Yesterday I was forced to really examine my New Year’s resolution of not buying anything new for one whole year. I recently shared that the two umbrellas I own broke, leaving me with no real umbrella to shied me from the wet stuff that regularly falls from the sky here in NYC. Yesterday I trekked out in the rain with one of said umbrellas only to get to my friend’s home soaked and grumpy (really grumpy).
The point of my resolution was to create more awareness of what I have and how much I spend and waste each year. Would it be possible to build up my savings account if I didn’t buy anything new and unnecessary for one year? Would I develop a greater appreciation for the things I already have? Would there be anything I found myself actually needing? Would I be able to genuinely wear things out, warranting new purchases? Would I be able to note when and why I shop? Would I finally be able to pinpoint what emotions, events, and challenges lead me to make purchases? Would I be able to identify what holes I try to fill in with new things and what stuff I cover up by distracting myself with shopping, purchasing, and enjoy new stuff? These are all questions I entered into this resolution with. This resolution was not about making myself miserable, a little financial recovery and soul searching was all I was hoping for, maybe a little more happiness and peace as well.
My friend left wet me with her toddler while she went to her writing group yesterday. During the little one’s nap I spent some time reflecting on the practicality of my resolution. “Perhaps moderation is the key,” I thought to myself. In a city where it rains and snows and I have to walk outside to get from Point A to Point B an umbrella is a necessity, not a luxury. Depriving myself of things I need, unnecessarily, is just plain stupid. I may not melt when wet, but it sure does make me cold and miserable. When my friend returned from her writing group she presented me with a new umbrella. It is a beautiful umbrella; it was an even more beautiful gesture. My resolution was kept, but at what cost?