Saving my money, but “spending” my time

080402 shopping cart cupholders
Photo by Dan4th

Have I ever mentioned that I am addicted to shopping? Not just casual shopping, either, but walk-up-and-down-every-aisle shopping? Yeah. I am… and I really need to kick the habit.

We spent months before our trip getting rid of stuff so Greg could move in. We made multiple trips to Goodwill, had a garage sale, gave things away, and returned stuff to its rightful owners. However, we still have way too much. There are piles of stuff in my bedroom and office. My closet and dresser are filled. There are scrapbooking supplies in boxes all over the craft room floor. (The photos and memorabilia are stacked in boxes which have been stash-and-dashed into Quinland’s bathroom.)

Obviously, there is nothing in the world that I actually need.

But, you must remember, this is an addiction, and ever since I got home, I have been craving a trip to Goodwill. (The only thing that gives me a greater-than-normal shopping rush is getting a good deal while I am at it – and if I am also reusing something, all the better for the world.) I told myself that I didn’t need anything, but my addicted self told me right back that I was just going to look, not buy.

I held out for exactly four days.

Last night, I took Quinland on a little shopping expedition to Goodwill and Value Village. I did more than look. (My addicted self is a liar.) At Goodwill, I bought three books – one for myself, one for Q, and one for a gift – and a yoga mat. At Value Village, I bought Q some stuff for her Halloween costume and bought myself a picture frame. Not too bad, and I could rationalize the need for most of it – but still, not necessary.

Worse yet, it unleashed a shopping monster within me. Today, I went to T.J. Maxx (where I didn’t buy anything) and K-Mart (where I got Q the thumb drive she needs for school). Yes, I am proud of myself for not bringing unneeded stuff into the house. But even though I didn’t buy anything, I’m still frustrated with myself, because I wasted an incredible amount of time for nothing. Yes, I enjoyed myself. I love the act of shopping as much as I do the act of purchasing stuff. But I have much better things to do with my time.

Much Better Things I Could Do With My Time:

  • Hang out with my family
  • Find my keys
  • Sort through paperwork
  • Work on the travel blog
  • Do some scrapbooking
  • Visit with friends

See what I mean? Any of these – and I could go on and on with the list – would be more useful and/or enjoyable than shopping for nothing!

How about you? Do any things recently you later regretted? Have a list of ways you would rather be spending your time? Feel free to chime in and let me know that I am not alone!

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful for the gorgeous sunshine we have been having this week. It’s by far the best weather we have had all summer!

I can’t find my keys

Photo by Bohman

I can’t find my keys.

Not in the “I put them down somewhere and I can’t remember where” way. No, I literally can’t remember what I did with them when I left home in March.

Did I put them somewhere safe?

Did I leave them in whichever purse or bag was the last one I used?

Did I leave them with a trusted friend? (If I did, and you read this, Trusted Friend, I’m ready to take them off your hands.)

It’s not a big deal right now; David found his keys, so we can still come and go as we please. But next week, when I go back to work, I will need them!

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful that Quinland has such good friends. It has been such a treat for her to come home and be with them again.

Patient and systematic…

Unstaged shot from my bedroom door. Typical of the current state of every room upstairs.

I am overwhelmed by my home.

For some reason (ha!), I had completely blocked out the fact that, when I left for Europe, I left my home a complete disaster. Imagine my surprise when I walked through the door to find… everything exactly as I had left it. Piles of things we had been debating bringing with us (since we packed at the last minute). Piles of things we had planned to deliver or donate or deal with before time ran out. Piles of things.

Yeah. A complete and total disaster. Why did fairies not appear in my absence and take care of all my clutter? I will never know.

In the meantime, of course, our suitcases have exploded six months’ worth of stuff here, there, and everywhere. Putting that away is a challenge in and of itself.

I’ve been trying to ward off the imminent panic attack by repeating this mantra: “Patient and systematic. Patient and systematic. Patient and systematic…”

I have to be patient. The stuff is not going to vanish overnight, unless I take David’s suggestion and pile it in the yard and burn it. No, every little thing has to be dealt with. It is going to take some time. But if I don’t do it – if I avoid it, as I would like to do, by reading about my new MS diet – it will undermine the peace I brought home with me. So I am taking care of things, a little at a time.

I also have to be systematic. It’s hard to know what to do first when every single surface is screaming for attention, and the pressure can make me want to throw up my hands and give up. So I have decided to start at the front of the house and work my way through, room by room, systematically. Find the next out-of-place thing and deal with it. Put it away, give it away, throw it away. Rinse. Repeat.

I have a week before I have to go back to work. Will I get done in a week? No. I have to admit that I won’t, as much as I wish it could happen. But I will make progress, every single day.

Patiently and systematically.

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful to have my family here. I know I am not as much fun as I could be (since I have the whole overwhelmed-by-my-home thing going on and all my time is taken up with being patient and systematic) but I am so glad to see them.