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Entries in challenge (2)

Monday
Jan142013

Buy nothing update

The challenge has begun. I can't really say it's begun entirely smoothly. It's interesting how many times I've caught myself starting to type amazon.co.uk into the address bar, and how many times I've then thought "Well, how do I waste this time now then?".

Actually, that has come as quite a shock. Turns out that browsing Amazon is one of my grade A procrastination measures. Heh. 

I've also kind of broken the rules twice already. I bought a new pair of running shoes on special offer, when my current ones should be good for at least another 4 months. And after running in the cold and the rain on Saturday I bought a pair of warm compression shorts. I'm going to get rid of a different pair I have which leave me with rubbed patches, but it's a bit of a cheat at best. 

I'm still wasting a certain amount of time reading bag reviews too. I have this idea that I will splurge a little on my perfect backpack, and not have to think about bags again for 10 years plus (and before you say this is ridiculous, it's kind of worked for bikes). I want a backback, around 18-20l capacity, some pockets for organising stuff, preferably a pocket for my iPad and at a pinch my 15" Macbook Pro. Ideally there should be space for a water bottle, and a nice large internal section that I can put my Eagle Creek 15" folder into for one bag travel. At the moment I'm leaning towards the Tom Bihn's Synapse, probably in black. The GoRuck bags have caught my eye, but the sizing is not there, the price tag is enormous and the overt military/American theme is a little offputting for this Brit! 

The nice thing here is that I'm not actually intending to buy any of them imminently. I can really enjoy the searching (hello Carryology!), the reading reviews, the refining of what I need, knowing that actually I have a bag that's doing pretty well right now and I'm just playing. It's one of my favourite parts of buying stuff anyway, so I shall just choose to revel in it for a little longer than normal. (If anyone knows of a British company making nice bags, please let me know! I seem to be having some difficulty finding them...)

So, it's started, but not entirely well. Fingers crossed for better efforts from here on in. 

Friday
Nov232012

A pause

In posting, clearly! I got another sinus infection this week. First for a couple of months though, and I've been happily running and riding a lot until this week. Even now, the infection stayed put in my sinuses, and I don't have a cough or streaming nose (although interestingly I was still left totally unable to concentrate - apparently that isn't mucus-related!). 

But actually, I meant in the buying of stuff. Earlier I was noodling around on Twitter (as I do far too frequently), when Adam Greenfield made one of his infrequent entrances and we had the following discussion: 

His challenge was to make 2013 a "buy nothing" year. My reaction (other than a bit of quibbling as I thought this through) was "no way I could do that". Since that's the kind of reasoning that got me into running marathons, this was never going to end well

So, next year, I'm going to try and buy as little as I can. Naturally, there will be exceptions. I've had a preliminary stab, and here's the list I'm going to start with:

  1. Food and drink. This includes random coffees, snacks, meals out etc. 
  2. Tickets for things. Gigs, visits, etc. This isn't about staying in and saving all my cash for a year.
  3. Work stuff. Mostly, I anticipate this is going to be posters and the like.
  4. Replacement stuff, when things break/wear out. For example, my running shoes are going to hit 500 miles sometime around the middle of next year I reckon. They may be fine, they may need replacing.
  5. Presents for other people. Come on, I can't not buy presents. Although I am trying to find non-physical ways to do this. No point just generating clutter for other people!
  6. Stuff to finish projects (zips, thread, buttons etc.) Note that this does not include stuff to start new projects. Time to use up the stash. I have more than enough wool for a year of knitting and sewing (although I may cheat and buy myself one projects' worth before January). 
  7. Kindle fun reading - but only once I've read the unread books that are around. I know there's a few. Actually, at the moment I'm rereading a Kindle book because I couldn't decide which sample I wanted (and Robert Penn is right - it is all about the bike).

This ties in really nicely with my decluttering kick at the moment. I waste so much time looking at stuff I could buy, and hopefully that will cut that out too. Really, I have more than all the stuff I need (I think I have 30 short-sleeved t-shirts for goodness sake! I could wear one a day for a month, and that's not even starting to look at the long sleeved, the running tops, the vests...). I also think I have built in quite a lot of leeway in my rules, so I hope I don't just "justify" my purchases. 

It's going to be a challenge, but I think it's one worth trying. January, bring it on!