I’m just back and finished unpacking after my two day trip down island to visit some old friends. Nate and I had a really nice time and other than about 25 minutes with a screaming infant in the back seat, the 500+ kms of driving were remarkably uneventful.

But alas this post is not about my trip…but in answer to a question posed by my friend Rachel on Friday during out visit. I guess you could call it a “confession” moreso than an “answer”. Her question was deceptively simple…. “How are you doing in the “stuff” department?”

Very good question. Not so great answer.

Because this post is obviously designed for me to beat myself up and for you to jump in with placating comments such as “Don’t worry – I have “stuff” issues too!” or “Really, that doesn’t sound that bad to me!” or even better “Don’t beat yourself up – you totally need that *insert random “stuff” here*!!”. I will start with the good, move on to the bad and end with the ugly.

Good Stuff:

  • I am getting much better at eating what I buy, so less food goes to waste
  • I am working on reducing my number of personal care products to the basics (which might be more difficult if I had mroe than 2 mins to spend on my personal care every day! LOL
  • I am still getting rid of clutter in my house – I’m going to be holding a garage sale next month and I’ve also been Freecycling up a storm

Bad Stuff:

  • Scrapbook “stuff” totally lures me in. I can’t resist. But at least my spending (and thus my consumption) is tempered by the limits of my monthly allowance. Before Christmas Dale and I implemented monthly allowances of $100/month for fun “stuff”. But I must admit my account was also padded with some birthday cash from generous family members. So I haven’t really felt too much of a pinch.
  • I have also succumbed to a few cute baby things that were new – not used. Namely some JOE onesies, summer one-piece jumpers and a spring jacket for my little man. And two new sleepers at Costco (See below).
  • And while we’re talking baby “stuff” I should probably mention the high chair (new…not used) and the rubbermaid bins for storing outgrown baby “stuff”.
  • Then there is Costco, that giant mecca of consumerism. Luckily I have to drive over an hour to get there, so I can’t shop frequently, but every time I’m there “stuff” ends up in my cart. Ok, ok…so I PUT stuff in my cart. Stuff like a new hanging file cart for my scrap room (to better organize my scraps since I’m not buying new paper) or new scrapbooks (they were cheap…really) or two new running tops (since I’m working out 4 days a week now) or two new books for Nate (because you can never have too many books, right?) or some really cute chipboard (that allowance was just burning a hole in my bank account, and I thought it was only $9.99, although apparently I missed the “1” in front of that….). Anyway, I think you get the point. TOO MUCH STUFF!

Ugly Stuff:

Yep…it gets worse! My most awful and guilt-ridden purchase since deciding to reduce the stuff in my life is a stroller. A stroller. Really. You might be wondering what could be so awful about a stroller. Especially when it was bought used – which it was. But the thing is…I didn’t really need it. Sure, I’ll use it. And it goes with our infant car seat, which will be useful for the next baby (no further comment on that one!).

But even as I was handing over a wad of cash far too large to be paying for a used stroller, I was thinking in my head about how I didn’t really need it. And then I went home and fibbed lied to my husband about how much I paid for it. I have never lied to Dale before about how much I spent of something. Never. Until now.

Now before you get all stressed out about my fessing up on the web…I’ve already come clean with Dale (thanks to my guilty conscience and some gentle urging from a friend). And Dale being the most wonderful husband in the world let me off the hook waaaaay too easily and even told me to keep the stupidly expensive yet oh-so-lovely used stroller. But this whole episode has just proven to me that for all my good intentions I really do have a problem with “stuff”. I love to shop and I shop when I’m bored and I shop even more when I’m bored and lonely. And I really, really need to get over it.  Because after all – it’s just STUFF!

I just don’t know how. Is there a shopaholics anonymous or something? At least there is nowhere to go but up. I hope!

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