Create, Not Consume

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I have toyed with this idea before, but here goes. I'm gonna do it.  

January = Shopping Ban = 31 days of Creation

I need to break the twitch.  Happiness is not found in a new candle holder or dollar bin item from Target.  Even though JT and I have cleaned up the debt and pay cash for everything, I've noticed that there's still that impulse to buy.  Long day? Buy a book.  Feeling sick in bed? Buy more craft supplies.  Starving from not eating enough at work? Buy all the things from the deli department at Lunardi's.  

These puppies are budget busters and while we eventually aspire to not needing a budget because we are mindful consumers who only purchase things that will take care of us, while not expecting our happiness to come from things, I am just not there yet. 

Also, I found 27 blank canvases.

27.

Blank.

Canvases.

WTF.

Time to stop consuming and start creating. 

Obviously my soul is trying to tell me something.  Something that sounds approximately like "HEY, YOU  NEED TO CREATE! HEY! YOU!" I mean right? Why else would I have been drawn to purchase so many craft supplies? I mean, it's not like I'm out buying car repair supplies.  My soul doesn't need to repair a car, it needs to paint.  JT, on the other hand, well, his soul NEEDS to repair cars, but he's not out buying canvases.  So if you're noticing you have a plethora of one type of item at home, maybe ask your soul what it's trying to tell you.  

As for the experiment, here are my guidelines:

Replace

Household items  (toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.)

Food staples (steer clear of the fancy, ridiculous $14 a serving items)

Make due

If a pair of socks wear out, I still have 10 other pairs to wear

If I use up my acrylic paints, I still have 4 other craft projects to finish

Do Without

No new books, I have 20 to finish reading as it is

No new movies/tv shows on Amazon Prime - finish Riverdale or Jane the Virgin, watch a DVD

No new music  - import from my spare hard drive some of the thousands of songs I already own, or listen to Pandora

Move and Create

If the urge to buy hits, I'm going to walk it off or paint it off.  Each day I will work on or complete a painting or some other craft project (stamp, beer, candle, and room spray making supplies are on hand, as well as some macrame cord...that should keep me busy).  If I do choose to consume things I already own, i.e. TV episodes and books, I will do it mindfully and preferably with JT so that it's not just consumption, but rather an experience. 

I'm making this easier on myself by removing my debit card information from Amazon and Google Express, removing the shopping apps from my phone, and staying out of everything but a grocery store. 

You guys....the power of marketing is strong. Just typing the above sentence, my mind started saying "but what about your Mom's birthday? What if you hang out with friends and they want to go to an antique store? Can't we schedule 3 cheat days?"  Wow.  I mean all that literally popped into my head in the space of 2 seconds.  Gross.  

Would any of you like to play along? To have a month of mindfulness around spending? To revel in the ridiculous amount of wealth and stuff we already possess? To practice being content? To enjoy the bounty heaped upon us at Christmas? The create instead of consume?

Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

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