No Buy 2020 Check-In || January

Monday, February 3, 2020
So I'm a month into my No Buy 2020 (if you don't know what I'm talking about, please head here for an update), and I wanted to make it a habit to come onto my blog and just chat about how I'm doing. The general consensus is: well! There are a few things I want to talk about today, but if you just wanted the tl;dr, then there you go. There's been some tough stuff, but it's going pretty well so far.

The first thing I want to talk about is something I noticed pretty early into the year. I have been decluttering a lot more since the end of 2019, and I've been letting go of even more stuff. I also re-arranged my entire study, and that's been feeling really good. I've actually been spending more time in my study as a result, and I love that. But what I noticed is this: I am even more excited to get to the books I already own than ever. Granted, I've had a few that I've realised I just didn't want to read, or had to DNF ("did-not-finish") part way through, but it's been a while since I've felt so excited to get to the books I had on my shelf, rather than always feeling like I needed to go buy something new, or at the very least borrow a few more from the library. I think this is partially a result of being more minimalist - I have less books overall, so I have cleared out the ones I am not interested in and been left with the ones I'm excited from (sorting the wheat from the chaff), but I definitely think this is also a side-effect of my No Buy rules, and here's why: once I felt like buying new books wasn't so much of an option, I started turning my focus to the ones I already had, instead of chasing the next new thing. It sounds so simple written out like that, but it really feels like that is true. And I found a gem on my shelf pretty early on: Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami absolutely surprised me by how much I loved it. While a few of the books I have read/decided not to read have immediately gone in the donations box, this one went straight back on my shelf, as I plan to reread it again fairly soon. How wonderful to discover this! I am also much more decisive about what books I want to keep on my shelf.

Another interesting change I've noticed (which, I will admit, is also influenced by a few other things I'm doing, like taking a break from Instagram) is that my focus is much better. I feel that I am returning to my late childhood/early-teen years when I was able to just sit and read for hours on end, only taking breaks to attain sustenance or use the bathroom. A few of my symptoms make this a little hard sometimes, but overall I think my focus is much better. How does this relate to my No Buy? Well, with spending money on things randomly not really being an option, I find I'm thinking about it less. And apparently I thought about spending money a lot. I find things still pop into my head on occasion, like 'it would be nice to go get a smoothie with Xin right about now, we haven't done that together in a while...' or 'I really could use a new pair of socks, my feet are cold' (honestly, Beth, just go get one of the pairs you already own!). Sometimes they're just flashes of feeling, that could coalesce into the desire for spending money. But I am much better at dismissing these little impulses, or noting them and then just continuing with what I was doing, than before. I wouldn't say my focus is perfect - absolutely not - but it's certainly a lot better. And that's bringing me joy, as I find I am reading more, or at least, really processing what I'm reading a lot better.

And the tough stuff? I'm still an emotional buyer/eater. I've had some times in January where I've felt really low, or upset about things, and my immediate desire is to eat something super sweet or super salty, or to go buy these things, and to use those to soothe myself somewhat. I'm still learning how to self-soothe without retail therapy or eating certain things (icecream is often a go-to for me), and it's really hard. I have times where I just can't get my mind off wanting a certain food, or feeling stuck in my emotions, but I think I'm getting just a little better at sitting with how I'm feeling and finding alternatives to going out and spending money. Some things that have worked: reading, re-watching something that I know makes me feel good, napping, and spending time with Pepper or Xin or both. These are all good techniques, I just need to remember them as options when I feel unsteady! Need to forge those new connections in my brain.

And that's my No Buy update for January! I'm pretty pleased with how I'm going, honestly. I'm still having some issues on occasion with remembering that I'm doing this challenge, but writing my No Buy rules into my bullet journal and regularly reading them over is really helping - plus I've told a few people that are usually around me when I want to spend money, so even if they don't remind me, my being with them kind of jogs my memory in a weird way, so that's helpful, too. 

I hope everyone had a lovely start to 2020, let's see how February goes!

Love to all who read.

1 comment:

  1. Watching urges is so interesting! You're doing incredible work honey.


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