October turned out to be rather a big, busy month. In a good way, mostly. I took on the challenges of The Minimalism Game and Buy Nothing New Month and there was Spring Fair at the end (or beginning of November) to look forward to. I do have a tendency to become enamoured with ideas, bite off more than I can chew, become overwhelmed and pike half way through, so there was some risk involved. I’m pleased to say that I almost managed to stick with all three through to the end of the month.
Buy Nothing New Month was something I’ve been thinking about for a while. As a general rule I try to avoid impulse spending these days, but I’m still prone to getting carried away. Having a month when I made an explicit effort to stop and think before purchasing was good training. In general, I think I did well. With my 30 year school reunion mid-month and Spring Fair at the end of the month, there would usually have been a strong impulse to engage in retail therapy to alleviate stress. In the end, I think I broke a total of 3 times: hair colour chalks, which I was going to use for Spring Fair (I forgot and, in any case, I wore a hat all day), a new knitting pattern, and a very silly $2 dog coat for Indy. I spent a total of $24 unnecessarily, which is pretty good, I think.
I really enjoyed The Minimalism Game. The goal was to get rid of 496 items for the month (I was going to add another four to make 500) by disposing of 1 item on the 1st, 2 on 2nd, and so on. I managed to keep going until the 28th. I didn’t do it on the last three days because, with Spring Fair prep in it’s final, panicky stages, there just wasn’t time to gather up a total of 90 items. It was quite a lot of fun, and rather addictive, to look around the house each day and say “What will I get rid of today?” I did find it a bit disconcerting, though, that I didn’t really notice the difference when I took things out of the house. On the one hand, I suppose, it’s a good thing because it proves that the things I disposed of really weren’t used or important. On the other hand, I feel like it means we have way too much stuff in our house. I had really wanted to use The Minimalism Game to clear out our garage, but I barely got near it, so I’m going to do it again for November and start out there – we need to clear some space to stash Christmas presents anyway …
And, finally, Spring Fair. I ended up as a defacto organiser for our school’s Spring Fair this year. Usually there is a Spring Fair Coordinator who manages it all, but our Parents and Friends Association is in hiatus at the moment and there was no one to take that role on. I said I’d take the responsibility of running meetings and dispersing information and that evolved (as these things do) into somewhat more. I also took on co-coordination of Finn’s class stall. I didn’t mind doing any of this – in fact I enjoyed it – but it was challenging. This is the first Spring Fair I’ve been really active in. The 2011 Spring Fair was our first visit to the school and last year I helped out on Finn’s class’ stall, but didn’t organise anything. Being across the whole thing this year was a big leap! It felt a bit shambolic and chaotic, but (I think) it was all fine on the day. I don’t know how many came, but there seemed to be a fairly steady number of people there throughout the day and we certainly had fantastic weather for it. It’s been a great way to get to know more people at the school and embed ourselves further into the community.
And now it’s November. I have plans. I think having plans is good for me, so I’m going to keep it up. The first plan, as I said above, is to play The Minimalism Game again, focussing on the garage. I’ve always found garages and sheds slightly intimidating places. They’re dark and smelly and you never know what you might find (my dad stored dynamite in his shed for years!), so it will be a bit of challenge to go in there each day and ferret around.
The next is to catch up on Brene Brown’s Gifts of Imperfection course which started a couple of weeks ago. I signed up, but haven’t been able to do any of it yet because of everything else that was going on in late October.
Thirdly, my friend, Shae, is running weekly art classes in Torquay, so I’m off to join her for those. I did some stuff with Shae last term and really, really enjoyed it.
Looking forward to all of this makes me feel happy and excited. I like it.