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Ch…ch…ch…changes…..Here comes the FALL.

October 5, 2011

I LOVE Autumn.  The change in the weather.  The use of layers of clothes.  Warm mugs of tea.  In contemplating the joys of this season, I’m realizing that there are good lessons that come from the change in seasons.  We had an all-city black out early September and it was one of the most amazing evenings of my life.  The sound of neighbors meeting each other and sharing food with each other rang throughout the neighborhood.  When I asked my students what they thought of the blackout, each have shared positive experiences of what happened in their neighborhoods.  Some people even shared that we should have a blackout again!  😉

That one event set the tone for me as the last of 2011 stares me in the face.  This season moves very quickly and it’s time to take the lessons of  Fall to the next level.  Time to shed a few things and get down to basics.  I have been looking at the hurdles in my life and realizing how connected they all are.  The blackout made me realize that there are very few things  I need to survive and to thrive.  The financial climate is definitely affecting me personally, especially by way of  realizing where I am on that subject.  It’s surprising how interwoven my financial health is with EVERYTHING in my life, including my spiritual life.  It’s time to make some serious changes.  NOW.

Hurdle: CELL PHONE BILL.  The cell phone bill was getting RIDICULOUS.  I was finding myself getting stressed out every time my BB (Black Berry) piped up that I had received an e-mail or a new post of FB or Twitter.  It was affecting my sleep patterns and pretty much ruling my overall health.  Silly little electronic umbilical cord.  The web browser was spotty most the time and the only truly cool thing about this device that worked most of the time was the GPS, except in Oregon.  It got me lost in Portland trying to get me to drive across a freeway by way of a dead end.  😦

So, I changed the cell plan down to a talk & text only one and had to change devices, given the new silly law about requiring a data plan when using a “smart” phone.  It took about an hour and a half, but I only had to cough up whatever cash I had left for the week out the door (and not a single debit or credit card charge to me!).  Small sacrifice for a HUGE return of RELIEF.  Oh!  They also bought back my BB for a small return, but the credit helped IMMENSELY.

Hurdle: FOOD BUDGET.  I don’t eat out as much as I used to.  At least, I do my very best to not eat out, unless I’ve budgeted the cash to do it.  Most of the time, I’m grateful there are groceries in the house and lots of food I can eat, so I am taking a huge liking to “brown bagging” it and bringing food I’ve prepared myself.  There’s something therapeutic about making my own food and it also helps me to see what’s going into my body.  One of the other things that’s been helping me out is actually sitting down and enjoying my meal.  I’m seeing myself getting full and not eating as much as I would if I was sitting at my desk and working simultaneously.

Hurdle: ORGANIZING STUFF.   The cost of gas is somewhat stabilizing (at this minute, anyway) around $3.67/gallon, but I know that I cannot afford to drive everywhere for one or two things.  So, in the quest to make sure that what I need isn’t something I already have, I’ve been cleaning up and going through the mountains of things, both at work and at home.  I realize that the less stuff I have, the more aware I am of what is available for my use.  I’m also organizing things to fit in spaces that make sense to me, so that when I need a certain item, I can FIND it and not have to do a panicked shopping spree to replace it.  Planning out shopping trips and writing down what I need has also helped me to not over spend.

Cleaning out my closet is next on my list of things to do because (YAY!) it’s Autumn and I don’t want to do as much laundry as I’ve done before.  I’ve gone down to 9 pairs of shoes (WOOHOO!) and now it’s time to trim off my wardrobe.  One of the things my girlfriends and I have done is what is called a “trunk show”.  Every lady goes through their things and pulls out clothing, jewelry, shoes that they no longer use.  We bring it all to one central location, organize it all into categories and then we shop through each others things, taking home whatever we want out of each others treasures.  Whatever is left over is taking immediately to the Salvation Army or Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul.  THIS particular event was a hit the first time we did it, but now I’m thinking I’d like to do this with books, DVDs or CDs.  A media swap would be AWESOME.

The importance of being aware of my decisions has come to a point where I’m realizing the need to be intentional with the things that I have and even more so with the people I am blessed to be in relationship with.  The biggest shift I’ve come to grips with is understanding that I’m called to LOVE people and USE things; not the other way around.  Because I focused only on acquiring things in years past, I’ve found myself in debt and I’m SICK of it.  I’m learning that I only have these things because they are to help me build up relationships with other people.  Things are only meant to be tools to help with relationships.  Nothing beats spending good old fashioned FACE to FACE time in each other’s homes, sharing home made cups of tea or a home cooked meal…or in my case, getting together to play music.  Happy Autumn, everyone!  Time to shed some things much like the trees shedding leaves.  To inspire you (and me), try this song on for your ears.  🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2011 11:11 am

    MEDIA SWAP!!! I’m TOTALLY down for that. I have oh so many books to get rid of…and reality, DVD’s too….and CD’s, though thinking I was going to keep these, I threw out the CD covers to “save room”. ::sigh::
    Anyway, if you do a Media Swap in Oct, I’ll come, God Willing of course. =)

    Oh, btw, you can have first dibs before I bring them over. =)

    • October 5, 2011 11:43 am

      YES!!!! I’m looking forward to that. I’ll send you a message so we can set up a date. 🙂

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