Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Balance

It really does feel like summer is drawing to an end and we keep having fresh thoughts and ideas for the future, what to stop, what to start and what to continue (yes, I know I sound like a corporate team bonding session).

One thing that has really stood out for me is the amount of constraints we put upon ourselves. In the past it was important for us to rationale think things so we didn't feel deprived when we couldn't do things. Now these rules don't apply in quite the same way. This isn't just about clothes but clothing is a good example.

We are constrained by things like money - we only have a certain amount and that won't move, we're constrained by the fact I won't buy silk or leather, that won't move. But I don't have to constrain myself (as I usually do) by thinking I won't buy something just because of where it's from or how much costs, I can be open minded about it. 

8 or 9 years ago I started sorting our house out, it was a tip. I kept all manner of junk and didn't stop buying. It took an age to clear stuff out and now I am always kind of happy when I talk about only owning 48 items of clothing. Thing is, it's not a good thing these days. We do more and no, it doesn't matter what I wear as long as my body is covered up. But it's nice to think I'm wearing something that suits the occasion so I look and feel like I'm making an effort just in the same way that I want to wear the right clothes if I'm off tramping up a hill. 

We have constraints but some are more important than others. We discussed the next five years, assuming things stay the same, it seems to make sense. A lot of it is just plodding along - the savings are the savings, the costs are the costs give or take. Forcing ourselves to be extra frugal stay in a cave collecting lint is not where we are. We've done that and now we want to live a bit. We've missed big games and nights out, we've not shared the happiness of a wedding or a big birthday celebration, we've gone without and all that stuff. It was when it was a necessity. Now it would just be doing it for the sake of it and no amount of being mortgage free or having an extra hundred quid in the bank trumps spending time with folk and "creating memories" because we won't be here forever, people go and not necessarily when they should. The phrase "you never know what's around the corner" is not all about preparing for the future, it's about being here now too.  

So the question remains, where do I get clothes that won't make me look like a child, a slapper or a cushion cover (if I have to choose I'll go for slapper).

4 comments:

  1. I'm sure you'll know what you want to wear when you see it and if it fits - buy it! Most of my clothes are from the charity shop but I know that second hand clothes are not everybody's cup of tea. Who cares if you look like a child or a slapper. Don't do the cushion cover fashion yet though!
    Love from Mum
    xx

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    1. Thanks Mum.

      I think I need to just go and look but it's soooo boring! Dan is great at finding stuff for me though (he doesn't look at the price tags!) so I know something will show up somewhere.

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  2. Humm, my comment went missing!
    Hello!
    I see what you mean about rationalising decisions, I had to do that a lot with my health, take self-care first, so I didn't feel deprived of a social life.

    I think you raise a great point about contraints too. Like you saw with my recent food experiment, it wasn't necessary for budget reasons, but it helped me see what is possible if I put my mind to it.

    I think constraints are only useful if they teach you something about who you are or what you like, or even show you a better way to do something. That's the value for me in these experiments, I don't know if you feel the same?

    But decluttering and other experiments are only as good as the gifts they give us in return, more time with family, friends, or less stress etc. That's the real value of them, and if they don't add value like that, then we can think whether we want to keep a new lifestyle change.

    Owning less clothes has been great for me, but sounds like you don't have many items that make you feel good, so then it's worth buying more, replacing the not-so-loved items.

    Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hello, thanks so much for dropping by, I appreciate your input.

      It's not so much that I don't love the stuff I have just that life is changing and what I have is not wholly appropriate for what we're doing more of these days. For bodding about, wandering on the beach and all the regular stuff I have plenty to choose from. But those evenings out that keep cropping up not so much.

      I'm going to look for a few things that will work hard. I don't have the space, money or desire to keep shopping for new things all the time!

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