(Written on February 8th, 2019)

Note: Posts on this blog have a “written on” date because we do not have internet or a computer at home, so I first write the posts in a journal and transfer them to the blog when I have access to a computer!

So far, my favorite part of the shopping ban is the clarity. My decision making process is so much simpler because if it requires buying something it is a hard “no.”

For example, my daughter and I had the car the other day. We have one car, and my husband usually takes it because we access to bike paths and a free trolley to get around. But we got the car that day and I felt this sudden joy and thought,”I can get so much done!” Well, an hour before this I told my husband all I needed to purchase that day was Kleenex for the family head cold. We got that done at 9am before we even took him to work, so I was left to ponder, “Do I actually need to get anything done or go to any stores?” I did need to go to the Post Office, but after that we went home to play because stopping by my favorite Goodwill made no sense on the shopping ban. Clarity. My mind didn’t waste precious minutes wondering what might be at Goodwill, because I needed nothing. Better yet, my daughter was not dragged through another store to discover all her “needs” as we pass toys, treats, etc. I am setting her up to succeed by avoiding consumption situations. Of course kids want everything they see!!! But what if they don’t see it? Then it doesn’t exist!

The whole month of December I did not set foot in Walmart or Target with my children. Christmas season has become sick with consumption, and I knew taking them there would lead to discontent hearts and screaming. So instead we had a lovely month of family time enjoying what we already had.

Adults are no different. We have to set ourselves up to succeed. How many stops in our day are unnecessary? How many times do we spend money to feel productive and check off our to-do list that doesn’t even need to be done?

Clarity. I am grateful today for clarity that comes from knowing what I need and knowing what I don’t.