt different. Since this weekend was a treat for both of us, I didn’t want to cut things too short. We found an affordable place via Airbnb near the river Rhine, bought some whine (from the locals 🙂 – although it was pretty difficult to find a winter who actually wanted to sell the wine… Lot to learn about marketing those lovely winters along the river…) We went out for dinner and drove around the beautiful scenery and had a dander through some of the small villages along the Rhine. We saw plenty of shops, but this time I didn’t feel the urge to buy anything. We bought one little souvenir for my mom and a little booklet for our next tour. And this was it. A bed, nice food, some whine and a beautiful scenery was enough. We didn’t need a “top up” via additional buys. I am finding it interesting to see how my perspective changes bit by bit.
Sorry for the long silence. I wasn’t sure what to write if the shopping diet is going well. There is an unnecessary e-book for less than 1 Euro here and there – and I already feel bad about it. I guess we spend a little more on food, since we started checking even more where it comes from. And I guess we are changing. Don’t want to say that too early, but I think we are becoming more grateful for the things we already have. I really don’t need all the things I have. I appreciate them, but I don’t need them. Yes, food, drink, shelter – a home, warmth, a bed, loved ones, work that is ever so precious. And I sometimes forgot about it. I am not a thankfulness guru now, but I want to get back to the point where I can manage with less and still be happy, maybe happier than before. Many Christians started giving up something because of lent. They don’t eat meat, don’t drink alcohol, don’t eat sweets, don’t go on the internet, don’t watch TV and so on. I skipped that this year, since I guess I chosen my “project” for this year. The funny thing is: I don’t really miss shopping. A colleague lately asked me: “what do you do if you have one of those retail-therapy-fits”. Guess what: I don’t have them. I liked shopping and I still like food shopping and researching things I need on the net. But I spend less time with it. I write extensive grocery shopping lists and then we work through that list, once we’ve got everything we think we need.
What I do notice is that I am reviewing certain parts of those lists. For example: where does the meat come from? If I don’t know it or think it wasn’t “happy” meat I am not going to buy it. (So we are hardly eating any right now). I know the perspective on that varies. Or: I am happy we found a source for “happy eggs” and can support a local farmer a little. We buy our flour at the nearest mill. These are only small steps to what I would like my life to become, but I think they are steps in the right direction. Once I am finished with one area and made a decision about it, I want to move on to the next one and decide that one. They will not always be as ecologic or organic or resourceful as I would like them to be, but I very much hope they will make a difference in my little world.
BTW: The thing with the meat leads to finding some really cool new vegetarian recipes and nice spices. For example, we just tried Macaroni & Cheese with cauliflower. Yum! With lovely cheddar cheese from a store here (no “happy” cheese though, but very tasty).