Yesterday, we were in TK Maxx, as one of my yoga teachers had found Manduka Eko Lite mats in her local one, for a third of the usual price, and I needed a new mat.
As my luck goes, they didn’t have them, so I was good to leave. My wife however went looking to see if there was any shorts she could get for our upcoming trip to Cambodia.
While she was browsing I was randomly wandering round the store, not looking at things, and that’s when I noticed that the majority of the people were raking through the rails like zombies on autopilot, and that’s when it struck me. They’re not looking for something they need, they’re looking till they SEE SOMETHING THEY WANT.
It’s almost like people are conditioned to buy to justify their existence.
“What did you do at the weekend?”
“I bought xxxx. What about you?”
“Oh, I bought YYY”
Work, shop, sleep, repeat.
The recent (relatively)painless dvd purge has got inspired to do the same thing with clothes. Specifically t-shirts, of which I have a ton. I’ve got a lot of band tour shirts (some dating back to the 80’s) which I keep but don’t wear, so really, what’s the point. Wear the damn things or stick them on ebay or the charity shop.
So that’s the next step in my plan. T-shirt cull.
Got yoga tonight straight from work. Think I need this class tonight, as I’ve not been feeling happy lately. I’m not on a downer exactly, but my mojo seems to have buggered off since it started getting dark earlier, and I’m struggling to motivate myself to do things I enjoy. Time for a mental re-boot on the mat.
So yesterday we bit the bullet and had a pretty massive dvd purge. Some will be going to the 2nd hand shop, any they don’t want will be going to charity, and some others will be going to a friend as she needs cheering up, and a bag full of comedy dvd’s will be a help.
At first I resented even having to choose which ones were going, as this is a collection that took years to make up, and there was a reason behind every purchase, but the weird thing is that once they were in the bags, I felt like a weight had been lifted. I actually felt better.
Thing I have to remember is that I want to go travelling in a few years, and you can’t fit a massive movie collection in a camper van, so it needs to be done.
Basically, I’m realising that attachment to “things” isn’t healthy, and brings psychic baggage. Ultimately, if I find I ever need or want to watch one of these movies again, they’ll be on Netfliz of Amazon or whatever streaming service I’m using, and I WILL be able to watch them.
So I’ve decided. I need to be brutal about clearing out. I need to squirrel away as much spare cash as I can. I don’t need stuff, I need to travel. I’m ultimately preparing for when I can stop work and start to travel, and I don’t need stuff holding me back.
Much as I love cd’s, I can listen to mp3’s. Yes, I’ll miss not being able to hold onto something tangible, but I won’t miss the clutter.
To get the ball rolling I’ve got some dvd’s and cd’s to take to the 2nd hand record store later.
It’ll be good to not be mentally bogged down by physical items.
The holiday to Bali seems like it was years ago, when in reality it was only 2 weeks ago I got back. I need to find the calm I had when I was there. I’m back to work and back to reality, and I don’t particularly like it. So I need to plan for my get away, and make that a priority.
I can’t wait until I’m too old and infirm to get away, I need to do it in the next few years.
So that’s Christmas and New Year out the way for another year (or as far as the shops are concerned, until September, when it’s deemed socially acceptable to start selling us Crimbo).
In a way I’m glad, because although I don’t consider myself that religious, I do find it pretty crass that the whole event has been reduced to a marketing ploy for shops to separate us from our money and give us stuff that to be honest we don’t really need or particularly want, in exchange.
The break from work was good, so I can’t complain about that. Managed to catch Rogue One and Passengers at the cinema, and had a couple of nice meals out.
Even gave the kilt another airing on Christmas day. It’s good to have an excuse to put it on, as it’s a lot of money to pay for a garment to just have it hanging in a wardrobe all year.
Not posted in a bit. Life’s been getting in the way.
So, I’ve done a load of gardening, and it’s starting to look a bit more civilised. Just need to keep on top of it.
The yoga class is on hold unless they can get another instructor, as the Iyengar teacher has decided there’s not enough of us attending to keep it going over the summer (it takes place in the gym in my work, and most people are currently on holiday). This is a bit odd, as she gets paid by the uni, so the numbers in the class won’t affect her money.
In the meantime, I plan to go in and do some yoga on my own in the mornings. I cycle in 4 days a week, so I’m in early anyway, and can get a session done before I shower and change for work.
I’ve also been trying mantra meditation again, to try and chill out a bit. I think I’m stressed as when I get up in the mornings, I’ve been feeling like I’m been clenching my jaw at night, so I probably do need to relax and not stress the little things.
I’m still trying to downsize and clear things out that I don’t need, but sometimes it’s hard. I need to try to be a bit more ruthless and just get rid. DVD to the 2nd hand shop, books to the 2nd hand book shop and/or the charity shop, and stop buying shit I don’t need.
Lately I’ve been thinking about life in general, and I’ve come to the conclusion that while my work life has got more interesting lately, I need to work on saving, as there’s more, much more to life that slogging away just to be able to pay for a couple of weeks abroad every year.
I’m determined that I’m not going to waste what’s left of my life, and I’m going to get out and do what makes me happy. So with that in mind, the de-cluttering continues, and once I’m back from the trip to Vietnam for my 50th, the saving begins. The more I can avoid spending on stuff that just clutters up my life, the more I’ll save to allow me to retire early. Very early. I’m not looking to have a vast sum, just enough to get by and not worry where the next meal is coming from.
This may sound unrealistic, but we all need a dream to aspire to, for if we don’t have that, what do we have?
….getting rid of stuff is hard, even though you haven’t used/worn it for <insert deity of choice> know’s how long. I discovered just how hard at the weekend. I went through a couple of drawers of t-shirts that I haven’t even opened in at least a year, unless it was to “archive” something. I pulled out each and every t-shirt, and about 75% of them made it back in unscathed. The old faithfuls that I wore to death, and in the case of my Jane’s Addiction shirt from the Ritual de lo Habitual tour is pretty much held together with blind faith, I put back in. The ones that went were all pretty much new and unworn. Things I’d bought on a whim because they were cool – don’t get me wrong, they still are – but never wore, as another “old faithful” got pulled out in their place.
I know it’s nuts. I’ve an original CBGB’s shirt that someone brought me back from NY about 15 years ago. You can almost see through it, that’s how worn it’s getting. Same with the t-shirt from the 1st Peterlee tattoo convention, which has also seen far better days, but these are what I’ve kept, and perfectly serviceable stuff that I’ve hardly worn (if at all) have found themselves consigned to the charity bag.
On the plus side, it’s a dent (however small) in the mountain of stuff I have to get rid off, and at least the PDSA will benefit.
I still have that second bag of dvd’s to take to the 2nd hand music/dvd shop. I also have to get more looked out and decide if I really need them.
Ok, I don’t need any of them, I’ll rephrase that. (a) Do I want them, and (b) realistically will I watch them again, and often enough to justify them taking up space?
Then there’s t-shirts that need clearing out too. They’ll go to the charity shop.
Books I’ve pretty much got down to an ok level and I’m happy with my kindle, but I could probably get rid of more if I put my mind to it. Again, charity shop.
As the seemingly never ending clearout goes ever on, I’ve set myself a challenge. To get rid of one thing – something substantial – every day for a month. Every day, find just one thing that I can put in a bag to go to the charity shop, and at the end of the month, take the bag and hand if over.
No editing, no mind changing. Once it’s in the bag it stays in the bag.