Good morning and happy Tuesday! I hope that everyone is having a very beautiful and thankful November. This morning I have a cup of white rose tea with a dollop of raw cream honey. I am sitting by my book case as it is one of the happiest spaces in my apartment. To me, there is something so calming about sitting in front of a collection of books, especially books that I cherish. I hope that wherever you are that you have a small space that evokes the same sense of happiness and calm that my bookcase provides for me.
My “Thankfulness November” experiment is going well, although not perfect. First, let me confess my failure: I did break down and buy a new coloring book on Friday, although I cannot find any regret for the purchase. I have already spent a few hours coloring myself calm with my watercolor pencils. When I come home form work or wake in the morning I turn on some music and color away. In fact, I might start including coloring into my morning routine as I did this morning. It felt great! This experiment has had me thinking more about the value of what I buy. If it contributes to my everyday life it has value. If its just a distraction or an emotional purchase, I am better off without.
There has been some success that I am proud to report back on. When in the grocery store I simply remind myself “only necessities,” and I have cut not just my spending, but my time in the store. It has already contributed to my time account (the amount of time I have in my day for doing what I love). This experiment is not just about appreciating what we already have or saving more money, although those are great side effects to a month of no-spending, it is also about saving time.
Time is our most valuable resource. Like money, we only have so much of it, but unlike money, the ways which we spend it have a direct impact on our wellbeing and long-term happiness. It is easy to pick up a new article of clothing or a book or game and think, it’s just X-amount of dollars. But when you change your thinking to the item costing x-amount of your time to earn (example: “To pay for this item I have to work 5 hours to pay for it.”) it has an impact on how you spend your hard earned time. If life is measured by hours and spending money takes away from those hours then essentially we are spending our own life energy on material items that won’t contribute to our happiness.
As a result of the project I have been able to put away more money for our wedding and when I needed to replace some of my camera lighting equipment I was able to pay for it without the stress. During my lunch breaks I have been able to spend less time at the grocery store/book store/ etc. and more time going for walks in the park, taking photographs around town, and talking to loved ones on the phone. After work I am able to go right home instead of running errands that used to seem urgent, but are now simply time-wasters.
I am thankful for my cozy apartment and for the warm winter sweaters that I already have. I am thankful that I have what I need to feel warm and safe and loved. I am thankful for the amazing local libraries and for good music that kick starts my morning commute to work. Today what are you thankful for? If you have started a thankfulness project of your own I would be happy to hear about it.
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