Day 13: Didn’t sleep that well again. For me insomnia is a common trend. Because of that I ended up sleeping in and skipping emails this morning and heading straight into work.
Most of the day was spent in meetings, but several strong and somewhat surprising opinions were mentioned to me in between breaks, as I sought advice from coworkers and friends over about The Great Tupperware Debate of 2014. At first, today’s post was going to be dedicated to the process of donate, purge, sell, and trash, but instead I wanted to digress from the normal topics as these comments helped kept me busy most of the day and definitely far away from shopping. I’ll categorize what was said into 3 buckets and leave out details of the who said what.
- I don’t help the impoverished people, and am selfish because I am not donating items to Goodwill/Salvation Army/Charity.
- I’m frivolous with time & money.
- That I have not considered the options when deciding to purchase.
Growing up in Oakland, California to two immigrant parents, at best you could say we were lower class. My mom started out working retail while my dad slaved at away at flea markets during the day peddling random wares and studying at night. They put my dad through grad school while working full time with two young children.
At school, I was robbed or threatened on a daily basis. Knowing this, my parents saved as much as they could to have us move three schools before 2nd grade, just so they could be certain that my brother and I were in a safe environment. Before I became a teenager, my mom suffered a disability and we became a single income family. We were those children who played with toys in stores and didn’t get to take much home, but we understood.
Flash to now. Every year I donate about 7 boxes of clothes or goods to Goodwill. During the holidays I go out and spend several hours picking out things I think kids would like for Toys for Tots. All children should have new toys they want on Christmas. Just like everyone else, there are causes I believe in, relate to, sympathize with and when I feel so moved, I participate whole-heartedly. I don’t expect or pressure friends to do or feel the same way about the causes I support.
I spend within my means, pay all my bills in full, own my own home, and have paid off my car. I am a good cook, clean my own place, can build things with powertools and do my own laundry. I am not helpless, nor a hoarder. My home is generally immaculate except the previously mentioned garage and office. I am also a bag lady that always takes cans to be recycled. It’s an activity my dad taught me when I was young as it was blasphemous to waste the CA redemption fee, during the special occasions when we could afford to have soda. We were taught the value of things, small or large. If this is the definition of frivolous, I should hope more people are frivolous.
If you’ve learned anything about me by reading the 40 day challenge, it should be that my world revolves around defining procedures. Everything is a thought, a detail, and a love. Every action is WAY more intricate and particular than it probably should be. I have always danced through most feasible options before coming to a conclusion.
People assume they know you and the best for you, from their perspective and experiences. It is the rare person, ie. the expert (I’ll say empath here again) who is willing to take the time to listen first, temper their own opinions from the equation, and tailor advice for you.
I’m not going to defend or explain my process for what I decide to sell, donate, or get rid of. That’s not what this article is about. This is about not shopping for 40 days and the question that was open for debate was about a Want vs a Need of the beautiful Ikea tupperware where questions can be asked, but ignorant accusations are not ok. There is a process that surrounds doing away with things that is detailed, generous and well-thought out, but I will say no more than that.
P.S. I didn’t want to forget that despite the negativity, three wonderful things also happened to me today that helped stay the course on this journey.
- Lisa felt so compelled to chat me about Shop-stinance and repost a link on her facebook wall. I returned the favor by gushing at her many times. Repeatedly. It got awkward.
- Renee said something brillantly simple to the effect of “People think some of the things you do are a waste of time, but you love it. They just don’t understand. ” Nailed it.
- Had dinner with Danielle (visiting from Paris) and Christina. It’s been nearly 9 years since we met and I’m so grateful to get to spend time with them on a yearly, sometimes bi-yearly basis.